The 2017 World Touring Car Championship season has seen the fourth different manufacturer claim victory after four races, with Thed Björk winning the Main Race after overtaking Tiago Monteiro’s Honda.
The Swede had claimed pole position in dominant fashion in Saturday’s qualifying session, but was jumped by a better-starting Monteiro off the line and dropped to second place behind the Portuguese driver.
The situation didn’t stay that way for long, as Björk was able to retake the lead from the Honda driver at the Parabolica at the end of the second lap and then steadily pull away.
Monteiro was left to defend from Münnich Motorsport Citroën driver Rob Huff among a train of cars which included Nicky Catsburg’s Volvo, Norbert Michelisz Honda and the third Volvo of Néstor Girolami.
The day’s earlier race-winner Tom Chilton ran in eighth place until his Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën suffered a loss of drive at the exit of the Ascari chicane, triggering a brief Safety Car interruption to allow the marshals to safely remove his stricken car.
Björk was left with it all to do again, but managed to quickly eke out a gap over the Monteiro-Huff-Catsburg scrap for second place. That running order remained for the rest of the race, with Björk’s victory moving him into second place in the Drivers’ Championship standings, just seven points behind Monteiro.
Huff completed the podium ahead of Catsburg, while Girolami managed to out-sprint Michelisz on the run to the chequered flag to snatch fifth place by one-thousandth of a second.
Mehdi Bennani was seventh in his SLR Citroën – repaired after his clumsy Opening Race collision with Michelisz – ahead of Campos Racing’s Esteban Guerrieri, Yann Ehrlacher’s LADA and the third SLR Citroën of John Filippi.
The World Touring Car Championship will stage its third round of the 2017 season in two weeks’ time at the Hungaroring.
|2017 FIA WTCC Oscaro Race of Italy – Main Race Final Classification (12 laps)|
|1.||Thed Björk||Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60 TC1||23:51.974||MF|
|2.||Tiago Monteiro||Castrol Honda WTCC Team Civic WTCC||+ 2.174||MF|
|3.||Rob Huff||Münnich Motorsport Citroën C-Elysée||+ 2.779||IND|
|4.||Nick Catsburg||Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60 TC1||+ 3.269||MF|
|5.||Néstor Girolami||Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60 TC1||+ 6.180||MF|
|6.||Norbert Michelisz||Castrol Honda WTCC Team Civic WTCC||+ 6.181||MF|
|7.||Mehdi Bennani||Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée||+ 9.582||IND|
|8.||Esteban Guerrieri||Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze||+ 11.522||IND|
|9.||Yann Ehrlacher||RC Motorsport LADA Vesta WTCC||+ 11.877||IND|
|10.||John Filippi||Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée||+ 12.077||IND|
|11.||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze||+ 12.836||IND|
|12.||Aurélien Panis||Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC||+ 16.637||IND|
|13.||Kevin Gleason||RC Motorsport LADA Vesta WTCC||+ 19.306||IND|
|DNF.||Dániel Nagy||Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC||Mechanical||IND|
|DNF.||Tom Chilton||Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée||Mechanical||IND|
|DNF.||Ryo Michigami||Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC||Mechanical||MF|
* Post-Race Penalties:
- To be advised
Images via Polestar Cyan Racing