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.
|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||–|