Gabriele Tarquini handed Ningbo grid penalty for Lessennes clash

Gabriele Tarquini handed Ningbo grid penalty for Lessennes clash

Photo: WTCR

FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) points leader Gabriele Tarquini has been handed a five-place grid penalty for the next event at Ningbo after causing a collision with the Honda of Benjamin Lessennes in the final race at Slovakia Ring.

The two made contact heading down into the braking zone at Turn 3, with the touch from Tarquini’s Hyundai i30 N pitching Lessennes into the CUPRA of John Filippi and fellow Type R racer Esteban Guerrieri.

The incident left the entire quartet out of the race on the spot and forced an early safety car, with Tarquini’s team mate Norbert Michelisz easing to a first victory of the season ahead.

Luckily, the incident didn’t damage Tarquini’s advantage in the standings, with closest challenger Yvan Muller also forced to park his Hyundai after the front-left tyre came off heading into Turn 12 before the restart.

Tarquini has a right to appeal the decision, and claimed in the press conference he had been given a nudge from behind before braking.