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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.

Tom Coronel and twin brother Tim have finished the gruelling Dakar Rally in South America, reaching the end of the final stage in Córdoba, Argentina, yesterday just outside the top 30.

Tiago Monteiro, a race winner and title contender during the final season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2017, has received Portugal’s Sport Merit Award.

Comtoyou Racing has signed its second FIA World Touring Car Cup contender in as many days with the addition of Aurélien Panis to its WTCR line-up for 2018.

WTCR Q&A: Denis Dupont

18/01/2018 12:00 - 2017

The 25-year-old Belgian will carry the hopes of a nation on his shoulders – and his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS – when he contests the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup for the RACB National Team. He’s had this to say.

The 25-year-old Belgian will carry the hopes of a nation on his shoulders – and his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS – when he contests the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup for the RACB National Team. He’s had this to say.

Belgium’s motorsport federation, the RACB, has identified the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup as the ultimate international launch pad for its young star driver, Denis Dupont.

The man behind the Honda Civic Type R TCR project hopes several examples of the car will be on the grid when the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup begins in Morocco on 7 April.