Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri was pleased to end the European leg of the FIA World Touring Car Cup season on top of the drivers’ championship table, after pulling out nine points in Sunday’s races.
Guerreri went into the weekend with a 45-point lead, but a win for rival Norbert Michelisz and a points-less finish as a result of a sudden power loss for the Argentine on Saturday slashed that gap to just 15 points after the first race.
The Honda driver then went into Sunday with another chance to score a strong result. Guerrieri qualified in ninth for races two and three, which meant a front-row starting position for the reversed-grid second race.
From there, Guerrieri was able to claim third and seventh podium of the season as Michelisz retired, clawing back valuable points.
Although Guerrieri then retired from race three after contact with Nicky Catsburg, for which he was deemed to be at fault and picked up a three-place grid penalty for China, the points lost to Michelisz were minimal, leaving him with a 24-point advantage heading into the two-month break before the Asian leg of the season.
“We were very focused on making the top ten in qualifying [on Sunday],” said Guerrieri. “We achieved this after making a good improvement with the car overnight.
“I drove my socks off in qualifying, got the chance with the front row of the reversed grid and made a good podium in third.
“I think everyone saw what happened in race three with Catsburg, so there’s nothing for me to say on that.
“I’m pleased to increase my championship lead today.”
Münnich Motorsport Team Manager Dominik Greiner acknowledged that it had been a difficult weekend for the German team in comparison to previous rounds this year, but praised the recovery efforts of the team after a challenging Saturday.
“It wasn’t the best weekend for the team, but we’re leading the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships going into the summer break,” said Greiner. “This is fantastic news for the guys, who have worked so hard across the whole season to put us in this position.
“We’ve had some technical issues that have certainly cost us some points this weekend, but we’ve recovered in a very strong manner.
“We’ve learned a lot from what’s happened this weekend and the target will be to make sure we come to the Asian races even stronger. To be in front is a great motivation for everybody.”