WTCR: Veteran Gabriele Tarquini showed all the others how to race
Gabriele Tarquini is the first winner in the inaugural season of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup. The 56-year-old Italian veteran, the oldest driver on the grid, showed all the others how to race on the street circuit in Marrakech and grabbed a victory in the #30 BRC Racing’s Hyundai i30 N TCR.
It was a double win for the Korean manufacturer because pole-sitter Thed Bjork finished second in the #11 Yvan Muller Racing’s Hyundai. Rob Huff completed a podium in the #12 Sebastien Loeb Racing’s Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Jean-Karl Vernay finished fourth in the #69 Audi RS3 LMS of the Lukoil Leopard Team, two places ahead of his teammate Gordon Shedden in the #52 Audi. Mehdi Bennani finished fifth between two Audi drivers in the #25 Sebastien Loeb Racing’s Volkswagen Golf.
Twenty-five cars started in the race and the wreck in Turn 1 on the opening lap first caused a Safety Car intervention and then the race was red-flagged to move Frederic Vervisch’s stranded car. The race restarted behind the Safety Car which was called out again immediately after Norbert Michelisz lost a wheel on his Hyundai and stopped on track.
Tha race restarted again in the full speed on Lap 11. This time, there were no interruptions anymore. Tarquini and Bjork were fighting for the lead until the very end, crossing the finish line with a 0.729sec gap.
Photos: Paulo Maria/DPPI,