WTCR Race of Italy 2022 - 22-24/07/2022

In 100 words… Opened in 1951, Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi is named in honour of the Mille Miglia road racer and the track’s principal design engineer. The venue near Rome has hosted international and national-level competition over the years. In 2021 it was the setting of the inaugural PURE ETCR event two years after it staged the first FIA Motorsport Games, which included the Touring Car Cup consisting of two races for TCR cars. The 3.2-kilometre ‘Historical International’ layout will be operational for WTCR Race of Italy having been the track used for a number of famous touring car battles in the 1990s.

WTCR RACE OF ITALY 2022: THE WEEKEND’S BIG WINNERS

RACE WINNERS
Race 1: Néstor Girolami (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR
Race 2: Gilles Magnus (BEL), Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS

WTCR TROPHY WINNERS
Race 1: 
Tom Coronel (NLD), Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS
Race 2: Rob Huff (GBR) Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición

POLE POSITION
Race 1: Néstor Girolami (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, 1m14.811s (155.3kph)
Race 2 (reverse grid): Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR

FASTEST LAPS
Race 1: 
Nathanaël Berthon (FRA) Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 1m15.763s (153.3kph)
Race 2:
Gilles Magnus (BEL), Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 1m16.494s (151.9kph)

GOODYEAR #FOLLOWTHELEADER
Mikel Azcona, 200 points

QUALIFYING REPORT

RACE REPORT: GIROLAMI DOES THE ITALIAN JOB IN WTCR WITH VALLELUNGA VICTORY

*Honda Racing’s Argentine ace wins Race 1 for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
*Magnus magnificent by heading home Berthon in Race 2 Audi-powered Comtoyou 1-2
*Azcona stays in blue as the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader for BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse
*Michelisz adds to BRC’s home success with fourth place finishes in both races
*Coronel celebrates 100th WTCR start with WTCR Trophy triumph before Huff hits back

WTCR Race of Italy Race 1 classification (30 minutes + 1 lap)
1 Néstor Girolami (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, 31m21m.344s (151.9kph)
2 Mikel Azcona (ESP), BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, +0.248s
3 Gilles Magnus (BEL), Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, +1.788s
4 Norbert Michelisz (HUN) BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, +2.099s
5 Attila Tassi (HUN) LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler, Honda Civic Type R TCR, +6.706s
Fastest lap: Nathanaël Berthon (FRA) Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 1m15.763s (153.3kph)

WTCR Race of Italy Race 2 classification (25 minutes + 1 lap)
1 Gilles Magnus (BEL), Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 27m10.386s (151.9kph)
2 Nathanaël Berthon (FRA) Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, +1.409s
3 Mikel Azcona (ESP), BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, +1.783s
4 Norbert Michelisz (HUN) BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, +11.857s
5 Néstor Girolami (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnuch Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, +12.768s
Fastest lap: Gilles Magnus (BEL), Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 1m16.494s (151.9kph)

WTCR provisional standings after Round 12 of 20
Goodyear #FollowTheLeader: Mikel Azcona, 200 points
2 Néstor Girolami, 164 points
3 Rob Huff, 148 points
4 Gilles Magnus, 142 points
5 Santiago Urrutia, 137 points

Néstor Girolami got his bid to win the WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup back on track with his second victory of the season in the searing Italian sunshine.

Powered by a Honda Civic Type R TCR from German team ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Girolami, who won the opening race of the season, resisted intense pressure from Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Mikel Azcona to triumph at Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi.

The Italy-based Argentine’s triumph in Race 1, added to the fifth place he scored in Race 2, elevates him to second in the provisional title order, 36 points behind BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse driver Azcona, who was followed over the finish line by Gilles Magnus.

It would get better for the Belgian youngster Magnus, who won Race 2 for Comtoyou Team Audi Sport to join Girolami by winning for a second time in 2022. Nathanaël Berthon claimed second in his Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport entry with Azcona landing another Vallelunga podium in third.

Hungarian Norbert Michelisz continued his strong scoring run with fourth place in both races, his 99th and 100th in the WTCR. His compatriot, Attila Tassi, was fifth in the opening counter for LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler.

Berthon’s team-mate Tom Coronel took his first WTCR Trophy victory of the year in Race 1 before Rob Huff struck back in Race 2 to win the category for a 10th time in his Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición. Race 1 marked Coronel’s 100th start in the WTCR with sixth place overall his best of the season so far.

The five Lynk & Co 03 TCRs of Thed Björk, Yann Ehrlacher, Ma Qing Hua, Yvan Muller and Santiago Urrutia were non-starters, pulling into the pits at the end of the formation lap in both races due to Cyan Racing’s tyre safety concerns.

Meanwhile, Mikel Azcona was the King of the Weekend in the ETCR FIA eTouring Car World Cup for Hyundai Motorsport N following his success in the ETCR races that co-headlined the Vallelunga event.

RACE 1 REPORT: GIROLAMI BEATS AZCONA IN THE VALLELUNGA HEAT
Néstor Girolami headed Mikel Azcona to win Race 1 in an incident-packed Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi encounter. The victory marks a second of the season for Girolami in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, as Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Azcona extended his advantage at the top of the standings. Pole position starter Girolami and Azcona ran side by side through the first three corners before the Honda-powered driver made sure he held the lead into Turn 4. From there, Azcona chased Girolami all the way to the finish. CLICK FOR FULL STORY.

RACE 2 REPORT: MAGNUS STRIKES TWICE WITH CHARGING VALLELUNGA DRIVE
Gilles Magnus led all the way in Race 2, edging ahead of team-mate Mehdi Bennani at the start, to score his second win of the WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup season at Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi. The Comtoyou Team Audi Sport driver followed up his third place in Race 1 with a perfect performance in sweltering conditions as Nathanaël Berthon finished second to make up for the podium he lost in Race 1. Yann Ehrlacher and Santiago Urrutia should have started from the front row. But as in Race 1, the five Lynk & Cos withdrew to the pitlane at the end of the warm-up lap because of Cyan Racing’s tyre safety concerns. That left Magnus and Bennani effectively on the front row, and the two Audis stormed through the first three corners door to door. As Magnus claimed the lead into Turn 4, both Attila Tassi and Berthon took advantage of the fight to slip past Bennani. CLICK FOR FULL STORY.

RACE WINNER QUOTES

RACE 1: Néstor Girolami (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR
“It was a tough race. First of all, congratulations to Mikel and Gilles, and all my crew, my team, HRC. It was a really tough race. I knew from the beginning that starting from pole here is not an advantage, in a way that you have less grip on the inside line and I expected some wheelspin, I’d had some already. So I managed to keep my front bumper with his rear bumper. The first corner was luckily to the right, so that was the most important part of the race. Then trying to survive because this race was really, really hot. When I saw some cars having issues I said, okay, I need to be even more careful. Then came the safety car, I cooled down the tyres and engine and everything was fine. In a way [the safety car was a relief]. But in another way, no, because I think Mikel was having some temperature issues. I saw in the mirror he was moving the line. In that moment I thought okay, maybe he could attack. When he closed the gap he was having temperature issues and when the safety car came out of course everyone cooled their engines, so it was a relief but it was also a worry how much he had in the pocket to attack.”

RACE 2: Gilles Magnus (BEL), Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS
“Even though it was shorter than the one before it felt even tougher. I don’t know why. For sure the heat and being tired from Race 1 still… I don’t know what this guy [Mikel Azcona] is eating in the morning because he’s doing a double programme [of ETCR and WTCR]! But big respect because I am dead and this guy must be even more dead. First of all, big congrats to my team-mate, Nath. Big congrats to Mikel. Yet again on the podium. It was really tough. We all had in our minds front-left tyre, front-left tyre. It’s maybe not a nice way to win like this, it would have been even better to win in a normal way, but we would have been capable of it. We had good speed. But OK, that’s how it is, it’s big points. It’s the second time for us on the podium today, so it’s a perfect weekend. I could not have imagined it better. The race was tough, although I always had the big gap with Nat, but still I always heard the tyres screaming, I could feel these small vibrations. Maybe it is only in my head, but you are always thinking about it and that makes it even more tough. But we made it, big points, really happy.”

PREVIOUS WINNERS:

2021:
Race 1:
Santiago Urrutia (URY) Lynk & Co 03 TCR
Race 2:
Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Lynk & Co 03 TCR

ESSENTIALS
Venue:
Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi
Location:
Via Mola Maggiorana, 4/6, 00063 Campagnano di Roma
Track length:
3.2 kilometres
Race 1 distance:
30 minutes + 1 lap
Race 2 distance:
25 minutes + 1 lap
BEST LAPS
WTCR qualifying lap record:
Néstor Girolami (Honda Civic Type R TCR) 1m14.811s (155.3kph), 23/07/22
WTCR race lap record:
Nathanaël Berthon (Audi RS 3 LMS) 1m15.763s (153.3kph), 24/07/22