Yann Ehrlacher maintains championship lead despite sub-optimal pace

Cyan Racing Lynk & Co couldn’t quite match Honda for raw pace in the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) this weekend. Nevertheless, Yann Ehrlacher leaves the Hungaroring with a marginally bigger points advantage than the one he arrived with.

That said, the maintenance of his championship lead is as much to do with Tom Coronel’s misfortune as it is to do with fending off Honda’s advances.

Coming into the weekend, a bizarre turn of fortunes for Honda’s Néstor Girolami in Slovakia had left privateer Coronel as Ehrlacher’s nearest challenger in the overall drivers’ standings.

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However, increased success ballast and a hampered qualifying session burst the bubble at DHL Comtoyou Racing, with the charismatic Dutchman eventually dropping away from realistic contention.

Esteban Guerrieri, meanwhile, spent the weekend putting together a late title bid after having snatched ‘lead driver’ status away from Girolami. A dominant display in qualifying on Saturday was backed up by two race victories on Sunday, ensuring that by the end of proceedings he had made significant gains in the overall standings.

Just twenty-two points behind with only two more rounds of the season to go, it very much looks as though it will be Ehrlacher versus Guerrieri for the 2020 crown.

However, the young Frenchman won’t be looking over his shoulder with too much concern just yet. A strong weekend for Honda is likely to mean harsher compensation weights for them in Spain next time out, which will surely tilt the balance of play back into Lynk & Co’s favour.

Plus, even with a car that wasn’t fully optimised for the circuit, Ehrlacher and the Cyan Racing team still managed to take victory in the reversed-grid second race earlier today.

Having also finished race one on the podium in second place, an eighth place finish would have to suffice in race three. On balance though, it is most definitely a weekend that the team can be proud of.

“So, we’ve finished the weekend with an eight place, which was the best that we could really do today,” Ehrlacher said.

“Two podiums and one eighth place, I think we increased our championship lead from Slovakia by some small points.

“But yeah, I mean it was a good weekend despite [the fact that] it was not going to be our weekend this weekend, so I’m quite pleased about the result. Now we just have to focus on Aragón and the end of the season.”

Indeed, WTCR heads to a never-before visited venue for the penultimate round of the 2020 campaign.

With everything still very much to play for, the battle for the World Touring Car title will resume at Motorland Aragón in two weeks’ time.

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