Rob Huff took his ninth win around Macau in a wet main World Touring Car Championship race on the streets of Macau, as Honda’s Norbert Michelisz closed the gap to Volvo’s Thed Björk at the top of the championship standings with second.
The race started behind the safety car due to wet weather, marking the first-ever time the WTCC has taken on the notorious street circuit in the rain.
When the safety car returned to the pits after two reconnaissance laps, Huff initially came under pressure from Michelisz heading through the first turns. But the Brit was able to keep a cool head and pull away from the Hungarian as the race developed, eventually taking his first win of the 2017 WTCC season and his ninth on the streets of Macau.
Michelisz held on to take second, closing the gap to Björk at the top of the table to just 6.5 points heading into the season finale in Qatar in less than two weeks’ time.
Esteban Guerrieri had looked set to follow his team-mate onto the podium, having overtaken Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Tom Chilton for third on lap nine, but the Honda driver made a mistake on the final lap of the race at Dona Maria, just four corners from the finish.
That handed Chilton the final podium position, with the Brit also re-taking the lead in the Independents’ classification as a result of finishing second in the class behind Huff.
Guerrieri thus took fourth in his Honda, ahead of Volvo’s Björk in fifth, the latter having slipped back from the lead battle to finish 12 seconds behind the car ahead of him on the road. Björk had earlier lost fourth to Guerrieri on the first lap of the race.
ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel had a strong and quiet race to sixth, ahead of Saturday’s Opening Race winner Mehdi Bennani in seventh. Both drivers got past RC Motorsport’s Kevin Gleason on the first lap of racing, establishing the running order for the rest of the race.
Gleason took the chequered flag in eighth, ahead of Volvo’s Néstor Girolami in ninth and Zengő Motorsport’s Zsolt Szabó in tenth, the young Hungarian scoring his first WTCC points in the process.
Dániel Nagy followed his Zengő team-mate home in 11th, ahead of SLR’s Ma Qing Hua in 12th. The Chinese driver was given a drive-through penalty in the race for having passed Mak Ka Lok before the safety car pitted at the start, but despite that he was able to post the fastest lap and make up positions in the race.
Volvo’s Nicky Catsburg dropped back late in the race to take the chequered flag in 13th, having earlier damaged the front of his car with a light tap on team-mate Girolami on the fifth lap.
RC Motorsport’s Yann Ehrlacher was 14th, ahead of Honda’s Ryo Michigami in 15th, the Japanese racer having lost several positions on lap eight when he went straight on at Lisboa corner.
All drivers finished the race, with SLR’s John Filippi in 16th and Macanese RC Motorsport racer Mak Ka Lok completing the classification in 17th.
The WTCC season finale takes place in Qatar on Friday 1st December.
|1||12||T||Rob HUFF||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||13||13 LAPS||2:48.223||1|
|2||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda Civic WTCC||13||8.142||2:48.759||2|
|3||3||T||Tom CHILTON||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||13||8.684||2:47.261||3|
|4||86||T||Esteban GUERRIERI||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda Civic WTCC||13||9.228||2:48.167||5|
|5||62||Thed BJÖRK||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo S60 Polestar||13||21.237||2:48.490||4|
|6||9||T||Tom CORONEL||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||13||25.818||2:49.001||8|
|7||25||T||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||13||28.693||2:48.809||9|
|8||24||T||Kevin GLEASON||RC Motorsport||LADA Vesta WTCC||13||31.583||2:48.765||6|
|9||61||Néstor GIROLAMI||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo S60 Polestar||13||34.326||2:48.795||10|
|10||66||T||Zsolt Dávid SZABÓ||Zengő Motorsport Kft||Honda Civic WTCC||13||41.598||2:49.302||14|
|11||99||T||Dániel NAGY||Zengő Motorsport Kft||Honda Civic WTCC||13||57.796||2:50.574||15|
|12||30||T||MA Qing Hua||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||13||1:07.945||2:47.045||17|
|13||63||Nicky CATSBURG||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo S60 Polestar||13||1:22.466||2:53.148||12|
|14||68||T||Yann EHRLACHER||RC Motorsport||LADA Vesta WTCC||13||1:23.361||2:48.419||13|
|15||34||Ryo MICHIGAMI||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda Civic WTCC||13||1:51.491||2:50.902||7|
|16||27||T||John FILIPPI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||13||2:03.720||2:53.058||11|
|17||4||T||MAK Ka Lok||RC Motorsport||LADA Vesta WTCC||13||2:32.928||2:56.435||16|
|NS||44||T||Po Wah WONG||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||–||DNS||N/A||18|
|NS||88||T||Kin-Pong Clerebold CHAN||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||–||DNS||N/A||19|