WTCR Race 1 flash: It's Czech mate as Girolami leads Guerrieri for first win of 2021

2021-10-10T17:23:13+02:00October 10th, 2021|2021, WTCR Race of Czech Republic 2021|

Néstor Girolami headed Esteban Guerrieri for an ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport 1-2 to score his first victory of the year in Race 1 at WTCR Race of Czech Republic as the FIA WTCR – World Touring Car Cup made an eventful debut at Autodrom Most.

Girolami, the ninth winner from nine WTCR races this season, started second on the partially reversed grid, survived trouble at Turn 1 and then lead all the way as Guerreri’s sister Honda Civic Type R TCR held off Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Yann Ehrlacher throughout the 15-lap race to claim second.

Girolami dragged past reverse-grid pole position starter Petr Fulín from the lights, the Wildcard entry having reported clutch problems before the start. Then at Turn 1 Norbert Michelisz nudged the rear of Yvan Muller’s Lynk & Co, which knocked fifth-placed starter Nathanaël Berthon into a spin. Local hero Fulín also found himself caught up in the concertina effect, his CUPRA Leon Competición joining Berthon’s Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport entry in the gravel trap. That triggered an interruption by the Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition Safety Car.

Racing resumed on lap four as Girolami, who had also been knocked sideways at Turn 1 after the start, made a clean escape at the front. His team-mate Guerreri had made impressive gains from ninth on the grid, took an inside line at Turn 1 and avoided the trouble – and jumped straight up to second. He now put up a fine defence, keeping Ehrlacher – up to third from seventh on the grid – at bay throughout a tense race.

“That was tough,” said a delighted Girolami. “I knew Turn 1 was going to be complicated. I was hit and went flat out to recover from that. I want to thank the team, Honda and the sponsors. Now in Race 2 we have a good chance for more points.”

Behind Guerrieri, Ehrlacher was happy to score a podium to consolidate his advantage at the top of the WTCR standings. “Really valuable points, I’ll definitely take that,” he said.

Ehrlacher headed his uncle Muller, who took the escape road at Turn 1 after his contact and recovered well to finish fourth, fellow Lynk & Co driver Thed Björk letting him past on lap five. Behind the trio of Cyan Lynk & Co 03 TCRs, Jean-Karl Vernay completed the top six in his Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Elantra N TCR.

Michelisz finished seventh ahead of qualifying pacesetter and Race 2 pole position starter Mikel Azcona. The Spaniard’s Zengő Motorsport team-mate Rob Huff rose from P12 on the grid to finish ninth, passing Tom Coronel out of Turn 2 on the penultimate lap. The Dutchman finished P10 in his Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport RS 3 LMS.

The other points scorers were Gabriele Tarquini (Hyundai) in P11, Santiago Urrutia (Lynk & Co), Luca Engstler (Hyundai), Frédéric Vervisch (Audi) and Bence Boldizs (CUPRA).

Race 2 of WTCR Race of Czech Republic is set to take place at 17h10 local time.