#RaceAtHome: Guerrieri back in front, Ehrlacher is fifth Pre-season Esports WTCR winner
Esteban Guerrieri regained the lead of the Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship following two epic contests at a virtual Slovakia Ring tonight, broadcast on Eurosport and other channels around the world.
But despite moving four points clear of ‘home’ racer Mato Homola, the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda driver from Argentina was unable to add to his victory tally, instead settling for second place in Race 1, behind Cyan Racing Lynk & Co’s Yann Ehrlacher, and fourth in Race 2.
It was Ehrlacher’s first Pre-season Esports WTCR triumph, the Frenchman converting his DHL Pole Position to become the fifth different winner out of six races on the RaceRoom Racing Experience platform. Niels Langeveld (Netherlands) snatched third place from Hungary’s Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse) in the closing corners to complete the Race 1 podium in his Comtoyou Team Audi Sport entry.
Attila Tassi (Hungary) made the most of his reverse-grid Race 2 pole to win for a second time in Pre-season Esports WTCR, the first driver to do so, in his ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda, ahead of CUPRA driver Mikel Azcona (Spain) and Homola (BRC Racing Team Hyundai).
With the real WTCR set to visit the Slovakia Ring in October, the Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship counter provided an exciting virtual taster of what’s to come in a few months from now. It also further underlined the fact the remaining three events of the Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship, which is exclusively for WTCR drivers, are not to be missed given the action-packed spectacle served up tonight.
All the action from the Slovakia Ring will be replayed on the WTCR’s social media channels from 09h00 CET tomorrow (Monday).
RESULTS AT A GLANCE
1 Yann Ehrlacher (France) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 0 TCR
2 Esteban Guerrieri (Argentina) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR
3 Niels Langeveld (Netherlands) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport
DHL Pole: Yann Ehrlacher (France) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 0 TCR
Fastest lap: Niels Langeveld (Netherlands) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport
1 Attila Tassi (Hungary) ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR
2 Mikel Azcona (Spain) CUPRA Racing CUPRA Leon Competición
3 Mato Homola (Slovakia) BRC Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR
DHL Pole: Attila Tassi (Hungary) ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR
Fastest lap: Yann Ehrlacher (France) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 0 TCR
Lap 1: For the third time of asking the DHL pole-sitter isn’t delayed at the first corner, as had been the case at Salzburgring and Hungaroring, with Ehrlacher keeping his place through the T1 right-hander. Girolami, from fifth on the grid, passes Langeveld for third around the outside at T1 and closes on Michelisz in second. Guerrieri pressures Langeveld, Ceccon muscles ahead of Björk, who then has a brush with Monteiro.
Lap 2: Langeveld gets a run on Girolami at the super-fast T2 but there’s no way through. Ehrlacher edges ahead in the lead, Azcona closes up to Langeveld.
Lap 3: Guerrieri demotes Michelisz in second on the inside at T3, Girolami has similar ambitions but there’s contact between him and Michelisz. However, Girolami makes it through, as does Langeveld followed by Azcona.
Lap 4: Langeveld makes more progress with a pass on Girolami for third at T1. Girolami tries to retake the place on the outside at T3, there’s a clash and in the confusion that follows, Michelisz is back up to third from sixth. Tassi overtakes Girolami, Langeveld is fourth behind Michelisz but coming under pressure from Tassi.
Lap 5: Michelisz begins to pull clear in third, Girolami repasses Tassi at T1 but goes wide at T3 and also loses out to Homola. They battle hard and make contact.
Lap 6: What appears to be a small advantage for Michelisz in third is no more as Langeveld is firmly on the Hyundai driver’s tail. They’re alongside each other on the exit on T1 and there’s contact on the run to T2. Azcona nudges Girolami wide nearing the end of the lap for seventh, as Langeveld gets ahead of Michelisz for third with a late pass.
Lap 1: Behind DHL pole-sitter Tasssi, Boldizs makes a great start from P3 to briefly hold second but Monteiro has other ideas at T1 and Azcona follows him through. Homola demotes Boldizs to fifth at T3. Azcona gets ahead of Monteiro for second and there’s light contact between several drivers.
Lap 2: Homola takes third from Monteiro − whose defensive opening lap allows Tassi to open up a slight margin − on the entry to T3, Guerrieri and Michelisz battle over fifth place.
Lap 3: Michelisz is the next driver to find a way by simracing novice Monteiro, taking fourth on the run to T1. Guerrieri gets ahead of Monteiro at T2 before Girolami takes sixth from Monteiro at T3. Ehrlacher, in eighth, closes on Monteiro.
Lap 4: Guerrieri is now right behind Michelisz in the battle for fourth, Langeveld hits Boldizs as Ceccon and Muller scrap for points.
Lap 5: Guerrieri takes Michelisz for fourth on the exit of T1. Coronel, who has run as high as eighth, goes off but makes it to the finish in P14.
THE WINNERS SAID WHAT?
Yann Ehrlacher (Race 1): “We can call it the first win of the season, even if it’s esports. It was a good race, I finally managed to make a race from lap one to the end without any crashes. Well done to the two other guys with me on the podium, and we come back maybe with the points a little bit in the championship. I’m pleased with this.”
Attila Tassi (Race 2): “First of all I have to say a big thanks to Tiago, I think I owe him a beer now. He made a little bit of bodyguard and from that, from lap two, I knew I had to go 100 per cent, not make any mistake. I took care of my tyres, it was not my maximum. Obviously, I was pushing quite hard because I saw Mikel catching me with Homola, but the gap was enough. I’m very happy with this second win and I hope to keep this rhythm in the rest of the season.”