WTCR Race 2 flash: Catsburg crashes, Tarquini wins
Inaugural WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO title winner Gabriele Tarquini inherited victory in Race 2 at WTCR AFRIQUIA Race of Morocco after leader Nicky Catsburg crashed, as five different customer car brands finished in the top five places.
BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team’s Catsburg, who is a newcomer to the series this year, had fended off fellow Hyundai driver Tarquini at the start from the reverse-grid DHL Pole Position and led convincingly until lap 10, when he went straight on under braking and nosed hard into a barrier with suspected brake failure, according to the Dutchman.
The accident led to a safety car intermission, but once racing resumed Tarquini eased away to victory ahead of Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport’s Jean-Karl Vernay and Cyan Performance Lynk & Co’s Yann Ehrlacher.
“Nicky made a fantastic start and I could not overtake him,” said Tarquini. “I’m not sure what happened to him, it looked like a technical problem. I feel really sorry for him because he deserved to win.”
Race 1 winner Esteban Guerrieri was fourth for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport in his Honda Civic Type R TCR, and PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona was the top newcomer in fifth in his CUPRA TCR.
Cyan Racing Lynk & Co team-mates Thed Björk and Yvan Muller claimed sixth and seventh in their Lynk & Co 03 TCRs, with Tiago Monteiro adding to his sixth place in Race 1 with an eighth this time. Race 3 DHL Pole Position starter Frédéric Vervisch in his Comtoyou Team Audi Sport entry and ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s Néstor Girolami completed the top 10.
BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team’s Augusto Farfus finished in P11 from BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse’s Norbert Michelisz. Team Mulsanne’s Ma Qinghua had looked set to claim P12 in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR, only for a puncture during the safety car period to force him out.
The final finishers in the points scoring positions were Andy Priaulx in P13, Tom Coronel in P14 and Gordon Shedden in P15.
Local hero Mehdi Bennani was out of luck again after a clash with VW team-mate Rob Huff forced him out.
Race 3 of WTCR AFRIQUIA Race of Morocco is due to start at 18h15 local time.