Why Girolami’s starring WTCR drive must not be overlooked
While Esteban Guerrieri’s drive from P16 to P1 in Race 1 at WTCR Race of Aragón last Sunday will go down as one of the best in FIA World Touring Car history, his team-mate Néstor Girolami’s charge from P11 must never be overlooked.
Driving a Honda Civic Type R TCR for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Girolami shot from P11 to lead by the end of the opening lap, his inspired decision to bolt Goodyear’s wet-weather tyres to the rear of his car to provide added grip on the damp but drying MotorLand Aragón circuit paying dividends.
Guerrieri opted for an identical tyre strategy and climbed from P16 to P2, taking the lead on the final lap when Girolami magnanimously allowed him to pass to boost his fellow Argentine’s title hopes.
While Guerrieri celebrated a vital victory, it was Girolami’s fourth podium visit of the season and helped him to a top-10 finish overall for the second year running.
As has been the case throughout the two race weekends in Spain, the Girolami also made an excellent start in Race 2 and gained four places on the opening lap – muscling ahead of eventual title winner Yann Ehrlacher – before a mid-pack squabble on lap two cost him ground.
He fought his way into seventh and was hunting down the pack ahead when he picked up radiator damage that led to an engine issue three laps from the finish, which marked the end of his race and his season.
It was a cruel early finish to a solid second campaign for Girolami, whose 10th place in the final standings was not indicative of his pace across the 2020 WTCR campaign.
“It was definitely a day of two halves to end the season on,” said ‘Bebu’, 31. “Race 1 was really good; we took a really bold decision to go for wet rear tyres, but it made all the difference, as I managed to get up to third in the opening corners then lead before the end of the lap. It was a nice surprise because barely anybody else had taken the decision, so I’m so glad we could score this result for the team and give Esteban a hand in the title fight. In the drier conditions, unfortunately, we weren’t at the same level, but I was still running in seventh in Race 2 and happy with my pace until I had an issue, which ended my season. But we did our maximum on the day and we have a great 1-2 to look back on. We’ll try to learn as much as possible from what was an incredibly short season and come back stronger in 2021.”