Jean-Karl Vernay converts pole into race three win

Jean-Karl Vernay converts pole into race three win

Jean-Karl Vernay
Photo: Francois Flamand / DPPI

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.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
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