Frédéric Vervisch took victory in an eventful second race for the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) in Macau, with Timo Scheider holding off Yvan Muller for second as points leader Gabriele Tarquini failed to finish the race.
Reverse-grid pole-sitter Timo Scheider initially led the Alfa Romeo of Kevin Ceccon at the start, but at Lisboa corner Vervisch managed to get past Ceccon for second as behind them the main drama in the race unfolded.
As Campos Racing’s Pepe Oriola tried to pass Münnich Motorsport’s Yann Ehrlacher for fifth the pair made contact under braking for Lisboa and Ehrlacher was pitched into a spin, making contact with the barriers.
Oriola went straight on and blocked the track, with WRT’s Jean-Karl Vernay, BRC Racing duo Norbert Michelisz and Gabriele Tarquini, YMR’s Thed Björk and Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Rob Huff all getting caught up in the accident.
The incident managed to clear without need for a safety car, but Michelisz, Tarquini, Oriola, Vernay and Björk were all out of the race, returning to the pits only for repairs.
With racing continuing, Vervisch made his move for the lead on lap three at Mandarin, passing Scheider on the outside line with superior top speed in his Audi.
Thereafter the focus of the race was on second, with Scheider superbly defending from Muller for the remaining six laps to hold on to second, despite the Frenchman’s best efforts to get past at Lisboa lap after lap.
The damage for Tarquini, picked up when he went into the back of Björk in the melee on lap one, combined with Muller’s podium, means that the Italian’ advantage has been slashed to 18 points with one race to go, and Muller starting from sixth with Tarquini in 14th.
Ceccon was ultimately also passed for third by Muller on the second lap, but the Team Mulsanne driver held on to take the chequered flag in fourth, ahead of the second Münnich Honda of Esteban Guerrieri in fifth.
Incredibly, despite his first lap spin and shunt, Ehrlacher was able to continue, finishing in sixth after being passed by team-mate Guerrieri three laps from the finish.
Mehdi Bennani was the sole Volkswagen driver in the top ten in seventh, ahead of Comtoyou Racing’s Nathanaël Berthon in eighth.
Team Mulsanne’s Luigi Ferrara and Comtoyou Racing’s Aurélien Panis completed the top ten, despite the latter crashing into the tyres at Police bend on the penultimate lap. The top ten drivers in the field had earlier been helped by the crash on lap one, with the field essentially splitting into two groups after no safety car was required.
After the crash on lap one, Huff returned to the pits as a precaution and later re-joined the race, posting the fastest lap in the process. The Brit will start from pole position for race three.
The final race of the season is scheduled to get underway at 11:00 local time (03:00 GMT, 04:00 CET).
|1||22||Frédéric VERVISCH||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS||8||20:30.967||2:32.380||3|
|2||42||Timo SCHEIDER||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||8||1.713||2:32.401||1|
|3||48||Yvan MULLER||YMR||Hyundai i30 N TCR||8||2.132||2:32.410||5|
|4||31||Kevin CECCON||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||8||5.608||2:32.789||2|
|5||86||Esteban GUERRIERI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||8||6.422||2:32.295||9|
|6||68||Yann EHRLACHER||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||8||7.944||2:32.280||6|
|7||25||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||8||8.484||2:32.499||11|
|8||23||Nathanaël BERTHON||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||8||19.927||2:32.223||12|
|9||16||Luigi FERRARA||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||8||20.396||2:31.762||19|
|10||21||Aurélien PANIS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||8||37.106||2:32.180||15|
|11||27||John FILIPPI||Team Oscaro by Campos Racing||CUPRA TCR||8||40.188||2:33.079||17|
|12||7||Aurélien COMTE||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||8||41.708||2:33.759||21|
|13||55||MA Qing Hua||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||8||42.714||2:33.841||16|
|14||52||Gordon SHEDDEN||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||8||45.334||2:33.528||18|
|15||20||Denis DUPONT||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS||8||45.692||2:33.159||22|
|16||9||Tom CORONEL||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||8||47.090||2:32.925||23|
|17||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||8||47.495||2:32.645||20|
|18||28||Kevin TSE Wing Kin||Teamwork Motorsport||Audi RS3 LMS||8||1:13.820||2:36.272||24|
|19||60||Filipe Clemente DE SOUZA||Champ Motorsport||Audi RS3 LMS||8||1:16.374||2:35.576||28|
|20||89||André COUTO||MacPro Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||8||1:23.257||2:36.208||26|
|21||36||LO Kai Fung||Tian Shi Zuver Team||Audi RS3 LMS||8||1:38.484||2:36.720||29|
|22||66||Zsolt Dávid SZABÓ||Zengő Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||8||1:45.726||2:34.864||27|
|23||8||Norbert NAGY||Zengő Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||7||+ 1 LAP||2:36.324||25|
|24||12||Rob HUFF||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||7||+ 1 LAP||2:31.280||10|
|R||11||Thed BJÖRK||YMR||Hyundai i30 N TCR||2||DNF||16:55.499||13|
|R||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||1||DNF||N/A||7|
|R||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Oscaro by Campos Racing||CUPRA TCR||1||DNF||N/A||4|
|R||30||Gabriele TARQUINI||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||1||DNF||N/A||14|
|R||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||1||DNF||N/A||8|
|NS||77||LAM Kam San||Champ Motorsport||Audi RS3 LMS||–||DNS||N/A||–|
|NS||6||Rui VALENTE||PCT Racing Team||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|