Race report: First WTCR win for second-generation Audi as Vervisch leaves Aragon victorious

2021-07-14T10:00:33+02:00July 11th, 2021|2021, WTCR Race of Spain 2021|

Gabriele Tarquini and Frédéric Vervisch shrugged off the red-hot temperatures at MotorLand Aragón to split the WTCR Race of Spain wins with both returning to the top step of the WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup podium for the first time since 2019.

WTCR Race of Spain Race 1 top 3
1 Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 21m23.928s (151.4kph)
2 Mikel Azcona (ESP) Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competitión, +1.880s
3 Tom Coronel (NLD) Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, +8.455s
Fastest lap: Tarquini (ITA) BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 2m07.023s (151.4kph)

WTCR Race of Spain Race 2 top 3
1 Frédéric Vervisch (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 28m57.708s (150.8kph)
2 Thed Björk (SWE) Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR, +1.191s
3 Gilles Magnus (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, +1.691s
Fastest lap: Vervisch (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 2m07.588s (150.8kph)

Top 5 provisional standings after Round 6
1 Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA) Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 82 points
2 Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR, 74
3 Yvan Muller (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR, 67
4 Santiago Urrutia (URY) Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR, 60
5 Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 58

Gabriele Tarquini and Frédéric Vervisch shrugged off the red-hot temperatures at MotorLand Aragón to split the WTCR Race of Spain wins with both returning to the top step of the WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup podium for the first time since 2019.

Tarquini, driving a Goodyear-equipped Hyundai Elantra N TCR for BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse, made the most of his reverse-grid pole to triumph in Race 1 ahead of home hero Mikel Azcona (Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición) and Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport driver Tom Coronel following a late change of positions with his team-mate Nathanaël Berthon. As well as completing the podium, Coronel topped the WTCR Trophy order.

Berthon settled for fourth with King of WTCR Yann Ehrlacher (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co) just behind, followed by Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), who bagged FIA WTCR Junior Driver Title honours. Tarquini’s team-mate Norbert Michelisz, the 2019 King of WTCR, placed seventh ahead of Vervisch, Jean-Karl Vernay (Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team) and Thed Björk (Cyan Performance Lynk & Co).

Comtoyou Team Audi Sport’s Vervisch converted his Race 2 pole position into the third victory of his WTCR career and the first for the second-generation Audi RS 3 LMS. Like Vervisch, Björk hit back from a tough opening two rounds to claim the runner-up spot with Magnus third and the best FIA WTCR Junior Driver Title and WTCR Trophy contender.

Vernay continues to wear the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader blue jacket after his fourth place finish in Race 2 allowed to extend his points advantage to eight points over new second-placed driver Ehrlacher, last season’s title winner. Berthon took fifth with Race 1 winner Tarquini sixth. Ehrlacher and Luca Engstler placed seventh and eighth respectively as Rob Huff (Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición) beat Yvan Muller (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co) to ninth following an entertaining battle between the two former world title winners.

Tarquini added the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy to his haul, while Vervisch completed the MotorLand Aragón weekend as the TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver.

RACE 1 REPORT

RACE 2 REPORT

RACE WINNER QUOTES

RACE 1: Gabriele Tarquini (BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR)
“It was a really hard race with this temperature and with this weight. But, fortunately, the car was amazing. I must thank all the Hyundai and BRC guys because they gave me a fantastic car. We never tested in these conditions, it was very, very hard, especially in the last two or three laps but the car was amazing. The first two or three laps I was pushing and I think he was trying to save the tyres for the second part of the race. I was pushing from the beginning, from the first corner to the end, like the maximum I can.”

RACE 2: Frédéric Vervisch (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS)
“I have to thank our team, the brand Audi, the new car that Gilles proved as well. Congrats to him and to Thed. I’m extremely happy to convert a pole position. From the outside it looks all easy, but I can tell you there was again a lot of tension to have the good start. You have nobody in front of you, so it’s always a bit different. But the start was mega and Thed was quite fast. He told me he had one opportunity, maybe there was another one where he could really try something. But I think after a couple of laps I just had a small gap and I was hoping that Gilles would put some pressure on him and probably he did, I’m not sure. Anyway, the gap was there, so I was not happy with the safety car! The restart was actually bad, but it was at the end good because it was strange, I think there was a lot of pick-up that I didn’t notice and I think everybody was surprised.”

RESULTS 

STANDINGS

WHAT’S NEXT?
WTCR Race of Italy, Adria International Raceway, July 30-August 1