WTCR at Zandvoort: Two wins for Björk, Guerrieri takes championship lead
Thed Björk (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co) was the most successful driver in the fourth round of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup that took place at Circuit Zandvoort this weekend, taking two victories, but Esteban Guerrieri (Münnich Motorsport) is leaving the Netherlands as new championship leader after he also won one race.
After twelve races, Guerrieri has 161 points on his account, eleven points more than Björk. Guerrieri’s teammate and previous leader Nestor Girolami is now third in the championship with 135 points, five more than Norbert Michelisz (BRC Racing).
On Saturday, Thed Björk scored his second WTCR win of the season after he started from pole position in the #11 Lynk & Co 03 TCR and battled for the victory against teammate Yvan Muller. PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona finished third in the#96 Cupra TCR, what was his second podium this year.
Johan Kristoffersson recorded his best result by finishing fourth in the #14 SLR Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, ahead of Andy Priaulx in the #111 Lynk & Co car. Mehdi Bennani collected more points for Sebastien Loeb Racing by finishing sixth in his Golf, ahead of Cyan Racing’s Yann Ehrlacher.
Benjamin Leuchter (SLR Volkswagen), Frederic Vervisch (Comtoyou Audi) and Nicky Catsburg (BRC Hyundai) completed the top 10. Esteban Guerrieri took the championship lead after finishing 12th. Previous championship leader Nestor Girolami was 14th.
Two races followed on Sunday. Esteban Guerrieri won the first race of the day and the second race of the weekend after he started from pole on the reversed grid in the #86 Honda Civic Type R TCR.
He was chased at the finish line by Sebastien Loeb Racing teammates Benjamin Leuchter and Johan Kristoffersson. By finishing second and third respectively, both Volkswagen drivers recorded their best WTCR results so far.
Behind Guerrieri and the two Golfs, Dutch racer Nicky Catsburg gave the huge Zandvoort crowd something to cheer with fourth place in BRC Hyundai. Mikel Azcona, Augusto Farfus, Norbert Michelisz, Yann Erhlacher, Yvan Muller and Nestor Girolami rounded out the top 10.
In race 3, Thed Björk scored his second victory of the weekend and third win of the season. His main rival was again one of his teammates. This time, he raced for the victory against Yann Ehrlacher in the #48 Lynk & Co 03 TCR, who started the race from pole but lost a lead on a way to the first corner.
Then, the team ordered them to swap positions because they feared Ehrlacher would be penalized for a contact on the opening lap. After six laps it was clear that there would not be a penalty for Ehrlacher so they swapped positions again. The victory went to Björk while his young teammate had to be satisfied with the second place, what was his third podium of the season.
Behind two Cyan Racing’s cars, there were two BRC Racing’s Hyundais of Augusto Farfus and Norbert Michelisz. The team orders influenced their positions too, giving the third place to Michelisz who has more chances to fight for the championship title.
Cyan Racing’s Yvan Muller finished the race in the fifth place. PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona completed a strong weekend with the sixth-place finish, ahead of Johan Kristoffersson. Esteban Guerrieri, Gabriele Tarquini and Rob Huff completed the top 10.
The next WTCR round would be the Race of Germany at the legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife, during the 24-hour race weekend.
Photos: Clement Luck/DPPI,