Zolder WTCR: Ehrlacher takes first Cyan win and grabs early points lead

Yann Ehrlacher clinched a first victory for Cyan Racing's Lynk & Co team in the second of two races that kicked off the World Touring Car Cup season at Zolder

Zolder WTCR: Ehrlacher takes first Cyan win and grabs early points lead

Nathanel Berthon, who last raced in WTCR in 2018, couldn't stop his Comtoyou Audi creeping forward at the red lights and received a jumped-start penalty, leaving Ehrlacher safe in the knowledge he was the de facto leader during the early laps, in a meeting that was switched from the Salzburgring to Zolder less than two weeks ago because of pandemic restrictions.

A first-lap collision at the chicane between Attila Tassi and Thed Bjork's Lynk & Co 03 TCR ensured an early safety car intervention as Tassi's ALL-INKL Honda Civic Type R smacked a tyre stack.

Bjork, who had finished second in the reversed-grid race one earlier in the day, was out on the spot.

Racing resumed on lap four of 18, with Berthon backing Ehrlacher into Comtoyou Audi team-mate Gilles Magnus, before taking his drivethrough penalty at the end of lap five.

Once free of Berthon's RS3 LMS, Ehrlacher quickly opened up a decisive gap on the new spec tyre offered by Goodyear, which has replaced Yokohama as the WTCR supplier this season.

"Everything happened at the start," said the 24-year-old.

"I saw [Berthon] had jumped the start, but he still did two or three laps and had really good pace.

"Once he went to the box, I had my way free to work on my pace and save my tyres, because it was quite a long race."



Magnus, 21, lost a deserved podium on his WTCR debut when he lost power in the closing stages because of a fuel pump failure, which had also cost him a position in race one.

That allowed Ehrlacher's uncle, Yvan Muller, and Uruguayan Santiago Urrutia, who has replaced Andy Priaulx at Cyan Racing this year, to complete a podium lock-out for Lynk & Co.

"He was faster than me," said Muller of his nephew.

"That's why I am pleased with this second place - for me it's like a victory.

"We did the same in China last year where we were first and second and now we've done it in the opposite order.

"It's quite fantastic to share that in the same family; I am more than double his age.

"I've taught him everything I know since he was 17, so it's perfect."

Magnus was thankful for a late safety car that meant the race finished under caution and allowed him to hang on to fourth place.

The safety car was caused by the recovering Tassi punting Northern Irishman Jack Young into the gravel.

The only British driver in WTCR this year, a Renault UK Clio Cup graduate, was making his series debut in Vukovic Motorsport's Renault Megane RS TCR and had acquitted himself well as he diced with veterans Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro.

Argentine Nestor Girolami (above) won race one in his ALL-INKL Honda from the reversed-grid pole in the morning, heading Bjork and team-mate Tassi all the way.

In the championship, Ehrlacher leads Girolami by seven points ahead of the next meeting - the second of six in just nine weeks - which will be made up of two rounds on the Nurburgring Nordschleife on 24-26 September.

Race 1 result - 13 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Nestor Girolami Munnich Motorsport Honda 21m17.425s
2 Thed Bjork Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 1.127s
3 Attila Tassi Munnich Motorsport Honda 1.844s
4 Tom Coronel Comtoyou Audi Audi 2.072s
5 Jean-Karl Vernay Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 4.632s
6 Santiago Urrutia Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 6.050s
7 Yann Ehrlacher Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 6.674s
8 Yvan Muller Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 7.382s
9 Nathanael Berthon Comtoyou Audi Audi 7.794s
10 Gilles Magnus Comtoyou Racing Audi 12.585s
11 Norbert Michelisz BRC Squadra Corse Hyundai 15.513s
12 Luca Engstler Engstler Racing Team Hyundai 16.085s
13 Dylan O'Keeffe Vukovic Motorsport Renault 18.135s
14 Nicky Catsburg Engstler Racing Team Hyundai 21.572s
15 Gabriele Tarquini BRC Squadra Corse Hyundai 23.527s
16 Mikel Azcona Zengo Motorsport Cupra 25.323s
17 Bence Boldizs Zengo Motorsport Cupra 31.621s
18 Luca Filippi Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 34.240s
19 Gabor Kismarty-Lechner Zengo Motorsport Cupra 50.562s
- Jack Young Vukovic Motorsport Renault Retirement
- Tiago Monteiro Munnich Motorsport Honda Retirement
- Esteban Guerrieri Munnich Motorsport Honda Retirement

Race 2 result - 18 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Yann Ehrlacher Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 33m47.255s
2 Yvan Muller Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 0.870s
3 Santiago Urrutia Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 1.376s
4 Gilles Magnus Comtoyou Racing Audi 1.940s
5 Nestor Girolami Munnich Motorsport Honda 2.617s
6 Tom Coronel Comtoyou Audi Audi 5.694s
7 Jean-Karl Vernay Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 7.395s
8 Norbert Michelisz BRC Squadra Corse Hyundai 8.128s
9 Nicky Catsburg Engstler Racing Team Hyundai 8.678s
10 Luca Engstler Engstler Racing Team Hyundai 9.715s
11 Mikel Azcona Zengo Motorsport Cupra 9.999s
12 Dylan O'Keeffe Vukovic Motorsport Renault 10.173s
13 Esteban Guerrieri Munnich Motorsport Honda 11.175s
14 Nathanael Berthon Comtoyou Audi Audi 14.981s
15 Gabriele Tarquini BRC Squadra Corse Hyundai 18.354s
16 Luca Filippi Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 20.851s
17 Bence Boldizs Zengo Motorsport Cupra 21.360s
18 Gabor Kismarty-Lechner Zengo Motorsport Cupra 21.613s
19 Tiago Monteiro Munnich Motorsport Honda 25.688s
20 Attila Tassi Munnich Motorsport Honda 48.018s
- Jack Young Vukovic Motorsport Renault Retirement
- Thed Bjork Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Retirement
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Series WTCR
Author Damien Smith
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