Norbert Michelisz wins and closes in on the leader
06 July 2019
For the second consecutive weekend Norbert Michelisz won WTCR’s Race 1. At Vila Real the Hungarian driver converted his pole position into a lights-to-flag victory and closed in on Esteban Guerrieri in the standings. As the Argentine suffered from an engine issue and finished at the back, his leading margin was reduced to only 15 points.
The race was mainly processional and the joker lap didn’t have a significant effect, as it only changed positions temporarily; only Yann Ehrlacher was able to use it for stealing the second position from Augusto Farfus.
At the start Michelisz sprinted from the pole position and led from Farfus, Ehrlacher and Rob Huff. Ma Qing Hua made a poor start from fifth on the grid and dropped several positions.
Michelisz built a margin of a few seconds and could make the joker lap already on lap 3, followed by Farfus and Huff. Despite this, the Hungarian retained the first position ahead of Ehrlacher who elected to make the joker lap in the following lap, managing to rejoin ahead of Farfus.
On lap 5, Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro collided while fighting for the ninth position; the Italian limped back to the pits and retired.
Positions remained frozen for the rest of the race; Michelisz controlled Ehrlacher who finished two seconds behind, while Farfus managed to keep Huff at bay for the third position. Nicky Catsburg was classified fifth, closely followed by Aurélien Panis, Johan Kristoffersson and Thed Björk.
Action will resume tomorrow morning at 10:00 local time with the Qualifying session for Races 2 and 3.
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