Esteban Guerrieri extends his championship lead with victory in Race Two

by James Bowers

Esteban Guerrieri lined up from pole position for the reversed-grid race of this weekend’s World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) event at Zandvoort. The championship leader made a strong getaway to retain the lead into turn one, just ahead of the rejuvenated Volkswagen pair; Benjamin Leuchter and Johan Kristoffersson.

The status quo was largely upheld throughout the field, however, Yvan Muller did manage to pass Mikel Azcona on the inside line for fifth position.

Further down the order, Attila Tassi became the first – and only – casualty of the race. Contact with Tom Coronel sealed Tassi’s fate after the young Hungarian had already lost control of his car, which ended up mired in the gravel trap at Turn Six. The safety car was deployed to recover the stranded Honda Civic, but racing got underway again at the end of lap 3.

Guerrieri made a solid getaway to keep the Volkswagen duo behind at the restart, although the Sebastien Loeb Racing team-mates remained close to the race leader’s rear bumper.

Yvan Muller, meanwhile, had a huge moment as he ran wide on the exit of the final corner. He did at least manage to recover, albeit now down in eighth place. It wasn’t long before Yann Ehrlacher got past him too, demoting Muller further down to ninth.

Frederic Vervisch then went on to repeat Muller’s mistake, but the damage done was comparatively minor. The Belgian had been running in 20th position and only lost a single spot to Kevin Ceccon, dropping him down to 21st.

For the remainder of the race, there was very little change in the running order. Esteban Guerrieri brought the car home to take his second race victory of the season; a crucial result at a track which hasn’t particularly suited the Honda thus far.

Benjamin Leuchter and Johan Kristoffersson finished in second and third place respectively. In doing so, they achieved Volkswagen’s best race results of the season, along with their first ever individual podium finishes in WTCR.

Nicky Catsburg finished in fourth for Hyundai, not quite able to take a place amongst the top three in front of his home fans in the Netherlands. Mikel Azcona was next up in fifth; the young Spaniard once again picking up a healthy amount of points to confirm himself as one of the most consistent performers in the WTCR so far this year.

Full Race Result

PositionDriverCarGap to Winner (Seconds)
1stEsteban GuerrieriHonda-
2ndBenjamin LeuchterVolkswagen+0.263
3rdJohan KristofferssonVolkswagen+0.711
4thNicky CatsburgHyundai+1.659
5thMikel AzconaCupra+2.035
6thAugusto FarfusHyundai+2.433
7thNorbert MicheliszHyundai+5.379
8thYann EhrlacherLynk & Co+6.128
9thYvan MullerLynk & Co+7.428
10thNestor GirolamiHonda+7.781
11thRob HuffVolkswagen+8.094
12thThed BjorkLynk & Co+8.656
13thGabriele TarquiniHyundai+9.247
14thAurelien PanisCupra+9.884
15thJean-Karl VernayAudi+11.118
16thMehdi BennaniVolkswagen+11.464
17thNiels LangeveldAudi+12.626
18thAndy PriaulxLynk & Co+13.267
19thDaniel HaglofCupra+13.734
20thKevin CecconAlfa Romeo+14.327
21stFrederic VervischAudi+14.631
22ndGordon SheddenAudi+17.185
23rdTiago MonteiroHonda+17.534
24thTom CoronelCupra+17.978
25thMa Qing HuaAlfa Romeo+18.526
DNFAttila TassiHondaRetired

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