Audi’s Jean-Karl Vernay convincingly converted his pole position into victory in the final FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) race at Zandvoort, beating Rob Huff and Frédéric Vervisch to claim a second win of the year.
Vernay got off to a good enough start to hold position into Turn 1, despite Huff applying pressure to the WRT driver that saw a small nudge between the duo.
Thereafter Vernay was able to open up enough of a lead to control the race, with Huff seemingly unable to take the fight to the Frenchman and being forced to settle for his fifth podium of the season.
Vernay was briefly under investigation for a jump start, but the stewards swiftly declared that no further action would be taken.
Comtoyou Racing’s Frédéric Vervisch completed the podium, having got past Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri for the position at the second corner of the opening lap. The result is Vervisch’s third podium of the year.
Guerrieri went on to finish fourth, ahead of the second WRT Audi of Gordon Shedden in fifth, with the Scot applying heavy pressure to the Honda driver until lap 12 when he ran wide and dropped back from being able to challenge.
Münnich Motorsport’s Yann Ehrlacher took sixth and with it moves into the lead of the series, after erstwhile points leader Yvan Muller failed to score, having twice pitted for checks on his car.
Race two winner Aurélien Comte was seventh in his DG Sport Peugeot, ahead of Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehdi Bennani in eighth.
Münnich Motorsport’s James Thompson made a clean pass on Pepe Oriola for ninth in the latter stages of the race, whilst the CUPRA driver completed the top ten.
Comtoyou Racing’s Nathanaël Berthon just missed out on the points and was 11th after a bold move on Campos Racing’s John Filippi on lap 13 which opened the door for Team Mulsanne’s Gianni Morbidelli to attempt a pass.
However there wax contact between the CUPRA and Alfa Romeo at Turn 11 and Morbidelli was out of the race, with Filippi dropping to 14th as a result.
YMR’s Thed Björk was the best Hyundai driver in a weekend which will raise eyebrows as to whether the Balance of Performance [BoP] has gone too far.
Boutsen Ginion Racing’s Tom Coronel failed to finish the race following contact with Zengő Motorsport’s Zsolt Szabó on the opening lap which eliminated both racers.
The next WTCR round takes place on the streets of Vila Real in Portugal in five weeks’ time.
|1||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||15||15 LAPS||1:46.560||1|
|2||12||Rob HUFF||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||15||1.199||1:46.651||2|
|3||22||Frédéric VERVISCH||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS||15||3.065||1:46.749||4|
|4||86||Esteban GUERRIERI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R TCR||15||4.405||1:46.679||5|
|5||52||Gordon SHEDDEN||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||15||5.019||1:46.813||3|
|6||68||Yann EHRLACHER||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R TCR||15||6.869||1:46.818||6|
|7||7||Aurélien COMTE||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||15||7.804||1:47.006||9|
|8||25||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||15||12.298||1:47.160||7|
|9||15||James THOMPSON||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R TCR||15||14.241||1:47.443||10|
|10||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Oscaro by Campos Racing||CUPRA TCR||15||18.718||1:47.434||8|
|11||23||Nathanaël BERTHON||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||15||18.932||1:46.637||15|
|12||20||Denis DUPONT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||15||19.524||1:47.982||13|
|13||21||Aurélien PANIS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||15||20.541||1:47.554||12|
|14||27||John FILIPPI||Team Oscaro by Campos Racing||CUPRA TCR||15||21.957||1:47.429||11|
|15||11||Thed BJÖRK||YMR||Hyundai i30 N TCR||15||26.197||1:47.930||18|
|16||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||15||28.075||1:47.942||20|
|17||8||Norbert NAGY||Zengő Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||15||28.455||1:48.202||21|
|18||30||Gabriele TARQUINI||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||15||29.001||1:47.902||27|
|19||2||Bernhard VAN ORANJE NASSAU||Bas Koeten Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||15||31.277||1:48.198||23|
|20||3||Michael VERHAGEN||Bas Koeten Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||15||1:03.669||1:47.850||25|
|21||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||14||+ 1 LAP||1:47.611||17|
|22||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||+ 2 LAPS||1:48.120||19|
|R||48||Yvan MULLER||YMR||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||DNF||1:48.339||26|
|R||63||Benjamin LESSENNES||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R TCR||7||DNF||1:46.999||14|
|R||9||Tom CORONEL||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R TCR||1||DNF||N/A||22|
|R||66||Zsolt Dávid SZABÓ||Zengő Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||1||DNF||N/A||24|
|NS||88||Fabrizio GIOVANARDI||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||–||DNS||N/A||16|