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WTCC season refresher #1: Morocco

WTCC season refresher #1: Morocco

09/08/2017 12:00

Esteban Guerrieri scored his maiden FIA World Touring Car Championship victory with the Opening Race spoils in Marrakech on 9 April, while top spot for Tiago Monteiro in the big-scoring Main Race at WTCC AFRIQUIA Race of Morocco put the Portuguese at the head of the charge for world title glory following the first weekend of the season.

Guerrieri, in only his second WTCC appearance, started the Opening Race second on the grid but capitalised on Tom Coronel’s fading brakes to win for Campos Racing ahead of Polestar Cyan Racing’s Thed Björk and local hero Mehdi Bennani.

Norbert Michelisz followed his Honda team-mate Monteiro home in the Main Race, which was longer and offers more points than previously. Néstor Girolami took third for the factory Volvo Polestar squad, which ended the weekend level with Honda in the Manufacturers’ standings.

Guerrieri’s victory underlined a bright WTCC future for the talented Argentine, once a rival of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in Formula 3. His pace in the Main Race also earned him the prestigious TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy and a watch.

Other notable performances came from rookie racer Aurélien Panis and Ryo Michigami, who took their first WTCC point with P10 in the Opening Race and Main Race respectively. Dániel Nagy set the fastest lap in the Opening Race for Zengő Motorsport in P11.

After Guerrieri secured the WTCC Trophy laurels in the Opening Race, Tom Chilton took the Main Race class victory when on-the-road winner Bennani received a two-second penalty for a collision with Nicky Catsburg, which dropped him from fourth to sixth overall and from first to second in the classification for privateer racers.

Opening Race DHL Pole Position: Tom Coronel (Chevrolet RML Cruze)
Main Race DHL Pole Position: Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic)*
TAG Heuer Best Lap: Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet RML Cruze), 1m23.624s
WTCC MAC3 winner: Team Volvo Polestar

*New qualifying lap record

Norbert Michelisz has received yet more silverware. Twenty-four hours after picking up his trophy for finishing runner-up in the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the FIA Prize Giving event in Paris, the Hungarian was honoured a little closer to home.

The top three drivers in the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship were honoured in Paris on Friday evening when the stunning Château de Versailles hosted the annual FIA Prize Giving ceremony.

FIA World Touring Car Championship promoter Eurosport Events has broken with tradition by awarding the prestigious WTCC Nürburgring Nordschleife Best Driver Trophy to not one but two drivers after Polestar Cyan Racing’s factory duo, Thed Björk and Nicky Catsburg, tamed planet earth’s toughest race track in spectacular fashion back in May.

Jean Todt has been re-elected as President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) at the organisation’s General Assembly in Paris today.

Thed Björk will be crowned FIA World Touring Car champion for 2017 at the FIA Prize Giving in Paris this evening. Here are some facts about Polestar Cyan Racing’s swift Swede.

The FIA World Touring Car Championship will be replaced from 2018 with new technical regulations, a new format and a new name following a vote of approval by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris yesterday (6 December).