Thed Björk heads Yann Ehrlacher in race three after controversial team orders

Thed Björk heads Yann Ehrlacher in race three after controversial team orders

Thed Björk
Photo: Clement Luck / DPPI

Thed Björk took victory ahead of Lynk & Co team-mate Yann Ehrlacher in a controversial final FIA World Touring Car Cup race at Zandvoort, which saw the two switch positions twice under team orders.

Ehrlacher started the race from pole position, after his uncle Yvan Muller lost the pole he had originally gained in qualifying, with Björk alongside.

At the start the Swede made a better start than Ehrlacher and the Frenchman moved over, but Björk was already alongside and slight contact was made.

Two laps later Björk received a call from the team radio telling him to move over and he duly obliged, but the matter was not resolved as Ehrlacher was then asked to move back over for Björk just two laps later.

The two then settled into formation, with Björk taking his third win of the year as a clearly frustrated Ehrlacher took second, venting over the team radio about always having “the weakest engine” in his car.

BRC Racing’s Norbert Michelisz completed the podium after switching positions with team-mate Augusto Farfus at the final corner, even though the Brazilian had held the position for all of the race before that.

Cyan Racing’s Yvan Muller finished the race where he started it in fifth, ahead of PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona in sixth.

Johan Kristoffersson made up one place when he passed Nicky Catsburg on the opening lap, the Swede finishing as the top Volkswagen in seventh.

Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri was eighth and the best Honda, with the Argentine leaing The Netherlands with an 11-point championship lead as a result.

The top ten was completed by reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini, who made up four places on the opening lap, ahead of SLR’s Rob Huff in tenth, with the Volkswagen driver being one of only a few drivers to make a genuine pass in a race largely devoid of moves, overtaking Catsburg for the position on lap 14.

Catsburg was 11th after losing out in the three-corner side-by-side battle with Huff, ahead of Comtoyou Racing’s Aurélien Panis in 12th, who headed up a three car train containing SLR’s Mehdi Bennani and Münnich’s Néstor Girolami.

Having claimed his first WTCR podium in race two, SLR’s Benjamin Leuchter was the only retirement after slowing with technical issues on lap ten whilst running in 12th.

WRT’s Jean-Karl Vernay finished the race, but an issue with his Audi at the last corner meant he crawled across the line, having been running in 15th until the last corner.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 11 Thed BJÖRK Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 15 15 LAPS 1:48.198 2
2 68 Yann EHRLACHER Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 15 0.830 1:48.087 1
3 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 2.377 1:48.153 3
4 8 Augusto FARFUS BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 2.995 1:48.111 4
5 100 Yvan MULLER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 15 3.658 1:48.194 5
6 96 Mikel AZCONA PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 15 4.120 1:48.221 6
7 14 Johan KRISTOFFERSSON SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 15 4.432 1:48.121 8
8 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 15 6.696 1:48.272 10
9 1 Gabriele TARQUINI BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 7.543 1:48.038 14
10 12 Rob HUFF SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 15 9.840 1:48.160 12
11 88 Nicky CATSBURG BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 11.093 1:48.354 7
12 21 Aurélien PANIS Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 15 13.094 1:48.060 13
13 25 Mehdi BENNANI SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 15 13.328 1:47.880 16
14 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 15 13.558 1:47.950 11
15 111 Andy PRIAULX Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 15 15.591 1:48.363 17
16 22 Frédéric VERVISCH Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 15.956 1:48.426 20
17 10 Niels LANGEVELD Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 16.121 1:48.472 18
18 31 Kevin CECCON Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 15 16.847 1:48.502 19
19 18 Tiago MONTEIRO KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 15 17.537 1:48.494 23
20 50 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 15 18.475 1:48.395 25
21 55 Ma QING HUA Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 15 19.009 1:48.312 24
22 9 Attila TASSI KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 15 22.779 1:48.804 21
23 37 Daniel HAGLÖF PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 15 22.849 1:48.782 22
24 52 Gordon SHEDDEN Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 23.677 1:48.810 26
25 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 29.621 1:48.412 15
R 33 Benjamin LEUCHTER SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 10 DNF 1:47.983 9

WTCR standings after Round 12