Gabriele Tarquini secured the best result for the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team on the streets of Marrakech before ending the second race prematurely as he hit the wall.
Having secured the first Pole Position for Honda since they joined the field at the end of the 2012 campaign, it marked Tarquini’s 16th Pole in the WTCC and moved him to the top of the records for Pole Positions.
Tarquini went on to secure his best result of the season in the opening race as he brought the #3 car home 2nd overall having led the opening half of the race.
He lost the lead to the Nika Racing Chevrolet Cruze of Michel Nykjaer just before the Safety Car was deployed after team-mate Tiago Monteiro saw his weekend ended after hitting the wall on the exit of turn 3.
“I pushed as hard as I could but from the front it is always difficult. It is just a very small place and he got past but I was close to him at the end,” explains Tarquini.
His weekend then turned sour as he to finished in the wall in the second race, having hit the curb exiting the final chicane while lying sixth overall, having worked his way up the order from 10th on the grid.
Monteiro in the sister Civic had started from outside the top 12 after his qualifying accident and he was working his way up the order in the first race before contact with the wall broke a wheel off the car and thus his weekend was at an end.
“It is tough to be really challenging at this level,” added Team Director, Alessandro Mariani.
“But pole position and second place shows the great potential we have. The season is a very busy timetable with many races and we must try to keep up with our development plans in between those races. I’m sad for Gabriele as he was sixth also in Race 2 when he went out so we would have collected more points.”