WTCR Race of Morocco 2019

WTCR Race of Morocco 2019 - 05-07/04/2019

THE CHALLENGE
Transformed from street circuit to semi-permanent race track for 2016, Circuit Moulay El Hassan is located in the heart of Marrakech’s bustling hotel district. Built to FIA Grade II standards, the layout is the work of Hermann Tilke’s renowned architecture agency and offers impressive views of the Atlas Mountains and Marrakech city wall. But with a compact lap of 2.971 kilometres (down from 4.545km previously) and a sprinkling of tight, wall-lined turns, there is no time for WTCR drivers to take in the scenery, which was certainly the case when Marrakech hosted the inaugural WTCR OSCARO event in April 2018.

RACE RECAP 2018

Weekend in short
*Hyundai-powered Italian wins twice to lead standings after inaugural event
*Vernay takes Race 2 as five brands fill top five places in dramatic contest
*Fan favourite Bennani claims Marrakech runner-up spot at home
*Three world champions on Race 3 podium

Weekend report: The WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Car Cup presented by OSCARO got off to an electrifying start on the streets of Marrakech (7-8 April) with Gabriele Tarquini scoring a victory double. Driving a BRC Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR, the Italian converted his DHL Pole Position into Race 3 victory ahead of fellow world champions Yvan Muller and Thed Björk, having also triumphed in Race 1. Four-time World Touring Car title winner Muller qualified alongside Tarquini but made a relatively slow start and moved left to block Norbert Michelisz’s BRC entry. That allowed Björk to jump both for second into Turn 1. But the Swede lost the spot when he accidentally knocked the power switch, miraculously losing just one spot to Muller. Earlier, the reverse-grid Race 2 was won by Jean-Karl Vernay in his Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi RS 3 LMS. The Frenchman headed local hero Mehdi Bennani, who claimed a popular podium in his Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI. Pepe Oriola took third having lined up on pole. Fourth for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda driver Yann Ehrlacher and fifth for Björk meant five different car brands filled the top five places.

Winning quote: “I know my child!” Tarquini joked after Race 1, a reference to the Hyundai i30 N TCR he’s played a key role in developing. “I pushed my child at the start because I knew the start was the key. This is a good win – especially because I am the oldest! They talk about my pension, but here I am, still learning and still enjoying. I’m dreaming, I’m leading the championship.”

Results reminder
DHL Pole Position Race 1: Thed Björk (SWE) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 1 winner: Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 1 fastest lap: Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) Hyundai i30 N TCR
DHL Pole Position Race 2: Pepe Oriola (ESP) Cupra TCR
Race 2 winner: Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA) Audi RS 3 LMS
Race 2 fastest lap: Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA) Audi RS 3 LMS
DHL Pole Position Race 3: Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 3 winner: Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 3 fastest lap: Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) Hyundai i30 N TCR
TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy: Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) Hyundai i30 N TCR
TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver: Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) Hyundai i30 N TCR

Track essentials
Name: Circuit Moulay El Hassan
Location: Route de L'Ourika, Zone Agdal, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Length: 2.971 kilometres
Race 1 distance: 18 laps (53.478 kilometres)
Race 2 distance: 18 laps (53.478 kilometres)
Race 3 distance: 21 laps (62.391 kilometres)
Best laps
WTCR lap record (qualifying): Gabriele Tarquini (Hyundai i30 N TCR), 1m24.316s (126.8kph), 08/04/18
TCR car lap record (qualifying): Gabriele Tarquini (Hyundai i30 N TCR), 1m24.316s (126.8kph), 08/04/18
WTCR lap record (race): Gabriele Tarquini (Hyundai i30 N TCR), 1m26.150s (124.1kph), 08/04/18
TCR car lap record (race): Gabriele Tarquini (Hyundai i30 N TCR), 1m26.150s (124.1kph), 08/04/18
More details
Time zone: GMT +1 hours
Fly to: Marrakech Menara Airport (8 kilometres)
Stay: Le quartier de l’Agdal, Marrakech
Marrakesh - 14 Dec
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