WTCR Zandvoort: Vernay wins after investigation into his start

WRT Audi driver Jean-Karl Vernay survived an investigation into his start to win the final World Touring Car Cup race at Zandvoort

WTCR Zandvoort: Vernay wins after investigation into his start

Vernay got a good enough getaway from pole position in his RS3 LMS to close the door on the Volkswagen Golf GTi of fellow front row starter Rob Huff and edged away thereafter to claim his second win of the season.

Sebastien Loeb Racing driver Huff ended up second, while Frederic Vervisch (Comtoyou Racing Audi) rounded out the podium with his third top-three finish from the last five races.

Vernay momentarily crept forward from his start slot before the lights went out but came to a prompt stop, then moved over to the right-hand side of the track when the race started to prevent Huff from running up his inside and into the lead.

That startline movement was investigated by officials as Vernay gradually increased his lead at the front, before a decision of no further action was communicated midway through the race.

Vernay said he he had been "worried" about the three cars behind, which all started with new front tyres, but the Frenchman maintained a comfortable buffer back to Huff throughout and clinched victory by 1.2 seconds, with Vervisch a comfortable third.

The second WRT Audi of Gordon Shedden spent the majority of the race pent up behind the Munnich Motorsport Honda Civic of Esteban Guerrieri, having been jumped by the Argentinian at the start.

From fifth on the grid, Guerrieri shaped to the outside off the line and almost found a way past Vervisch before ceding third on the run to the Hugenholtz left-handed hairpin, slotting back in between the two Audis.

Shedden had two half chances to engineer a way past the Civic but had to settle for fifth.

Guerrieri's team-mate Yann Ehrlacher could not match the two podiums he achieved in either of the weekend's first two races, but with sixth in the final encounter he did move into the lead of the championship.

Ehrlacher had an uneventful race in his Civic, sitting a comfortable margin back from Shedden's Audi, but the 10 points he claimed were enough to move him to the head of the drivers' standings by nine points from uncle Yvan Muller.

Aurelien Comte capped a fine weekend with seventh, beating the second SLR Golf of Mehdi Bennani.

James Thompson completed a late pass on Pepe Oriola to claim ninth ahead of the Spaniard.

Gianni Morbidelli had advanced from 17th on the grid to run 13th and within striking distance of his and the Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo outfit's first points of the WTCR season, but contact from John Filippi two laps from the finish as Morbidelli overtook the Cupra driver for 12th turned the Italian round.

Thed Bjork was the leading Hyundai driver in 14th, which meant all four i30 Ns failed to score a point during the Zandvoort weekend.

Race three result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Jean-Karl Vernay WRT Audi 15 26m56.904s
2 Rob Huff Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen 15 1.199s
3 Frederic Vervisch Comtoyou Racing Audi 15 3.065s
4 Esteban Guerrieri Munnich Motorsport Honda 15 4.405s
5 Gordon Shedden WRT Audi 15 5.019s
6 Yann Ehrlacher Munnich Motorsport Honda 15 6.869s
7 Aurelien Comte DG Sport Competition Peugeot 15 7.804s
8 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen 15 12.298s
9 James Thompson Munnich Motorsport Honda 15 14.241s
10 Pepe Oriola Campos Racing Cupra 15 18.718s
11 Nathanael Berthon Comtoyou Racing Audi 15 18.932s
12 Denis Dupont Comtoyou Racing Audi 15 19.524s
13 Aurelien Panis Comtoyou Racing Audi 15 20.541s
14 John Filippi Campos Racing Cupra 15 21.957s
15 Thed Bjork YMR Hyundai 15 26.197s
16 Mat'o Homola DG Sport Competition Peugeot 15 28.075s
17 Norbert Nagy Zengo Motorsport Cupra 15 28.455s
18 Gabriele Tarquini BRC Racing Team Hyundai 15 29.001s
19 Bernhard van Oranje Bas Koeten Racing Audi 15 31.277s
20 Michael Verhagen Bas Koeten Racing Audi 15 1m03.669s
21 Gianni Morbidelli Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 14 1 Lap
22 Norbert Michelisz BRC Racing Team Hyundai 13 2 Laps
- Yvan Muller YMR Hyundai 9 Retirement
- Benjamin Lessennes Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 7 Retirement
- Tom Coronel Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 1 Retirement
- Zsolt Szabo Zengo Motorsport Cupra 1 Retirement
- Fabrizio Giovanardi Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 0 Not started

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Yann Ehrlacher 146
2 Yvan Muller 137
3 Rob Huff 130
4 Jean-Karl Vernay 121
5 Gabriele Tarquini 118
6 Thed Bjork 112
7 Esteban Guerrieri 109
8 Norbert Michelisz 102
9 Frederic Vervisch 65
10 Pepe Oriola 63
11 Mehdi Bennani 63
12 Aurelien Comte 58
13 Gordon Shedden 58
14 Daniel Nagy 36
15 James Thompson 36
16 Benjamin Lessennes 36
17 Nathanael Berthon 21
18 Tom Coronel 16
19 Rene Rast 10
20 John Filippi 3
21 Zsolt Szabo 2
22 Aurelien Panis 2

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Series WTCR
Author Jack Cozens
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