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Main Race flash: Michelisz wins after WTCC heartbreak for Catsburg

Main Race flash: Michelisz wins after WTCC heartbreak for Catsburg

16/07/2017 21:57

Norbert Michelisz inherited his second consecutive FIA World Touring Car Championship Main Race victory after Nicky Catsburg retired from a comfortable lead with his second puncture of the day at WTCC Race of Argentina.

Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo ace Catsburg converted his DHL pole position into the race lead from Castol Honda World Touring Car Team duo Michelisz and Tiago Monteiro. Dutchman Catsburg looked assured of victory until lap seven of 13 when he suddenly slowed with a left-front puncture. It was a cruel blow to the driver, who had also retired from the Opening Race of the day with a puncture on the same corner of his Volvo S60 Polestar.

That left Michelisz with a lead he would hold to the flag, ahead of championship pacesetter Monteiro and the Volvo of Thed Björk. Monteiro was relieved to consolidate his points advantage after suffering a scare on his out lap to the grid when he went off into a gravel trap, but managed to keep his Civic from getting beached.

“I was a bit lucky with the puncture for Nicky,” said Michelisz, who also won the previous WTCC Main Race at Vila Real in Portugal last month. “After that it was just a case of controlling the pace. The car felt great and it was possible to push. It’s just amazing.

“Although I’m a bit disappointed for the weekend after my left-front puncture in the Opening Race. Those were important points lost for the championship.”

Local hero Esteban Guerrieri claimed fourth place in his Campos Racing Chevrolet ahead of Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehdi Bennani, who held off Argentine Néstor Girolami after an entertaining battle.

Tom Chilton, who lost his Opening Race victory because of a penalty, finished seventh this time despite damage incurred at the start after contact with Guerrieri. Opening Race winner Yann Ehrlacher drove another mature race to hold off former World Touring Car champion Rob Huff for eighth. Tom Coronel rounded out the top 10.

The wide-open 2017 WTCC season resumes on October 13-15 with WTCC Race of China at the Ningbo International Speedpark.

WTCC Q&A: Julie Lespagnol

20/09/2017 18:00 - 2017

With Polestar Cyan Racing, Volvo’s factory team in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, locked in a close battle with Honda for the coveted Manufacturers’ crown, the expertise of the squad’s technical personnel is being relied upon more and more in order to gain an advantage. And Julie Lespagnol, a 28-year-old performance engineer from Metz in France, is playing a key role in the Swedish make’s pursuit of WTCC glory.

With Polestar Cyan Racing, Volvo’s factory team in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, locked in a close battle with Honda for the coveted Manufacturers’ crown, the expertise of the squad’s technical personnel is being relied upon more and more in order to gain an advantage. And Julie Lespagnol, a 28-year-old performance engineer from Metz in France, is playing a key role in the Swedish make’s pursuit of WTCC glory.

WTCC racer Rob Huff received a hero’s welcome on his return to the British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone last weekend where he was standing in for friend and WTCC rival Tom Chilton.

FIA World Touring Car Championship racer Néstor Girolami helped Prince Carl Philip to the Swedish GT Championship runner-up spot at the weekend – and said afterwards how his appearance at Mantorp Park had helped his preparations for the upcoming WTCC Race of China.

Norbert Nagy will join three rivals in a final-round face-off for the FIA European Touring Car Cup crown following a dramatic pair of races at Zolder in Belgium.

Norbert Nagy, driving for FIA World Touring Car Championship team Zengő Motorsport, has qualified in pole position for ETCC Race of Zolder.

Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team has issued the following statement on its driver and FIA World Touring Car Championship leader Tiago Monteiro.