Motegi WTCC: Honda's Norbert Michelisz wins rain-truncated race

Honda's Norbert Michelisz was declared winner of the second World Touring Car Championship race at Motegi, which was suspended early after increasingly heavy rain

The race was the second in as many rounds to be truncated, with the second race at the Ningbo circuit in China a fortnight ago also called off due to heavy rainfall.

Unlike in China, cars were allowed to race after an initial two laps behind the safety car and during that spell Michelisz eked out a small advantage over the Volvo S60 Polestar of Nicky Catsburg.

A total of four green flag laps were completed before the safety car returned to the track on lap seven as the rain intensified, with polesitter Michelisz leading the following snake of cars in his Honda Civic.

The race was formally stopped on lap 11 of an extended 15-lap schedule, with the countback result taking in the first nine laps.

That allowed full points to be awarded, meaning Michelisz moves into second place in the championship, 16.5 points behind Thed Bjork.

Volvo driver Bjork completed one of just a handful of overtakes during the green flag running, eventually getting the better of Ryo Michigami's factory Civic for fifth after a squabble along the start/finish straight.

Michigami then squirmed off at the tight Turn 9 left-hander and beached himself in the gravel, before being dug out.

The Japanese driver returned to the pits after recovering to the circuit, and was the weekend's only retiree.

Catsburg and team-mate Nestor Girolami completed the podium in their Volvo S60 Polestars, while Esteban Guerrieri backed up his third place finish in the opening race with a fourth to complete a strong weekend as stand-in for Tiago Monteiro.

Bjork was classified fifth ahead of the leading Citroen C-Elysee of Mehdi Bennani and the RC Motorsport Lada Vestas of Yann Ehrlacher and Kevin Gleason.

Bennani's Sebastien Loeb Racing team-mates John Filippi and Tom Chilton completed the points.

Race two result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 9 22m17.924s
2 Nicky Catsburg Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 9 0.392s
3 Nestor Girolami Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 9 1.798s
4 Esteban Guerrieri Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 9 3.306s
5 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 9 5.554s
6 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 9 6.196s
7 Yann Ehrlacher RC Motorsport Lada 9 7.063s
8 Kevin Gleason RC Motorsport Lada 9 7.537s
9 John Filippi Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 9 7.911s
10 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 9 8.764s
11 Rob Huff Munnich Motorsport Citroen 9 9.633s
12 Kris Richard Campos Racing Chevrolet 9 11.544s
13 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 9 12.472s
14 Daniel Nagy Zengo Motorsport Honda 9 13.254s
15 Filipe Souza RC Motorsport Lada 9 14.899s
16 Zsolt Szabo Zengo Motorsport Honda 9 16.640s
- Ryo Michigami Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 3 Retirement

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Thed Bjork 228.5
2 Norbert Michelisz 212
3 Nicky Catsburg 209.5
4 Tiago Monteiro 200
5 Tom Chilton 184.5
6 Mehdi Bennani 184
7 Esteban Guerrieri 180
8 Rob Huff 142
9 Nestor Girolami 110
10 Yann Ehrlacher 90
11 Tom Coronel 41
12 John Filippi 34
13 Kevin Gleason 27.5
14 Filipe Souza 8.5
15 Ryo Michigami 4
16 Aurelien Panis 2
17 Daniel Nagy 1


WTCC Japan: Chilton wins as title contenders squabble

Tiago Monteiro ruled out of Macau WTCC round due to injuries