WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan 2019 - 25-27/10/2019
Used for Japan’s WTCC counter between 2011 and 2013, the 2.243-kilometre East Course layout features the legendary First Turn – a classic down-hill right-hander. It also includes the S Corner sweeps and a section of the Dunlop Corner before it swings sharp right onto the iconic start/finish straight. Using the East Course respects the FIA’s safety and circuit homologation requirements, which don’t allow urethane safety barriers. Because there is not enough time to remove and reinstall these barriers that are in place on the Full Course before and after WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan the East Course is being used instead.
RACE RECAP 2019
Johan Kristoffersson completed the WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan weekend a winner but it’s Esteban Guerrieri who leaves Suzuka on top on the #RoadToMalaysia, where the 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO will be decided at the Sepang super-finale in December.
After languishing in P10 in Race 2, Honda-powered Guerrieri – competing at the Japanese make’s home track – hit back to follow Kristoffersson (SLR Volkswagen) home in Race 3. Those points, added to his Race 1 victory, means the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver tops the standings with a six-point advantage over Norbert Michelisz, who took the Race 2 win for BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse.
Kevin Ceccon completed the Race 3 podium in unusual circumstances when he profited from a “miscommunication” by Tiago Monteiro. The Portuguese, thinking the race had run its course under the safety car, headed to the pits in error from third. While he quickly realised his mistake, it was too late to the extent Team Mulsanne’s Ceccon and Cyan Racing Lynk & Co’s Thed Björk had moved ahead.
By re-passing Björk, Monteiro received a 10-second time penalty for overtaking under the safety car and slipped to P15 in the final order. Ceccon, meanwhile, was demoted to sixth after he picked up a five-second penalty for a clash with Rob Huff earlier in the race. Björk therefore inherited third with Gabriele Tarquini moving up to fourth and Andy Priaulx taking fifth following his hefty Race 1 crash. With 24 races run, Björk is third in the standings.
Huff scored his first 2019 podium with second place in Race 2 at the wheel of his SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTI R5 as Tarquini held off the charging Ceccon for third.
PWR Racing’s leading rookie Mikel Azcona was eighth in Race 2 but a slow start meant he was unable to convert his third-best Second Qualifying lap into a Race 3 podium for CUPRA.
Michelisz’s 53.888s best in Race 2 earned the Hungarian the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy. However, with eighth place the best he could muster in the closing race of the weekend, he will head to WTCR Race of Macau next month playing catch-up in the title chase. In the battle to be crowned top team, Cyan Racing Lynk & Co narrowly heads ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport.
Japan’s Ryuichiro Tomita scored the best finish of the wildcard drivers with P17 in Race 2 but joined team-mate Ritomo Miyata on the DNF list for Race 3. Hong Kong’s Jim Ka To finished all three races on his WTCR / OSCARO debut.
DHL Pole Position Race 1: Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) Honda Civic Type R TCR
Race 1 winner: Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) Honda Civic Type R TCR
Race 1 fastest lap: Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) Honda Civic Type R TCR
DHL Pole Position Race 2: Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 2 winner: Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 2 fastest lap: Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyundai i30 N TCR
DHL Pole Position Race 3: Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
Race 3 winner: Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
Race 3 fastest lap: Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy: Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyunda i30 N TCR
TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver: Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) Honda Civic Type R TCR
Track essentialsName: Suzuka Circuit
Location: 7992 Ino-Cho, Suzuka-shi, Mie-ken 510-0295, Japan
East Course length: 2.243 kilometres
Race 1 distance: 24 laps (53.832 kilometres)
Race 2 distance: 24 laps (53.832 kilometres)
Race 3 distance: 28 laps (62.804 kilometres)
Best lapsWTCR Full Course lap record (qualifying): Kevin Ceccon (Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR) 2m10.742s (159.80kph), 26/10/18
WTCR Full Course lap record (race): Pepe Oriola (CUPRA TCR) 2m13.163s (156.90kph), 28/10/18
More detailsTime zone: GMT +9 hours
Fly to: Nagoya Chubu Centrair International Airport (60 kilometres)