WTCR Race 2 flash: Muller wins again in Macau
Yvan Muller claimed his second victory at WTCR Race of Macau after leading team-mate Thed Björk to a Cyan Racing Lynk & Co one-two in the reverse-grid Race 2.
Muller’s win, which followed his Race 1 triumph on Saturday, means the Frenchman has made further gains in the #RoadToMalaysia points chase. Title leader Norbert Michelisz finished in P10, with Esteban Guerrieri in fourth – which leaves the Hungarian 11 points ahead of the Argentine, with Muller just a further six points back.
The result all came down to the start. DHL Pole Position winner Yann Erhlacher and Björk made clean getaways from the front in their Lynk & Cos, while Muller shot away from fifth on the grid to pass both Guerrieri and then third-placed starter Kevin Ceccon well before the field were through Lisboa.
Then during that first lap, Ehrlacher and Björk both let Muller past to ensure the Frenchman would take the win and lead Lynk & Co’s WTCR / OSCARO title push.
“I had a fantastic start, which is crucial here,” said Muller after his fourth win of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup by OSCARO season. “I knew if I wanted to win I had to pass Guerrieri and Ceccon. And then Yann and Thed helped me big time.”
Running third at the end of lap one, Ehrlacher then lost a place to Guerrieri and dropped further down the order as he slid wide out of Lisboa, where Guerrieri pulled off an impressive passing move. But Guerrieri’s ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR didn’t hold on to third place for long. On lap three, Ceccon’s Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR drafted past him to claim his second podium of the weekend, following the Italian’s third place in Race 1.
Guerrieri then faced a stern challenge from BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team’s Nicky Catsburg. The Dutchman came close to passing him on the last lap, but Guerrieri held firm. Then Catsburg sacrificed his race and dropped down the order to allow Michelisz to score more points for the title and move into P10.
Behind Guerrieri in fourth, SLR Volkswagen’s Johan Kristoffersson finished fifth as the top Macau rookie, ahead of Erhlacher and the fourth Lynk & Co of Andy Priaulx. Comtoyou Team Audi Sport’s Frédéric Vervisch came home in eighth, ahead of Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport’s Jean-Karl Vernay and Michelisz.
Gabriele Tarquini (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse) finished in P11, ahead of Catsburg, Tom Coronel (Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing), Rob Huff (SLR VW Motorsport) and the final points scorer in P15, PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona.
Niels Langeveld was delayed in a first-lap collision at Lisboa, where Mehdi Bennani and Attila Tassi also collided later in the race.
Race 3 at WTCR Race of Macau takes place from 11h00 local time over a distance of 11 laps.