The first of the two FIA World Touring Car Cup races at Estoril began with a bang, quite literally.
As Néstor Girolami locked his brakes up into the first corner, he clattered into the rear of Norbert Michelisz, who in turn made contact with Attila Tassi.
As a result, both Michelisz and Girolami retired from the race, with the instigator having to serve a grid penalty in Race Two after seeking allowance for mechanical repairs during parc fermé conditions.
However, that wouldn’t be the only penalty that Girolami would receive. After the race, it was revealed that the Argentine had been two penalty points on his licence for causing a collision, in addition to a three-place grid drop for the next race at Motorland Aragon in Spain.
Elsewhere, Mikel Azcona was also involved in a kerfuffle of his own during the Portuguese opener. The Spaniard had done well to finish sixth in his hamstrung CUPRA, but a ten-second time penalty for contact with Luca Engstler demotes him down to tenth in the final standings.
Race Two winner Tassi was also deemed guilty of foul play in the earlier of the two races. The stewards adjudged him to have forced Thed Björk off of the circuit in an unreasonable manner, and therefore dealt him a five-second penalty.
Tassi’s punishment would be inconsequential however, as Azcona’s comparatively larger demotion meant that the Hungarian would stay in seventh place. What it did do though, was allow Björk to rise up two positions from eighth to sixth ahead of the pair of penalised drivers.
Gilles Magnus and Rob Huff also benefitted from Azcona’s misdemeanour, as the duo respectively moved up into eighth and ninth place in the final ranking for Race One.