Andy Priaulx takes maiden WTCR win as Cyan employ title race team...

Andy Priaulx takes maiden WTCR win as Cyan employ title race team orders

Andy Priaulx
Photo: Clement Marin / DPPI

Andy Priaulx beat Rob Huff to score his maiden WTCR win in the final FIA World Touring Car Cup race in Macau, as further back Cyan Racing employed team orders between Thed Björk and Yvan Muller.

At the start pole-sitter Huff was out-dragged to the first turn, with Priaulx assuming the lead at a crucial part of the race.

Thereafter, the Cyan Racing driver was able to control the race from the front, using the straight-line advantages of his Lynk & Co 03 to keep Huff’s less aerodynamic Volkswagen Golf behind for the duration of the race.

Nine-time Guia race winner Huff was notably quicker in the twistier second sector, but the SLR driver was unable to find a way through and had to settle for second.

WRT’s Jean-Karl Vernay completed the podium, having finished the race in the same position he started, just ahead of SLR’s Johan Kristoffersson in fourth.

The main talking point is likely to be the team orders deployed at Cyan Racing, with Thed Björk, then running in fourth, dropping back behind Yvan Muller on the final lap of the race, in turn gifting fifth to BRC Racing’s Nicky Catsburg at the same time.

Catsburg had dropped a place on the opening lap and had also held up Muller on the run to the high-speed Mandarin turn, which helped Björk to take fifth early on in the race.

Muller took sixth, and by finishing ahead of all of his title rivals the Frenchman has closed to just 11 points from the top of the drivers’ championship standings.

Björk finished in seventh, with Cyan Racing team-mate Yann Ehrlacher acting as his rear guard for the final turns in eighth.

The top ten was completed by Team Mulsanne’s Kevin Ceccon and Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri, with the latter keeping his title hopes alive by finishing ahead of Norbert Michelisz to close the points gap to just nine points.

Comtoyou Racing’s Tom Coronel was the leading CUPRA in 11th, ahead of Michelisz in 12th, having endured race-long pressure from the Hyundai driver.

Michelisz’s team-mate Gabriele Tarquini was the only retirement of the race, in a Macau weekend unusually devoid of incidents, having retired to the pits with a mechanical issue after three laps.

The WTCR championship battle concludes at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia on the 13 – 15 December.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 111 Andy PRIAULX Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 11 27:58.428 2:31.712 2
2 12 Rob HUFF SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 11 0.352 2:31.773 1
3 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 11 1.193 2:31.818 3
4 14 Johan KRISTOFFERSSON SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 11 1.855 2:31.782 5
5 88 Nicky CATSBURG BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 20.030 2:33.201 4
6 100 Yvan MULLER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 11 21.096 2:33.092 6
7 11 Thed BJÖRK Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 11 21.552 2:32.385 8
8 68 Yann EHRLACHER Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 11 22.194 2:33.194 9
9 31 Kevin CECCON Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 11 22.565 2:32.971 7
10 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 11 23.506 2:32.829 10
11 50 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 11 23.884 2:32.966 14
12 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 24.597 2:33.029 12
13 10 Niels LANGEVELD Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 11 25.054 2:33.043 13
14 6 Luca ENGSTLER BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 27.552 2:32.947 15
15 22 Frédéric VERVISCH Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 11 27.925 2:32.691 18
16 9 Attila TASSI KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 11 29.259 2:32.539 16
17 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 11 30.140 2:32.746 17
18 25 Mehdi BENNANI SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 11 30.527 2:33.101 19
19 18 Tiago MONTEIRO KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 11 31.317 2:32.176 25
20 96 Mikel AZCONA PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 11 31.500 2:32.981 22
21 33 Benjamin LEUCHTER SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 11 32.319 2:32.645 24
22 55 Ma QING HUA Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 11 34.602 2:32.658 23
23 21 Aurélien PANIS Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 11 37.051 2:33.104 21
24 2 Robert DAHLGREN PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 11 39.756 2:32.295 20
25 36 Billy LO Kai Fung Tian Shi Zuver Team Audi RS3 LMS TCR 11 51.272 2:34.842 26
R 1 Gabriele TARQUINI BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 3 DNF N/A 11
NS 19 Jim KA TO KC Motorgroup Honda Civic Type R TCR DNS N/A
NS 52 Gordon SHEDDEN Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR DNS N/A
NS 98 James TANG Chi Lun Team TRC Honda Civic Type R TCR DNS N/A
NS 59 Kwai Wah WONG Son Veng Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR DNS N/A
NS 97 Terence TSE Kin Leung Team TRC Honda Civic Type R TCR DNS N/A
NS 99 Arthur LAW Tia Fan Team TRC Honda Civic Type R TCR DNS N/A
WTCR points deficit after Round 27
Graphic: TouringCars.Net