Yann Ehrlacher won Race 2 of the FIA WTCR Race of Belgium after pole-sitter Nathanaël Berthon was penalised for a jumped start.
The victory marked Ehrlacher’s first in Cyan Racing’s Lynk & Co 03 TCR and his third overall in the series, as his uncle Yvan Muller and WTCR newcomer Santiago Urrutia completed a 1-2-3 for the Chinese customer racing brand after they passed FIA Rookie Award winner and home hero Gilles Magnus, who was struggling with a fuel pump issue in his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS.
Berthon was creeping forward from his DHL pole as the red lights went out at the start, leaving Ehrlacher safe in the knowledge he was the de facto leader in the early laps. Behind them, Race 1 podium finishers Thed Björk and Attila Tassi collided at the chicane, Tassi’s Honda delayed and Björk’s Lynk & Co clouting the tyre stack and retiring on the spot with damage, forcing the safety car to be deployed.
Racing action resumed on Lap 4, with Berthon pitting for his drive-through penalty at the end of Lap 5, having backed up Ehrlacher into teammate Magnus’ close-following Audi. But once Berthon was out of the way, Ehrlacher was able to open up a decisive gap.
“The start was not bad, although the first couple of corners were messy,” said Ehrlacher, who leaves Zolder as the championship leader. “But I saw Berthon had jumped the start so I just waited. I was pleased with my pace in the race so I’m pleased to score my first victory for Cyan Racing.”
Magnus looked set for a strong podium at his home circuit on his WTCR debut, only for Muller to force him into a mistake at the chicane on Lap 15 of 18, with Urrutia soon following the Frenchman through to complete the Lynk & Co podium lockout. Magnus was just relieved to finish as the fuel pump problem cut power.
The RACB National Team Driver held on to finish a still strong fourth and add the WTCR Trophy win to his FIA Rookie Award victory, ahead of Race 1 winner Néstor Girolami in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR. In fifth place, Tom Coronel completed a strong outing in his Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMS, ahead of Jean-Karl Vernay’s Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris.
Defending WTCR champion Norbert Michelisz finished seventh in his BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR, ahead of fellow Hyundai runners Nicky Catsburg and Luca Engstler in their Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team entries.
The race finished under caution after FIA Rookie Award contender Jack Young was punted off by a recovering Tassi. Northern Irishman Young, 18, had impressed by holding off the hugely experienced Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro earlier on in the race in his first WTCR weekend. Driving for Vuković Motorsport, his Renault Mégane RS TCR ended the race beached in the gravel through no fault of his own.
The second round of the FIA WTCR season is the Race of Germany at the iconic Nürburgring Nordschleife, with a pair of races on September 25 and 26.
|2020 FIA WTCR Race of Belgium – Race 2 Final Classification (18 laps)|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|1.||Yann Ehrlacher||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||18||33:47.255|
|2.||Yvan Muller||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||18||+ 0.870|
|3.||Santiago Urrutia||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||18||+ 1.376|
|4.||Gilles Magnus||Comtoyou Racing||18||+ 1.940|
|5.||Néstor Girolami||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||18||+ 2.617|
|6.||Tom Coronel||Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport||18||+ 5.694|
|7.||Jean-Karl Vernay||Team Mulsanne||18||+ 7.395|
|8.||Norbert Michelisz||BRC LUKOIL Squadra Corse||18||+ 8.128|
|9.||Nicky Catsburg||Engstler Liqui Moly Racing Team||18||+ 8.678|
|10.||Luca Engstler||Engstler Liqui Moly Racing Team||18||+ 9.715|
|11.||Mikel Azcona||Zengő Motorsport Services KFT||18||+ 9.999|
|12.||Dylan O’Keeffe (WC)||Vuković Motorsport||18||+ 10.173|
|13.||Esteban Guerrieri||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||18||+ 11.175|
|14.||Nathanaël Berthon||Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport||18||+ 14.981|
|15.||Gabriele Tarquini||BRC LUKOIL Squadra Corse||18||+ 18.354|
|16.||Luca Filippi (WC)||Team Mulsanne||18||+ 20.851|
|17.||Bence Boldizs||Zengő Motorsport Services KFT||18||+ 21.360|
|18.||Gábor Kismarty-Lechner||Zengő Motorsport Services KFT||18||+ 21.613|
|19.||Tiago Monteiro||ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport||18||+ 25.688|
|20.||Attila Tassi||ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport||18||+ 48.018|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Reason|
|DNF.||Jack Young||Vuković Motorsport||15||Collision|
|DNF.||Thed Björk||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||0||Accident|
- The top fifteen classified finishers (excluding wildcard entries) and their respective teams are awarded championship points on a 25-20-16-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 sliding scale.
- Attila Tassi was issued a drive-through penalty (applied as a 30-second time penalty) for causing a collision with Jack Young.
- Tiago Monteiro was issued a 10-second time penalty for colliding with Jack Young and gaining a position.
Images and text via FIA WTCR Media
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