WTCR Race of China recap 2018

WTCR Race of China recap 2018

06.09.2019: Weekend in short *Björk scores victory double to narrow Tarquini’s title advantage to eight points *Race 2 winner Muller just one point further back behind YMR team-mate Björk

Weekend in short




*Björk scores victory double to narrow Tarquini’s title advantage to eight points

*Race 2 winner Muller just one point further back behind YMR team-mate Björk

*Dupont flies to first podium as Comtoyou Audi squad excels

*Podium in Race 2 signals Bennani’s return to form




Weekend report: Thed Björk delivered a WTCR / OSCARO masterclass with two poles and two wins as the China double-header began in spectacular fashion. The Swede was in sublime form with victories in Race 1 and 3, while team-mate and team boss Yvan Muller bagged the spoils in Race 2.


After finishing fourth in Race 1, early contact in Race 2 left BRC Racing Team’s Gabriele Tarquini on the sidelines. However, he bounced back to finish second to Björk in Race 3 to ensure the championship lead remains his. Tarquini’s cause was aided when Muller retired from Race 3 with suspension damage and a puncture following contact. Esteban Guerrieri was a double podium visitor for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport after two strong displays.



However, the Argentine was denied a third top-three when contact with Norbert Michelisz early in Race 3 forced him out. Mehdi Bennani signalled his return to form following his huge crash at WTCR Race of Portugal with second place in the reverse-grid Race 2. Denis Dupont helped to ensure there were four different customer racing brands in the top four in Race 2 before landing his maiden WTCR OSCARO podium with a fine drive from sixth to third in Race 3.



 Team-mate Frédéric Vervisch was third in Race 1. Elsewhere, double DTM champion Timo Scheider just missed out on a top-10 twice as his Münnich team worked flat out to ensure Yann Ehrlacher could start Race 3 following damage sustained in a collision with China’s Ma Qing Hua on the final lap of Race 2. Ma, who like Scheider was making his WTCR debut, showed plenty of promise but the contact with Ehrlacher was too hard to make the start of Race 3.



Winning quote:
“It was a fantastic race from the start, just flying way from the others and having a race by myself,” said Björk, following his Race 3 win. “I must be really happy with the team, who work so hard putting the car together all the time. It felt so good, in the window [of performance] all the time and I just had to drive. When we have such a long summer break and still so many points to fight for, the goal was to get back [in the title fight] as soon as possible, be on the edge and see where I can go. Some of the tracks that are coming are really nice.”






Results reminder:



DHL Pole Position Race 1: Thed Björk (SWE) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 1 winner: Thed Björk (SWE) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 1 fastest lap: Thed Björk (SWE) Hyundai i30 N TCR

DHL Pole Position Race 2: Mehdi Bennani (MAR) Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
Race 2 winner: Yvan Muller (FRA) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 2 fastest lap: Yvan Muller (FRA) Hyundai i30 N TCR

DHL Pole Position Race 3: Thed Björk (SWE) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 3 winner: Thed Björk (SWE) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 3 fastest lap: Thed Björk (SWE) Hyundai i30 N TCR

TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy: Thed Björk (SWE) Hyundai i30 N TCR
TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver: Thed Björk (SWE) Hyundai i30 N TCR



What’s new for 2019?

Standardised points… for top 15


WTCR / OSCARO gets a new points system for 2019 with the aim of ensuring more drivers can score points more often. The top 15 drivers according to the final classification of Races 1, 2 and 3 are rewarded as follows:



POS: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15
PTS: 25-20-16-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1



The same points-scoring system is applied to the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO for Teams. Wildcard drivers are no longer eligible for points.



First Qualifying pace rewarded with points



Points are distributed not only following Second Qualifying as in 2018 but following First Qualifying as well. The fastest five drivers according to the final classification score as follows:


POS: 1-2-3-4-5
PTS: 5-4-3-2-1



Q3 running order adjusted



The running order for the Q3 phase of Second Qualifying is adjusted with the driver setting the fastest time in Q2 choosing their starting order in the five-car Q3 shootout first followed by the second fastest driver and so on. It means the quickest driver in Q2 will no longer have to wait for four other drivers to complete their Q3 runs before attempting their own Q3 lap. The change follows feedback from drivers who felt they could be disadvantage by waiting in the pitlane because of the potential drop-off in car performance and tyre temperature, for example.



On-event staff numbers restricted


Ten armbands are issued per team and only those operational staff assigned an armband, having registered with the FIA before each event, are allowed to work on cars for duration of an event.



 Richard Rodgers, photos FIA WTCR

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/wtcr-race-china-recap-2018---196800.html

06.09.2019 / MaP

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