WTCR Race of Germany 2020 - 24-26/09/2020
In 100 words… Germany’s WTCR host venue offers a challenge like no other with its daunting 25.378-kilometre lap, 64 heart-stopping corners and changeable Eifel mountains weather. Opening for business in 1927 and a German Grand Prix regular until Niki Lauda’s near-fatal accident in 1976, the Nürburgring Nordschleife joined the FIA World Touring Car Championship schedule from 2015-2017 as part of the ADAC Zurich 24h-Rennen weekend. The WTCR took over in 2018 and delivered even more action with Yvan Muller, Esteban Guerrieri and Thed Björk sharing the wins. Guerrieri was a winner again in 2019 along with Johan Kristoffersson and home hero Benjamin Leuchter.
WTCR RACE OF GERMANY 2020: THE WEEKEND’S BIG WINNERS
DHL Pole Position: Néstor Girolami (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR
Reverse-grid DHL Pole Position: Yvan Muller (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR
Race 1: Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR
Race 1 fastest lap: Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR
Race 2: Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR
Race 2 fastest lap: Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR
WTCR Rookie Driver Race 1: Gilles Magnus (BEL) Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS
WTCR Rookie Driver Race 2: Bence Boldizs (HUN) Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición
WTCR Trophy winner Race 1: Tom Coronel (NLD) Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS
WTCR Trophy winner Race 2: Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA) Team Mulsanne, Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris
TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy winner: Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR
TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver: Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR
Goodyear #FollowTheLeader: Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR
RACE 1 REPORT: BRAVE GUERRIERI BEATS MULLER FOR NÜRBURGRIING NORDSCHLEIFE WTCR GLORY
*ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport ace kick-starts WTCR title bid with Nürburgring victory
*Muller beats Cyan Racing Lynk & Co team-mate and nephew Ehrlacher for second
*Coronel tops WTCR Trophy, Comtoyou team-mate Magnus finishes as WTCR Rookie Driver
*Ehrlacher remains the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader after three races
*Five customer racing brands in the top 10 at WTCR Race of Germany opener
Esteban Guerrieri pulled off a brilliant pass on Yvan Muller to win Race 1 at WTCR Race of Germany in tricky conditions on the Nürburgring Nordschleife that required the use of Goodyear’s wet-weather tyres for the first time in 2020.
The Argentine started on the front row in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR alongside DHL Pole Position man Muller and pressured the Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03 TCR driver hard from the safety car start.
Then at the Aremberg right-hander Guerrieri made a brave move for the lead on the outside line, on a slippery track surface. The pair rubbed doors through the turn, but Guerrieri had the inside line for the following left hander and was through.
Guerrieri opened up a convincing lead to win the three-lap reverse-grid encounter on the 25.378-kilometre track ahead of a Lynk & Co two-three-four, as Muller headed his nephew, Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Yann Ehrlacher, and Thed Björk.
“The passing move was risky, but when you race an experienced driver like Yvan you can make it,” said Guerrieri, whose victory has kickstarted his 2020 WTCR campaign. “There was more grip on the outside. But I was on the grass twice on the first lap. I still made a gap and knew where the grip was from memories from last year. I’m very happy to be back on the podium again.”
Ehrlacher passed Björk late in the race to score a podium finish. “Sixth on the grid to third!” he said. “Those are important points in the bag. But we’re missing the fans here at the track.”
Tom Coronel clung on to fifth despite reporting a mechanical problem on his Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMS. The Dutchman started third on the grid and looked to challenge Muller for second on lap one, before slipping back into the clutches of Björk and Ehrlacher. Björk made a decisive move at the start of the third lap, taking the outside line at Turn 1 which gave him the inside route for Turn 2. The pair made contact, and Ehrlacher was able to take advantage and also slip past Coronel.
Néstor Girolami finished sixth in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda, ahead of WTCR Rookie Driver award contender Gilles Magnus in his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS and Tiago Monteiro’s Honda.
Jean-Karl Vernay in his Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris and Bence Boldizs’ Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición were next up, ensuring five customer racing brands finished in the top 10.
Among those to hit trouble at the Nordschleife included Nathanaël Berthon, who was forced to start late from the pitlane in his Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport entry. The Frenchman was still able to finish in P12, behind Gábor Kismarty-Lechner’s CUPRA.
Santiago Urrutia’s Lynk & Co and Attila Tassi’s Honda failed to make the finish following contact, as did Mikel Azcona, who retired his Zengő Motorsport CUPRA at the Karussell on lap one. Jack Young sustained heavy damage to the right front corner of his Vuković Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR and was also forced out.
RACE 2 REPORT: GOODYEAR #FOLLOWTHELEADER EHRLACHER STORMS TO “BEST WIN” ON THE NORDSCHLEIFE IN WTCR
*French flyer bags second 2020 victory at WTCR Race of Germany for Cyan Racing Lynk & Co
*He becomes youngest World Touring Car race winner on iconic Nürburgring Nordschleife
*Penalty heartbreak for Girolami as Björk and Tassi complete Race 2 podium
*CUPRA-powered Azcona claims fourth following late pass on Honda’s Race 1 winner Guerrieri
*Boldizs scores maiden Rookie Driver triumph, Vernay victorious in WTCR Trophy
Yann Ehrlacher overtook DHL Pole Position starter Néstor Girolami to win Race 2 at WTCR Race of Germany as the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader extended his points advantage on a slippery Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The Cyan Racing ace slipstreamed his Lynk & Co 03 TCR ahead of Girolami’s ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR on the long Döttinger Höhe straight at the end of the first lap of the legendary 25.378-kilometre track to score his second win of the 2020 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season.
“It’s such an amazing feeling to win a race on the greatest track in the world,” said an overjoyed Ehrlacher, 24, who also collected the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy. “I can’t believe we won on the Nordschleife in those conditions. It’s the best win of my career, absolutely insane. It’s good for the team and for the drivers’ championship.”
Girolami, second in the points before the race, suffered a blow to his title hopes when he was penalised 30 seconds for a start procedure violation. The regulations allow for two reconnaissance laps and one pass through the pitlane prior to lining up on the grid. However, in error, Girolami completed three reconnaissance laps, passing through the pitlane twice.
Thed Björk completed a Cyan Racing one-two after passing Girolami on Döttinger Höhe on the second lap, with Attila Tassi inheriting the final podium position from his penalised ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team-mate. Girolami was classified in P11 after his penalty was applied.
Behind Tassi, Mikel Azcona scored a brilliant fourth place in Zengő Motorsport’s new CUPRA Leon Competición after passing Race 1 winner Esteban Guerrieri on the run to the finish.
Jean-Karl Vernay (Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris) held off Yvan Muller’s Lynk & Co to finish seventh and win the WTCR Trophy. Tom Coronel was eighth in his Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMS, despite having started fifth on the grid. The Dutchman lost ground when he slid into the gravel at Aremberg on lap one.
Tiago Monteiro placed ninth in his Honda as Santiago Urrutia’s Lynk & Co completed the top 10 from the back of the grid, ahead of Girolami. Nathanaël Berthon was P12 in his Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport entry, in front of the CUPRAs of Bence Boldizs and Gábor Kismarty-Lechner.
WTCR Rookie Driver award contender Gilles Magnus, who is competing with the support of the Belgian federation’s RACB National Team initiative crashed out on lap two in his Comtoyou Audi.
RACE WINNER QUOTES
Race 1: Esteban Guerrieri (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR)
“It’s never easy at this track. There are so many situations that can hurt you. It’s between being confident and not over-confident. At the start, I followed Yvan and I had an idea from last year where the grip might be in other sections and the part where I could attack a bit more. I saw Yvan braking on the inside a bit early so I tried around the outside, I didn’t know what was going to happen. Then we went side by side out of that corner and very fair going down the hill, the Yvan lifted so basically it was a very fair move. After that to be honest I really pushed on that first lap because I needed to make a gap because we believe the Lynk & Cos are quicker down the straight. I went to the grass in one section, I hit a kerb in another corner somewhere, so it was quite a crazy first lap. I have to say, probably a bit too much. But then after that I created a gap and could with experience from the first lap plus the gap I created I could kind of control it. It was mega, really nice to again win at the Nordschleife, so I’m really happy.
Race 2: Yann Ehrlacher (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR)
“Definitely it was a really good race for us. The start was not bad even if it was behind the safety car. I was a bit cautious in the first few corners and the first part of the Nordschleife because the conditions were changing quite quickly on this long track, then I just prepared my move on Bebu at the end of lap one. And on lap two I pushed like hell to make a big lap and definitely that was one of the craziest laps of my career. Then on lap three I was just managing the gap, and here we are leading the championship and winning this race, which is one of the craziest I have ever done, so I’m really happy about that. Honestly, the feeling we had out there was absolutely insane, not even comparable to something we have on other tracks. It’s like you are driving on the edge if you make a 30cm mistake on your line or you are off on your braking. The conditions are changing corner after corner, drier, wetter and so on. It’s absolutely insane.”
Race 1: Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 2: Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
Race 3: Benjamin Leuchter (DEU) Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
Race 1: Yvan Muller (FRA) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 2: Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) Honda Civic Type R TCR
Race 3: Thed Björk (SWE) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Otto-Flimm-Straße, 53520 Nürburg, Germany
Track length: 25.378 kilometres
Race 1 distance:
3 laps (76.134 kilometres)
Race 2 distance:
3 laps (76.134 kilometres)
BEST LAPSWTCR qualifying lap record:
Néstor Girolami (Honda Civic Type R TCR)
8m51.802s (171.7kph), 24/09/20
WTCR race lap record:
Frédéric Vervisch (Audi RS 3 LMS)
8m59.076s (169.4kph), 12/05/18
MORE DETAILSTime zone: GMT +2 hours
Fly to: Köln Bonn (97 kilometres)
Stay: Nürburg or surrounding towns and villages