WTCR Race 2 flash: Azcona scores brilliant home victory
Local hero Mikel Azcona secured his first WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup victory of 2020 in the reverse-grid Race 2 at WTCR Race of Spain.
The Zengő Motorsport driver’s MotorLand Aragón victory, from the DHL Pole Position, also marked a first for the new CUPRA Leon Competición, delivered at the customer racing brand’s home race, and a first win for the team in five years.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Azcona, whose previous WTCR victory was also a reverse-grid race in 2019. “It’s amazing to win my home race. I had a good start, but the CUPRA is easy to start well. It was a comfortable race and we deserve it. It’s been a hard year for us and I want to thank the team and CUPRA. Now we have a car that can battle for more victories.”
Azcona made a perfect getaway from the lights to take a lead he would not lose, as fellow front-row starter Luca Engstler bogged down in his Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR. From the second row, Yvan Muller made a strong start in his Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03 TCR to follow Azcona through Turn 1.
Muller would finish as a comfortable runner-up, ahead of fellow Lynk & Co ace Santiago Urrutia who made another brilliant start from seventh on the grid to take his second podium finish of the day in third, following his second place in Race 1.
“It was a bad start from Engstler and I almost hit him,” said Muller, who moves back past Race 1 winner Jean-Karl Vernay into third in the points standings. “I’m pretty happy with the car.”
Nathanaël Berthon rose from fifth on the grid to finish fourth in his Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMS, ahead of Gabriele Tarquini’s BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse entry. Engstler finished sixth.
Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Yann Ehrlacher consolidated his points lead with a solid seventh place, up from P11 on the grid, ahead of Race 1 third-place finisher Gilles Magnus, the Belgian ASN RACB National Team member confirming his status as the winner of the 2020 WTCR Rookie Driver award.
Esteban Guerrieri completed the top 10 for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport in his Honda Civic Type R TCR, but lost further ground to Ehrlacher in the WTCR standings. He is now 27 points behind the Frenchman with four races of the season remaining.
Néstor Girolami was P11 in his Honda, ahead of Josh Files who scored points on his maiden WTCR weekend for the Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team. Tiago Monteiro finished in P13, ahead of team-mate Attila Tassi. Norbert Michelisz scored the final point of the race in P15 despite starting from the pitlane following an engine change after Race 1.
Vernay was out of luck this time, retiring with a problem on lap two. Tom Coronel was also forced to pit and retire with a broken rear bolt.
Meanwhile, Bence Boldizs (Zengő Motorsport) and Aurélien Comte in his Vuković Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR were both out of luck, hitting trouble and stopping out on the track on their way to the grid. Boldizs was due to start from P10 and Comte from P14, but neither took the start.
Race 3 at WTCR Race of Spain takes place at 14h15 local time.