Frédéric Vervisch takes maiden win as Yvan Muller makes gains in title...

Frédéric Vervisch takes maiden win as Yvan Muller makes gains in title battle

Frédéric Vervisch
Photo: Alexandre Guillaumot / DPPI

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).

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
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