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Slovakia WTCR: Girolami extends points lead in Munnich Honda one-two

Nestor Girolami sealed a third World Touring Car Cup victory of the season at the Slovakia Ring to extend his championship lead, leading home Munnich Motorsport team-mate Esteban Guerrieri

After failing to finish the opening race of the day, front row starter Girolami chased and passed polesitter Rob Huff, making his decisive move on the second lap at the tight third corner.

Intermittent light showers resulted in officials declaring it a wet race, although slicks remained the preferred tyre choice for the second contest of the day.

But further rain was not forthcoming, and Girolami and Munnich Motorsport team-mate Guerrieri made the best starts to take up position behind the Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI of Huff.

After Girolami made his move for the lead on the 2012 World Touring Car champion, Guerrieri mimicked the overtake a lap later to make it a one-two for the Honda pairing, which they would not surrender.

"My car was really damaged after race one so we had a doubt for this race", said Girolami.

"After [repairs] the car was perfect, so thank you to all of the guys here.

"As soon as I realised Esteban was P2, I knew we were safe. It's the way that we work."

A simple run to the flag was made tense by the presence of the charging Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce of Kevin Ceccon, the Italian recovering from a sluggish getaway that left him playing catch-up.

The Team Mulsanne driver was on the tail of third place man Huff in the second half of the race, and slipped by his rival on the faster section of the circuit to confirm a second podium in succession for the Alfa squad.

Huff began to struggle in the final laps of the race and was soon overpowered under braking for Turn 1 by Nicky Catsburg in the best of the BRC Racing Hyundai i30 N cars, the Dutchman having fought back to fourth from 10th on the grid.

Fifth went to Huff ahead of Norbert Michelisz in another Hyundai and Mikel Azcona, who was best of the Cupras after a strong showing for PWR Racing, despite the team losing Daniel Haglof to problems early in the race.

Niels Langeveld put a race one incident behind him to finish as top Audi driver in eighth, the Comtoyou man briefly running fifth.

The second Alfa Romeo of Ma Qing Hua was involved in a first-lap scuffle, but recovered well to ninth.

The biggest charge of all came from Tom Coronel, who advanced into the top 10 despite starting 27th and last, after a puncture in qualifying blighted the Comtoyou Cupra driver's Friday efforts.

Gabriele Tarquini's race was ruined by a drivethrough penalty for contact with the Comtoyou Cupra of Aurelien Panis, finishing 19th in his BRC Racing Hyundai i30 N.

Thed Bjork's disappointing Sunday continued as contact on the opening lap put the Cyan Racing man out with front-end damage to his Lynk & Co 03, while Augusto Farfus was spun out on the same lap in his Hyundai i30 N.

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