WTCR Slovakia: Tarquini wins and reclaims points lead from Muller

Gabriele Tarquini cantered to victory in the reversed-grid World Touring Car Cup race at the Slovakia Ring to reclaim the points lead from fellow Hyundai driver Yvan Muller

WTCR Slovakia: Tarquini wins and reclaims points lead from Muller

Tarquini did the hard work at the start and nosed ahead of polesitter Norbert Nagy into the first corner before easing clear at the front of the field, beating Nagy and Muller home.

Having struggled away from pole in Saturday's first race, BRC Racing driver Tarquini made a much better getaway in the second encounter, holding onto the inside line from Nagy and fending off a spirited challenge from the Zengo Motorsport driver as they came out of the second right-hander.

Tarquini's route to victory was straightforward thereafter, the Italian slowly eking out a lead from Nagy over the remaining nine laps to win by 2.150 seconds.

Nagy, who had not previously scored a point this season, initially came under pressure from Muller's YMR Hyundai i30 N but shook off the four-time World Touring Car champion's challenge to claim a maiden podium.

Race one winner Pepe Oriola brought his Campos Racing Cupra home in fifth, at the head of a four-car train.

Benjamin Lessennes was the highest-finishing Honda in sixth, but his car was one of three Civics found to have exceeded its maximum boost pressure after qualifying - just as three of the four WTCR Hyundais had been a day earlier.

Both Munnich Motorsport and Boutsen Ginion protested against those decisions, which caused the start of the race to be delayed and meant the grid was based on the result of qualifying - with the three Civics in their original reversed-grid positions.

The two teams have since appealed the decisions.

John Filippi made it two Campos Cupras in the top six, resisting Norbert Michelisz - who produced a late charge through the field - by 0.003s.

Comtoyou Racing's Frederic Vervisch was the only Audi driver to finish in the points, ahead of the Munnich Motorsport pair of Esteban Guerrieri - whose car was another one of the three Civics deemed non-compliant after qualifying - and Yann Ehrlacher.

Muller's YMR team-mate Thed Bjork fell just short of the points, advancing from 19th on the grid to 11th, ahead of Kevin Ceccon - who finished half a second shy of the points on only his second WTCR start.

Race two result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Gabriele Tarquini BRC Racing Team Hyundai 19m54.840s
2 Norbert Nagy Zengo Motorsport Cupra 2.150s
3 Yvan Muller YMR Hyundai 3.354s
4 Pepe Oriola Campos Racing Cupra 4.750s
5 John Filippi Campos Racing Cupra 5.892s
6 Norbert Michelisz BRC Racing Team Hyundai 5.895s
7 Frederic Vervisch Comtoyou Racing Audi 13.578s
8 Esteban Guerrieri Munnich Motorsport Honda 14.194s
9 Yann Ehrlacher Munnich Motorsport Honda 14.540s
10 Thed Bjork YMR Hyundai 14.851s
11 Kevin Ceccon Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 15.084s
12 Nathanael Berthon Comtoyou Racing Audi 15.300s
13 Aurelien Comte DG Sport Competition Peugeot 18.201s
14 Fabrizio Giovanardi Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 18.330s
15 Gordon Shedden WRT Audi 21.177s
16 Mat'o Homola DG Sport Competition Peugeot 21.606s
17 Denis Dupont Comtoyou Racing Audi 28.527s
18 Andrej Studenic Brutal Fish Racing Team Volkswagen 28.904s
19 Zsolt Szabo Zengo Motorsport Cupra 30.283s
20 Petr Fulin Fulin Race Academy Cupra 1 Lap
- Benjamin Lessennes Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Disqualified
- Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Retirement
- Rob Huff Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Retirement
- Aurelien Panis Comtoyou Racing Audi Retirement
- Jean-Karl Vernay WRT Audi Retirement
- Tom Coronel Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Retirement


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About this article

Series WTCR
Drivers Yvan Muller , Gabriele Tarquini
Author Jack Cozens
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