On a weekend when the curtain got here down on the WTCR in Saudi Arabia, where Mikel Azcona clinched the title during qualifying on Saturday, Comtoyou Audi driver Berthon led the primary of the 2 night time races all the best way from pole place as BRC Hyundai’s Norbert Michelisz chased him.
The Hungarian made numerous assaults earlier than tyre and brake put on pressured him to again off and defend from Franco Girolami.
The youthful brother of Nestor Girolami had been waved previous fellow Comtoyou Audi driver Tom Coronel, who was battling understeer, to problem Michelisz for second. He tried a transfer up the within of Flip 1 on the penultimate lap, however the Hyundai blocked and Michelisz saved the place regardless of being pushed huge by way of the chicane.
Franco Girolami then handed again third place to Coronel on the run to the flag for the veteran Dutchman’s first podium end of the season.
“Norbi was not doing any errors, he was placing me underneath strain till the top,” mentioned Berthon. “The race could be very lengthy, it was a variety of strain and with one mistake he would have overtaken me.”
Behind the highest 4, new champion Azcona engaged in a good battle with Gilles Magnus. Azcona’s Hyundai had misplaced three locations on the primary lap after a poor launch, to Coronel, Nestor Girolami and Magnus, earlier than the race was briefly neutralised for a security automobile after Attila Tassi struggled to discover a gear on the grid.
As soon as racing resumed Azcona handed Magnus when the Belgian ran huge, just for the Audi to tug an important transfer again at Turns 1 and a pair of. Azcona retaliated, knocking Magnus sideways additional across the lap, just for the RS3 LMS to maneuver again forward and safe fifth place.
Gilles Magnus, Comtoyou Crew Audi Sport, Audi RS three LMS
Photograph by: WTCR
Magnus picks up last WTCR race win
Tassi led the partially reverse-grid second race from pole place and survived a scare firstly of the second lap, when Esteban Guerreri outbraked himself whereas difficult into Flip 1 and spun. However a lap later Tassi was underneath assault once more.
Franco Girolami, operating third in his Audi, made a transfer on BRC Hyundai’s Nicky Catsburg for second – and worn out each Tassi and the driving force he was making an attempt to go. All three retired from the race.
The incident allowed Magnus to inherit the lead he wouldn’t lose as he claimed his third win of the season, simply two weeks after inflicting his workforce a significant headache by taking out former Comtoyou team-mate Mehdi Bennani in a collision in Bahrain.
“Man, did I would like this,” mentioned a delighted Magnus. “For the workforce, for myself, for my confidence. We’ve been by way of robust instances. Bahrain was robust. This was precisely what I wanted to finish the season.”
Comtoyou’s wildcard entry, Macedonian Viktor Davidovski, had began on the entrance row with Tassi however made a poor begin and dropped to sixth – then gained again all his misplaced positions by way of the incidents forward of him. He held off champion Azcona to attain a exceptional podium end and full a workforce 1-2.
Behind Azcona and Michelisz, Berthon duelled with returning Zengo Motorsport driver Rob Huff in an try and earn sufficient factors to depose Nestor Girolami from second within the factors – however couldn’t discover a well past.
Then on lap 18 Berthon made a transfer up the within on the last flip and the 2 automobiles made heavy contact, which broke the Audi’s right-front-wheel. Girolami, who completed eighth, was confirmed because the collection runner-up as the ultimate WTCR race led to anti-climax underneath a security automobile.
WTCR Saudi Arabia – Race Outcomes