WTCR Race 1 flash: Guerrieri holds off Ehrlacher to win
Esteban Guerrieri soaked up intense pressure from Yann Ehrlacher to win Race 1 of WTCR Race of Hungary at a dry Hungaroring.
Guerrieri’s ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR started from the DHL Pole Position and made a good start to hold the lead. But Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Ehlacher in his Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03 TCR remained stuck to the Honda’s bumper throughout a tense, nail-biting 12-lap race.
The result has elevated Guerrieri from third to second in the points standings. The Argentine is now 23 points behind Ehrlacher.
The red lights extinguished quickly at the start, which appeared to catch out Mikel Azcona, who made a poor getaway beside Guerrieri. The Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición ended lap one down in eighth, as Ehrlacher and Yvan Muller moved up from third and fifth respectively to chase the leader.
Muller lost out to Guerrieri’s team-mate Néstor Girolami, who moved up to third on lap two. The Argentine closed up on Ehrlacher towards the end, but settled for the final step of the podium, with Muller in fourth.
Attila Tassi claimed fifth place in his Honda, just holding off a charging Azcona who hustled his way to sixth after his poor start. Santiago Urrutia finished where he started in seventh in his Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, as did eighth place finisher Jean-Karly Vernay in his Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris.
Luca Engstler finished ninth for Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team and Thed Björk completed the top 10 in is Lynk & Co, up from P13 on the grid.
Tom Coronel, who started the race second in the points, lost ground with P11 in his Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMS, ahead of team-mate Nathanaël Berthon. Wildcard entry Luca Filippi finished in P13 for Team Mulsanne, ahead of Tiago Monteiro’s Honda and Gilles Magnus, the FIA Rookie Award contender doing well to score after starting from the back of the grid following his penalty for a ride-height infringement after qualifying.
There was bad luck for local hero and King of WTCR Norbert Michelisz. The BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse driver was had risen to ninth from P14 on the grid, only to be forced to pit on lap five with a problem. His team-mate Gabriele Tarquini was also in trouble, damage to the bodywork rubbing on his front-right Goodyear and forcing him to pit into retirement.
Local hero Bence Boldizs finished in P16 for Zengő Motorsport ahead of Aurélien Comte’s Vuković Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR. Nico Gruber finished in P18 for Engstler Hyundai in his first start in the WTCR, ahead of fellow debutant and Wildcard entry Jose Manuel Sapag in his Target srl Hyundai.
Race 2 for WTCR Race of Hungary takes place at 12.15h local time.