Gabriele Tarquini says contact from behind under braking for Turn 3 in the opening exchanges of the final FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) race in Slovakia caused his collision with Benjamin Lessennes.
The BRC-run Hyundai i30 N of Tarquini clipped the rear of Lessennes’ Boutsen Ginion Honda Civic Type R, who then veered across and in turn collected fellow Honda racer Esteban Guerrieri and the CUPRA of John Filippi.
All four cars retired on the spot, though Tarquini’s 3 point championship lead remained intact after main title rival Yvan Muller suffered a problem with the front-left tyre and retired before the restart following Tarquini’s incident.
“I was in the middle of the pack and it is always difficult to manage the distance and the pace,” said Tarquini.
“There was a big group of cars at Turn 2, Lessennes was inside and it was almost spun sideways at a very fast corner.
“Some other cars catch him from behind and Iw as pushed just before braking and I touched his car and he went into two other cars, and the car was damaged.”
The championship reconvenes in Ningbo, China over the last weekend of September with the first of four flyaway contests to decide the 2018 title.