Norbert Michelisz resisted the close attentions of his teammate Mikel Azcona to take victory in race one of the TCR Italian Festival and TCR World Tour in Vallelunga.
Never headed during the race after starting from pole position, Michelisz cooly took the win of the 14-lap event. Azcona would pile on the pressure in the second Hyundai Elantra but he was never close enough to execute a clean move on the championship leader.
“The car was very good. We were testing here one month ago and we focused on long-distance [runs],” said Michelisz.
“Yesterday, I thought we go a bit lucky but today we were well prepared.”
Azcona gave the impression during the race that he didn’t want to try a forceful pass on his teammate. When quizzed about when the finishing positions of the two N Squadra Corse cars were decided, Michelisz replied “After the chequered flag, there were no team orders.”
Third place would go to Thed Björk, the Cyan Racing driver moving up to third after Frédéric Vervisch dropped out with mechanical problems with two laps remaining.
Rob Huff crossed the line in fourth, unable to find a way past Björk’s Lynk & Co from lap one. Fifth place was taken by Yann Ehrlacher in the second the Lynk and Co car.
ALM Motorsport’s Néstor Girolami took sixth being followed by Santiago Urrutia at the chequered flag.
The top ten were completed by Kobe Pauwels, Ma Qing Hua, and John Filippi after Aurélien Comte stopped on track with mechanical failure.
Comte had earlier passed Ma’s Lynk & Co for tenth with an assertive move, but pulled off the circuit later to retire with a mechanical issue.
Race two is scheduled to get underway at 15:00 CEST (14:00 BST).
|1||105||Norbert MICHELISZ||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||14||24:01.203||1:41.338||1|
|2||196||Mikel AZCONA||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||14||0.564||1:41.323||2|
|3||111||Thed BJÖRK||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR||14||3.040||1:41.709||3|
|4||179||Rob HUFF||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||14||4.266||1:41.683||6|
|5||168||Yann EHRLACHER||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR||14||8.172||1:42.073||7|
|6||129||Néstor GIROLAMI||ALM Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR||14||9.170||1:41.904||8|
|7||112||Santiago URRUTIA||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR||14||10.062||1:41.957||5|
|8||22||Kobe PAUWELS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||14||12.208||1:42.087||11|
|9||155||MA Qing Hua||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR||14||17.527||1:42.405||10|
|10||27||John FILIPPI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||14||18.738||1:42.372||9|
|11||18||Marco BUTTI||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||14||20.682||1:42.448||13|
|12||123||Mattias VAHTEL||ALM Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR||14||24.220||1:42.739||15|
|13||31||Kevin CECCON||Aggressive Team Italia||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||14||25.968||1:43.006||14|
|14||77||Sylvain PUSSIER||SP Competition||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||14||33.079||1:43.621||16|
|15||122||Frédéric VERVISCH||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||14||1:06.606||1:41.552||4|
|16||76||Aurélien COMTE||SP Competition||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||10||+ 4 LAPS||1:42.408||12|