Remembering when… WTCR racers first took on the Ring
Touring car legend Yvan Muller was the big winner at the world’s toughest race track, adding P3 in Race 3 to his Race 1 triumph and move to the top of the standings when the WTCR / OSCARO visited the Nürburgring Nordschleife last season (10-12 May).
Argentine Esteban Guerrieri joined his compatriots, the great Juan Manuel Fangio and triple World Touring Car champion José María López, with his first Nordschleife victory following a thrilling drive in Race 2 ahead of Pepe Oriola, with Thed Björk claiming his win of 2018 to complete a memorable event for Muller’s YMR team.
Having won Race 1, Frenchman Muller claimed fourth in Race 2 before completing the podium in Race 3 in his Hyundai i30 N TCR. His performance, coupled with a weekend of woe for erstwhile title leader Gabriele Tarquini, put him on top of the standings by 19 points.
In contrast, Italian Tarquini endured a miserable trip to Germany, crashing out of both Race 1 and 2 and non-starting the third counter.
Having lost out to team boss Muller in Race 1 from the DHL pole, 2017 World Touring Car champion Björk (pictured) made the most of his second top start in Race 3, holding off an impressive challenge from Comtoyou Audi driver Frédéric Vervisch.
“Between driving flat out on the Nordschleife and my Maxwell Smart Agent 86 celebration, which I had planned for a while, I am quite excited and tired,” said Guerrieri following his victory for the Germany-based, Honda-powered ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team. “It was a tough race. We knew what was our strong points on the Civic Type R and what were the weak points so we pushed for the strong. I did a very good start and we managed to take P1 and control the race. Yesterday we couldn’t find a good balance. But last night we looked after every detail and made the car as good as it was yesterday. We pushed and here we are, P1.”
DHL Pole Position Race 1: Thed Björk (SWE) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 1 winner: Yvan Muller (FRA) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 1 fastest lap: Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyundai i30 N TCR
DHL Pole Position Race 2: Pepe Oriola (ESP) Cupra TCR
Race 2 winner: Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) Honda Civic Type R TCR
Race 2 fastest lap: Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyundai i30 N TCR
DHL Pole Position Race 3: Thed Björk (SWE) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 3 winner: Thed Björk (SWE) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 3 fastest lap: Frédéric Vervisch (BEL) Audi RS 3 LMS
TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy: Frédéric Vervisch (BEL) Audi RS 3 LMS
TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver: Yvan Muller (FRA) Hyundai i30 N TCR