WTCR - Ehrlacher wins after Berthon jumps start | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

WTCR - Ehrlacher wins after Berthon jumps start


2020 WTCR Race of Belgium - Race 2 report 

Yann Ehrlacher won Race 2 at WTCR Race of Belgium after DHL Pole Position starter Nathanaël Berthon was penalised for a jumped start, as the first weekend of the 2020 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup ended in a tense climax at Zolder.

The victory marked Ehrlacher’s first in Cyan Racing’s Lynk & Co 03 TCR and his third overall in the WTCR, as his uncle Yvan Muller and WTCR newcomer Santiago Urrutia completed a one-two-three 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 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition safety car to be deployed.

Racing action resumed on lap four, with Berthon pitting for his drive-through penalty at the end of lap five, having backed up Ehrlacher into Magnus’s 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 Goodyear#FollowTheLeader. “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 lock out. 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.

King of WTCR 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 other points finishers were Mikel Azcona in P11 driving Zengő Motorsport’s CUPRA Leon Competición, Dylan O’Keeffe in his Vuković Motorsport Renault, Esteban Guerrieri’s Honda, Berthon and Monteiro.