WTCR: At the age 56, Gabriele Tarquini is a world champion again
Gabriele Tarquini is the champion of the inaugural season of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup. The 56-year-old Italian in BRC Racing’s #30 Hyundai i30 N TCR collected enough points in three races of the season’s finale at the famous Macau Guia Circuit to celebrate the title with just a three-point advantage over another veteran Yvan Muller. As a consolation, Yvan Muller’s team M.Racing-YMR clinched the Team’s title.
After Saturday’s race, in which Muller was second and Tarquini fourth, the gap was 33 points on Tarquini’s side. Then, in Race 2 on Sunday, Muller was again on a podium while Tarquini was eliminated in a first-lap multi-car collision at Lisboa corner. Muller finished third, behind Frederic Vervisch (Audi Sport Team Comtoyou) and Timo Scheider (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR). Vervisch was the 15th different winner in the season.
Muller decreased a gap to 15 points ahead of the final race of the season in which he started from P6 while Tarquini was 14th on the grid. In the end, Muller finished fourth, not taking enough points to claim the crown.
Tarquini finished the race in the tenth place and took his second world championship title in a career, nine years after WTCC triumph in 2009 with Seat.
The winner of the last race was ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri. He took the lead from pole-sitter Rob Huff on the first lap and stayed in front until the end of the race.
Huff was chasing him but stayed in the second place. Jean-Karl Vernay was third before he hit a barrier with his Audi, handing the third place to BRC Racing Team’s Norbert Michelisz.
Behind Tarquini (306 points) and Muller (303 points), Esteban Guerrieri finished third in the WTCR Drivers’ classification with 267 points. Norbert Michelisz, Jean-Karl Vernay and Pepe Oriola are fourth, fifth and sixth respectively, separated by just one point. Last year’s WTCC champion Thed Bjork finished seventh, tied in points with eighth-placed Rob Huff. Fred Vervisch and Yann Ehrlacher are completing the top 10.
Among the teams, M.Racing-YMR clinched the title with 562 points, just three more than BRC Racing Team. Both teams were using Hyundai race cars. Honda representative ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport finished in the third place, ahead of Sebastien Loeb Racing (Volkswagen) and Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team.