Rob Huff stays in title contention with race two win at Anneau du Rhin

Zengő Motorsport’s Rob Huff took his second FIA World Touring Car Cup victory of the season in race two at Anneau du Rhin, getting the jump on pole-sitter Mehdi Bennani at the start.

Comtoyou Racing’s Bennani had lined up on pole for the partially-reversed grid race, but at the start Huff made a strong start and was past the Audi driver by the fast sweeping Turn 2.

The CUPRA racer then drove a controlled race to notch up his second win of the season, keeping him in overall drivers’ title contention, as the Brit sits third in the standings leaving the event.

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Championship leader Mikel Azcona was the man on the move in the race, the Hyundai driver climbing from eighth on the grid up to sixth at the start.

Azcona slotted in behind Comtoyou Racing rival Gilles Magnus initially, but on lap two Magnus passed Team Engstler’s Tiago Monteiro for fourth.

Azcona then passed Monteiro for fifth a lap later, before catching Magnus. The two made some contact on lap nine, with Azcona passing Magnus, but the Belgian came back on him at the penultimate turn to reclaim the position.

Two laps later Azcona completed the pass for good, as Magnus slid through Turn 2 under pressure from the Spaniard, who also slid and made slight contact under braking.

With team-mate Norbert Michelisz running in third at the time, the Hungarian soon dropped back and allowed his BRC Racing colleague through into the final podium place on lap 14.

Michelisz held on to finish in fourth, ahead of Magnus in fifth and Monteiro in sixth.

Münnich Motorsport’s Néstor Girolami took the chequered flag in seventh, lucking into a last-lap penultimate corner incident that gifted him two places.

Esteban Guerrieri had been running in the position for most of the race, ahead of Comtoyou’s Tom Coronel, but going into the second-to-last turn the Audi driver clattered into the Honda ahead, pushing both off the road and allowing Girolami into seventh.

Just minutes earlier, Guerrieri’s Münnich engineer had told him not to drop back to give title hopeful Girolami the place, but in the end the forced change was not required as Coronel took the action for them.

Race one winner Nathanaël Berthon struggled to make much progress but finished in eighth, with Team Engstler’s Attila Tassi and Guerrieri completing the top ten.

Dániel Nagy was two laps down after pitting for new tyres after 11 laps. The Zengő driver had been running in last place anyway.

In the championship, Azcona has built a tally of 241 points and is ahead of Girolami (206), Huff (187), Magnus (165) and Berthon (160).

Following their withdrawal for the rest of the season, Cyan Racing drivers are dropping out of the top ten, with Santiago Urrutia currently ranked in sixth, over 100 points from the lead.

Race result

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 79 Rob HUFF Zengő Motorsport Services Kft CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 18 26:53.763 1:28.790 2
2 25 Mehdi BENNANI Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 18 0.896 1:28.848 1
3 96 Mikel AZCONA BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR 18 1.114 1:28.334 8
4 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR 18 3.990 1:28.660 3
5 16 Gilles MAGNUS Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 18 4.936 1:28.764 6
6 18 Tiago MONTEIRO Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 18 7.591 1:28.999 5
7 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 18 11.716 1:29.118 10
8 17 Nathanaël BERTHON Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 18 12.289 1:29.003 9
9 9 Attila TASSI Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 18 12.533 1:29.211 11
10 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 18 13.817 1:29.058 7
11 33 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 18 19.206 1:29.017 4
12 99 Dániel NAGY Zengő Motorsport Services Kft CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 16 + 2 LAPS 1:29.360 12
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