Reigning TCR Europe champion Mikel Azcona claimed his maiden WTCR victory in Vila Real’s second race. This was also the first of the season for CUPRA that has now joined in the winners’ circle the other six brands represented in the 2019 FIA World Cup.
Azcona was also the tenths different driver to win a race and, as another evidence of how competition is close in the series, seven different models of cars were classified in the first seven positions of the race.
At the start, pole sitter Ma Qing Hua drove his Alfa Romeo Giulietta to lead the field; he was followed by Esteban Guerrieri, Azcona, Nicky Catsburg, Jean-Karl Vernay, Rob Huff and Yvan Muller.
Guerrieri was the first to make the joker lap on lap 3 and dropped to fourth, Azcona followed one lap later but retained the second position. On the same lap, Norbert Michelisz crashed into the back of Kevin Ceccon’s car and they both retired.
Huff and Ma made their joker laps on lap 5 and 6 respectively, the Briton dropped to seventh and the Chinese lost the leadership to Azcona. The last one amongst the leaders to serve the joker lap was Catsburg who dropped to fifth.
In the final part of the race, Azcona built a comfortable margin, while Ma managed to defend the second position from Guerrieri. The latter happily settled in third, because with Michelisz retired and Thed Björk placed 13th, he further stretched his leading margin in the standings to 31 points over the Hungarian.
Race 3 will start at 17:00 local time (18:00 CET).
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