Thed Björk takes second win of weekend in red-flag interrupted race three

Thed Björk takes second win of weekend in red-flag interrupted race three

Thed Björk
Photo: Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI

Thed Björk ensured that YMR scooped up all three victories in the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) in China, winning a red-flag interrupted final race in Ningbo ahead of BRC Racing’s Gabriele Tarquini.

Björk led the race from lights-to-flag in a near repeat of his victory in Saturday’s opening race, taking his win tally for the season to four victories and moving him up to second in the series standings.

The Swede’s task was made harder at the half-way stage of the race, however, when the red flags were brought out due to damage to the kerbs at Turns 16 and 17, prompting a 25-minute cessation to the race.

After his race two retirement, Tarquini brought his Hyundai home in second, allowing the Italian to reclaim the series lead, as the 56-year-old leaves Ningbo with an eight-point advantage at the top of the table.

Comtoyou Racing’s Denis Dupont claimed a first-ever WTCR podium with third, having made a strong start to move into the final podium position on the opening lap of the race.

Dupont’s team-mate Frédéric Vervisch capped off a strong weekend by taking fourth, having got past the Hyundai of BRC Racing’s Norbert Michelisz for the position on the last lap of the race after the Hungarian struggled with his tyres late in the race.

Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Rob Huff finished in sixth, capping off a solid weekend for the Brit in which he took points from all three races.

Campos Racing’s Pepe Oriola scored his best result of the weekend as the leading CUPRA driver in seventh, ahead of the Audi duo of Nathanaël Berthon in eighth and Aurélien Panis ninth, marking the first time that all four Comtoyou cars have finished inside the top ten.

Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehdi Bennani completed the top ten. Münnich Motorsport’s Timo Scheider once again just missed out on points in his first WTCR weekend, finishing in 11th.

Race two victor Yvan Muller was a retirement just before the red flags flew, having picked up a front-right puncture on his Hyundai following contact with Leopard Lukoil’s Jean-Karl Vernay at the Turn 11 chicane. Vernay was able to continue with damage on his Audi, but could only manage 12th, ending a points-less weekend for the Frenchman.

Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri also failed to finish the race, retiring on the opening lap after having made contact with Michelisz at Turn 10.

The next WTCR races take place in just one weeks’ time, also in China, at the Wuhan Street Circuit.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 11 Thed BJÖRK YMR Hyundai i30 N TCR 17 54:20.993 1:51.640 1
2 30 Gabriele TARQUINI BRC Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 17 1.928 1:51.888 4
3 20 Denis DUPONT Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS 17 4.020 1:52.071 6
4 22 Frédéric VERVISCH Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi RS3 LMS 17 7.235 1:52.013 7
5 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 17 8.855 1:52.303 2
6 12 Rob HUFF Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 17 10.572 1:52.370 5
7 74 Pepe ORIOLA Team Oscaro by Campos Racing CUPRA TCR 17 11.061 1:52.264 15
8 23 Nathanaël BERTHON Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS 17 12.118 1:52.212 11
9 21 Aurélien PANIS Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS 17 12.871 1:52.092 16
10 25 Mehdi BENNANI Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 17 13.737 1:51.924 10
11 42 Timo SCHEIDER ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 17 14.229 1:52.314 18
12 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi RS3 LMS 17 14.678 1:52.234 13
13 52 Gordon SHEDDEN Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi RS3 LMS 17 15.620 1:52.119 21
14 31 Kevin CECCON Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 17 19.862 1:52.313 19
15 8 Norbert NAGY Zengő Motorsport CUPRA TCR 17 20.316 1:53.373 20
16 7 Aurélien COMTE DG Sport Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 17 21.229 1:53.451 14
17 9 Tom CORONEL Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 17 23.155 1:53.464 22
18 70 Mat’o HOMOLA DG Sport Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 17 25.605 1:53.743 23
19 68 Yann EHRLACHER ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 17 26.370 1:53.157 8
20 27 John FILIPPI Team Oscaro by Campos Racing CUPRA TCR 16 + 1 LAP 1:53.917 25
21 66 Zsolt Dávid SZABÓ Zengő Motorsport CUPRA TCR 16 + 1 LAP 1:43.483 17
R 48 Yvan MULLER YMR Hyundai i30 N TCR 8 DNF 1:52.826 9
R 88 Fabrizio GIOVANARDI Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 2 DNF 1:54.513 24
R 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 1 DNF N/A 3
R 55 MA Qing Hua Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 0 DNF N/A 12
WTCR points deficit chart
Graphic: TouringCars.Net