Mikel Azcona uses "Joker" lap to snatch first win for PWR at Vila Real

Mikel Azcona uses "Joker" lap to snatch first win for PWR at Vila Real

07.07.2019: FIA WTCR Race of Portugal: Race 2 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO 2019 Rounds 16-18 of 30, Circuito Internacional de Vila Real, 5-7 July Sunday, July 7th 2019 Mikel Azcona played a brilliant 'joker' lap strategy to

FIA WTCR Race of Portugal: Race 2
WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO 2019
Rounds 16-18 of 30, Circuito Internacional de Vila Real, 5-7 July
Sunday, July 7th 2019




Mikel Azcona played a brilliant 'joker' lap strategy to claim his first WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO victory in the reverse-grid Race 2 in Vila Real.



The Spaniard started third in his PWR Racing Cupra TCR, but used the joker – a unique feature at the 4.785-kilometre Circuito Internacional de Vila Real – to pass both Esteban Guerrieri and DHL Pole Position starter Ma Qinghua. The win is also PWR’s first in WTCR / OSCARO and the first for the CUPRA brand this season. The result has also lifted Azcona to fifth in the standings on the #RoadToMalaysia.



Team Mulsanne’s Ma made a clean start after his clutch problems in Race 1 to lead in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR, from fellow front-row starter and title leader Guerrieri, with Azcona running ahead of Nicky Catsburg, Jean-Karl Vernay, Rob Huff and Yvan Muller.



But the 'joker' lap changed the complexion of the race at the front. Guerrieri was the first to take it at the end of lap three, as Vernay, Muller, Yann Ehrlacher and Tiago Monteiro followed him. Azcona took his joker at the end of lap four, jumping Guerrieri who was now behind Catsburg.



Ma waited until lap six, but got his line wrong through the ‘joker’ lap as Azcona, who had already closed in on the Alfa, swept into a lead he would hold until the flag. Ma finished second ahead of Guerrieri, who added to his points lead.



Vernay finished fourth having gained a place on Catsburg with his joker, the Dutchman having left it late to take his alternative route. Muller was sixth after overtaking Huff with his joker, followed by Ehrlacher, Néstor Girolami and local hero Tiago Monteiro.



Race 3 DHL Pole Position starer Attila Tassi was in P11, ahead of Frédéric Vervisch, Thed Björk, Johan Kristoffersson and Andy Priaulx in P15. Race 1 winner and title contender Norbert Michelisz failed to finish after incurring damage following contact with Kevin Ceccon's Alfa Romeo.








Richard Rodgers, photos WTCR

     





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07.07.2019 / MaP

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