*Hyundai-powered Michelisz’s fifth receive of 2019 devices him on the avenue to title success *Guerrieri goes from ninth to first in Crawl 2 but title expose unravels throughout Crawl 3 victory fight *Kristoffersson costs from P22 to Crawl 3 victory earlier than Ceccon and Vervisch *Cyan Racing Lynk & Co clinches Groups’ award courtesy of Björk and Muller
FIA WTCR Crawl of Malaysia: Crawl document, 15 December
WTCR – FIA World Touring Automobile Cup offered by OSCARO 2019
Deciding rounds 28-30 of 30, Sepang International Circuit, 12-15 December
Norbert Michelisz is the unusual King of the WTCR after the 2019 season ended with a thrilling sizable-finale at the inaugural Races of Malaysia, which featured dramatic action on two and 4 wheels.
As nicely as the three extremely-charged and dramatic counters that made up the WTCR / OSCARO season decider, the event also incorporated the 8 Hours of Sepang, spherical two of the FIM Persistence World Championship for motorbikes.
But whereas YART Yamaha nicely-known success on two wheels, it used to be Hungarian Michelisz who nicely-known most on four after his title receive on the support of a Crawl 1 victory and capabilities finishes in races two and three, which were acquired by Esteban Guerrieri and Johan Kristoffersson respectively.
Guerrieri charged through from ninth to first on the opening lap of Crawl 2 to put up his title hopes alive by reducing Michelisz’s advantage to 10 capabilities with one breeze left, which resulted in a sensational victory for Kristoffersson – from a staggering P22 on the grid.
SLR Volkswagen driver Kristoffersson prevailed after a jaw-shedding four-methodology fight for the receive, which within the destroy value Guerrieri his shot at the WTCR / OSCARO title. Over the opening laps, the formula forward for the title swung between Guerrieri and Michelisz almost by the nook, easiest for the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda to lose energy with a suspected blocked radiator after contact with Azcona forced a day out all the intention through the grass within the slippery prerequisites.
“First of all, I could maybe truthfully private to congratulate Esteban because his performances in Crawl 2 and Crawl 3 recently were unbelievably robust,” stated BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse driver Michelisz. “It used to be a truly tricky fight, we were going flat out. He had some technical disorders and so did I. Sooner than Crawl 3 it gave the affect of I wouldn’t even birth the breeze. But within the halt with the auto working at 90 per cent I managed to look initially – and within the halt it’s fabulous. It’s correct a large relief after a lengthy season. We didn’t birth out very correct, however the 2d section of the season made up for that. Taking the championship is something I’ve been hoping for a pair of years now.
“It’s elegant complex to whisper the total emotions going through my physique now. However the greatest thing is to whisper a large thanks to my family, to the crew and the total Hungarian folk who were supporting me for a small bit bigger than 10 years now.
“A small bigger than 10 years ago I was nonetheless playing computer games and hoping to begin a legit profession. In the halt I managed to look at that. So a large thanks to all americans. It’s correct fabulous.”
How the title conflict unfolded in thrilling Crawl 3
From the initiating, the 2 title protagonists were locked in a duel as they started from the front row of the grid. Michelisz, on the DHL Pole Discipline, correct misplaced out at Flip 1 as Guerrieri swept around the outside line, pulling PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona with him into 2d as the evening drama played out on a moist observe below floodlights.
The trio were rapidly joined by the remarkable Kristoffersson who apparently got right here from nowhere to abolish it a four-methodology conflict and demote Michelisz one other establish, easiest for the safety automobile to be known as upon on lap two as Augusto Farfus beached his Hyundai within the gravel.
Racing resumed on lap 5 as the halt four put on an unforgettable spectacle. The predominant moment used to be a duel between Guerrieri and Azcona, who tapped the Argentinian. The contact forced the Honda to temporarily utilize to the grass – then Guerrieri reported he used to be “shedding energy”. Heartbreakingly, he dropped down the suppose, easiest to space the quickest lap of the breeze once the blockage had cleared.
Guerrieri’s loss supposed Michelisz used to be protected to whisper his WTCR / OSCARO crown and he dropped to fifth. Forward of him Kristoffersson and Azcona were joined by the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR of Physique of workers Mulsanne’s Kevin Ceccon for a brand unusual three-methodology fight.
Following one other transient safety automobile interruption, the trio scrapped nook by nook unless Kristoffersson took a decisive lead from Azcona with an impressed exterior scamper at the closing nook on lap 11. Azcona chased him the total methodology to the chequered flag on lap 14, with Ceccon polishing off the podium earlier than Comtoyou Physique of workers Audi Sport’s Frédéric Vervisch and a relieved Michelisz. Nonetheless, a put up-breeze penalty for the incident with Guerrieri dropped Azcona to P14, one establish earlier than Malaysian MotoGP celebrity Hafizh Syahrin, who used to be competing as a wildcard entrant, and gave Vervisch third within the support of Ceccon.
Michelisz’s BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse crew-mate and 2018 title winner Gabriele Tarquini completed sixth on the avenue, easiest for a 30-2d penalty for driving breaches within the support of the safety automobile to demote him to P18. Guerrieri’s crew-mate Néstor Girolami used to be promoted to fifth with KCMG’s Tiago Monteiro finishing sixth and Cyan Racing Lynk & Co’s Thed Björk in seventh. SLR Volkswagen’s Benjamin Leuchter used to be eighth with Accumulate Huff, Jean-Karl Vernay, Yvan Muller, Andy Priaulx and Daniel Haglöf subsequent up.
In other locations, João Paulo de Oliveira acquired the TAG Heuer Handiest Lap Trophy on his WTCR / OSCARO debut, whereas the collective efforts of Thed Björk and Yvan Muller were ample for Cyan Racing Lynk & Co to receive the WTCR – FIA World Touring Automobile Cup offered by OSCARO for Groups. In the intervening time, promising Malaysian wildcard Mitchell Cheah completed a weekend-most efficient P16 in Crawl 2.
RACE 2 REPORT: GUERRIERI WINS TO SET UP FINAL-ROUND TITLE DECIDER
Esteban Guerrieri turned the screw on his conflict with Norbert Michelisz for the 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Automobile Cup offered by OSCARO title by winning a dramatic crimson flag-interrupted reverse-grid Crawl 2 at WTCR Crawl of Malaysia.
The ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver closed to inside of 10 capabilities of WTCR / OSCARO capabilities chief Michelisz, after rising from ninth on the grid, in a breeze breeze in heavy rain that ended below the floodlights as darkness fell. Crawl 1 winner Michelisz would possibly maybe well well easiest impact eighth.
“Amazing,” stated Guerrieri. “I in actuality gave it all. I visualised what would happen within the predominant lap and it took establish. This used to be the breeze of my existence. The automobile used to be kindly and thanks to my crew. We’re a small bit closer and we’re nonetheless within the fight.”
From the initiating, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s Néstor Girolami took the lead from DHL Pole Discipline man Ma Qinghua at Flip 1, but his crew-mate Guerrieri used to be immediate on the scamper from ninth – and by the halt of the predominant lap, sensationally he used to be already within the lead.
But drama within the support of him forced a crimson flag breeze suspension. Heavy rain resulted in a collection of drivers operating off the observe, including WTCR / OSCARO capabilities chief Michelisz. The safety automobile had correct been known as upon when Nicky Catsburg’s BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Physique of workers Hyundai, which had skidded off after contact with Yvan Muller, caught fireplace after returning to the circuit. Catsburg escaped without hurt.
Muller used to be infected regarding the contact with Catsburg. “He got right here from nowhere and I was his blueprint,” stated the Frenchman. “There ought to be a sturdy penalty, but there it will be nothing.”
Catsburg held his fingers up for the incident. “I was on slicks, he used to be on fat wets I judge,” stated the Dutchman. “I locked the tyres, I couldn’t halt and I T-boned Yvan. It used to be fully my mistake and I didn’t establish it intentionally. But I understand his frustration.”
The breeze used to be restarted with the drivers taking over the positions they held from sector two on that first lap. Extremely, Catsburg’s mechanics willing his automobile to restart despite the fireplace, but he used to be no longer allowed to utilize his establish on the grid because he had got mechanical help below crimson flag prerequisites.
The unusual suppose at the origin left Girolami and Guerrieri on the front row, with Muller in fifth on the grid, with fellow WTCR / OSCARO title contender Michelisz – who had dropped down the suppose from the predominant birth – easiest in P17, even supposing problems for those forward promoted him to P13 below the safety automobile restart. By this time the rain had now space in and darkness had fallen.
From the restart, Girolami inevitably allowed Guerrieri through to lead and he didn’t detect support, building a soft hole to whisper his necessary victory.
But there used to be a range of action within the support of him as PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona and SLR Volkswagen’s Johan Kristoffersson battled arduous and overcame Girolami to hitch Guerrieri on the podium, Kristoffersson having started P22 on the grid.
Physique of workers Mulsanne’s Kevin Ceccon completed fifth in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR, earlier than Muller who’s now out of title competition earlier than the closing breeze.
His nephew Yann Ehrlacher used to be seventh, with Michelisz sigh to utilize necessary capabilities in eighth – having originally started in P10. Accumulate Huff used to be subsequent, with SLR Volkswagen’s Benjamin Leuchter polishing off the halt 10.
RACE 1 REPORT: MICHELISZ TRIUMPHS TO EXTEND POINTS LEAD
Norbert Michelisz took a valuable step in direction of claiming the 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Automobile Cup offered by OSCARO by keeping his cool in mixed climate prerequisites to receive Crawl 1.
The BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse converted his DHL Pole Discipline into a flawless victory as the climate created a tense and unpredictable opening breeze of the Sepang sizable-finale. He completed earlier than Comtoyou DHL Physique of workers CUPRA Racing’s Aurélien Panis, who started 2d on the grid and claimed his first WTCR / OSCARO podium impact.
Michelisz’s title opponents Esteban Guerrieri rose from ninth on the grid to impress fourth, whereas Yvan Muller tore through the field from P16 to sixth. The result leaves Michelisz 27 capabilities earlier than Guerrieri, with Muller a extra eight capabilities support.
“Right here’s an even bigger step than those sooner than [from qualifying],” stated a contented Michelisz. “It used to be worrying the least bit, the must haves were a ways from perfect. There used to be stress, but I’m truly cushty with my performance and the auto. I could maybe well well peep Aurélien had first rate tempo, so I was no longer laid support and tried to receive a hole early on in case I made a mistake. But it used to be the specific breeze.”
The breeze started within the support of the safety automobile as altering climate forced teams to gamble on tyre decisions. Many, including Michelisz, chose dry slick Yokohama tyres on the front and moist-climate treaded Yokohama tyres on the rears. After one lap within the support of the safety automobile, the action used to be unleashed with Michelisz and Panis making robust getaways to receive a ways from the pack.
Michelisz’s crew-mate and 2018 title winner Gabriele Tarquini rose from seventh on the grid to impress third, boosting the BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse’s crew title hopes, with Guerrieri within the support of him in fourth for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport.
Skilled wildcard João Paulo de Oliveira drove brilliantly in his KC Motorgroup Honda to give protection to fellow Civic Style R TCR driver Guerrieri, coming from P13 on the grid to impress fifth, holding off Muller’s Cyan Racing Lynk & Co as the Frenchman labored to beef up his title probabilities. But Muller couldn’t net a methodology previous de Oliveira to enlighten Guerrieri.
PWR Racing’s Daniel Haglöf completed seventh, earlier than SLR Volkswagen’s Johan Kristoffersson and BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing’s Physique of workers Nicky Catsburg, who overcame a 5-establish grid penalty to ranking a sturdy capabilities impact.
Leopard Racing Physique of workers Audi Sport’s Jean-Karl Vernay done the halt 10. The varied capabilities scorers were Andy Priaux in P11, Mehdi Bennani, Attila Tassi, Yann Ehrlacher and Gordon Shedden. Thed Björk completed down in P27 after playing on a mid-breeze switch to slick dry tyres and the Lynk & Co driver is now out of the title hunt with two races at Sepang left to breeze.
RACE WINNER QUOTES
Crawl 1: Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), Hyundai i30 N TCR
“In the halt you would peep that the breeze used to be a ways from easy. The problems started with the tyre resolution because we were correct in between moist and dry prerequisites, so we needed to gamble a small bit. But within the halt the resolution used to be relatively correct for the explanation that prerequisites stayed fixed. I managed to [keep] my rhythm which over again used to be a ways from easy since it used to be a consistently altering steadiness. But within the halt the crucial thing used to be to receive the breeze and prolong the lead because this used to be a correct step within the correct route. We went for slicks on the front and rain tyres on the rear. Usually this resolution by no intention works, but I judge recently we were also a small bit lucky. For all americans who went for this resolution, it used to be a gigantic threat but within the halt or no longer it is a ways necessary to head with a resolution if you happen to must no longer sure what the recent prerequisites on the grid whisper. And between the 5 and two minutes boards we were nonetheless no longer sure, however the crew made this resolution and I am truly thankful to them because within the halt it used to be correct the specific one.”
Crawl 2: Esteban Guerrieri (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), Honda Civic Style R TCR
“It used to be kindly. I knew I needed to abolish a mega birth, which I did, and from ninth for first, then the crimson flag and the grid establish of 2d within the support of Néstor [Girolami]. It used to be correct to utilize the lead. I had an kindly automobile, an not likely tempo, and I could maybe well well correct pull away. This receive kept alive our championship probabilities and it used to be needed. After the crimson flag I was apprehensive they’d re-establish me to ninth, which would were unfair nevertheless it didn’t happen so shining ample. The must haves were relatively outrageous with moist climate, but then the rain stopped and I had no one in front of me so I was ready to power my strains and I in actuality loved that one.”
Crawl 3: Johan Kristoffersson (SLR Volkswagen), Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
“I didn’t demand it, to be shining, so that you just can fight over again for a podium like I did in Crawl 2 because prerequisites were elegant fixed and all americans used to be discovering their line and their rhythm. I expected it to be a small bit extra tricky, but we did some adjustments on the auto between the races and the auto used to be working very, very nicely. We made the correct tyre resolution. I had a large first lap. First of all a correct birth after which I managed to power my methodology as much as P3 already on the predominant lap. So there used to be a quantity of overtaking there, however the observe within the rain is actually tremendous and broad and as well you would possibly maybe well well well presumably additionally utilize a quantity of numerous strains. So within the halt after I got right here cease to [Mikel] Azcona in direction of the halt of the breeze I didn’t are on the lookout for to scamper him too early because I knew he would private a correct slipstream and he used to be also very, very lickety-split. Then the safety automobile got right here out and we ran out of laps, so I tried to abolish a scamper as lickety-split as attainable and from there on it used to be a small bit tricky being all on my own out front with no reference or a driver to request. It used to be a small bit tricky, nevertheless it used to be correct head down and focussing 100 per cent. The closing couple of laps were attention-grabbing, I even private to whisper, as even Ceccon used to be striking stress on us. I was no longer sure I will be ready to receive unless the closing nook. It’s truly easy to abolish a mistake and breeze broad, and drivers can within the support of you would possibly maybe well well well presumably additionally net a line that would possibly maybe well well also be one 2d quicker in a pair of corners. So that you just truly private to fight the total methodology and after the breeze I felt elegant exhausted having needed to put focused for 2 races in a row.”
DHL Pole Discipline Crawl 1: Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Crawl 1 winner: Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Crawl 1 quickest lap: João Paulo de Oliveira (BRA) Honda Civic Style R TCR
DHL Pole Discipline Crawl 2: Ma Qinghua (CHN) Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR
Crawl 2 winner: Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) Honda Civic Style R TCR
Crawl 2 quickest lap: Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) Honda Civic Style R TCR
DHL Pole Discipline Crawl 3: Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Crawl 3 winner: Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
Crawl 3 quickest lap: Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) Honda Civic Style R TCR
TAG Heuer Handiest Lap Trophy: João Paulo de Oliveira (BRA) Honda Civic Style R TCR
TAG Heuer Most Treasured Driver: Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Results and standings:
The 2020 WTCR – FIA World Touring Automobile Cup takes establish over 10 all-action weekends initiating on the streets of Marrakech for WTCR Crawl of Morocco from 3-5 April. The excessive-tempo global tour then makes stops in Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, Portugal, Spain, China, Korea, Macau and Malaysia when the season sizable-finale will be held as section of the Races of Malaysia festival of motorsport from 10-13 December.