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WTCC 2017 - MACAU

Domingo, 19 Novembro 2017 15:26 | Actualizado em Segunda, 10 Dezembro 2018 16:02

WTCC JACKPOT IN MACAU: HUFF WINS, MICHELISZ SETS UP QATAR TITLE SHOWDOWN
 

MAIN RACE REPORT: FIA WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Macau, Suncity Group Macau Guia Race
16-19 November 2017, FIA World Touring Car Championship, Rounds 17 and 18 of 20

*Huff claims record-breaking ninth Macau victory to become winner number 10 of 2017
*Michelisz slashes Björk’s championship advantage to 6.5 points with two races left
*Volvo Polestar tops Honda by 12.5 points heading to Middle East season finale

Briton Rob Huff made history by winning for a record-breaking ninth time around the Guia street track as he dominated a wet Main Race at FIA WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Macau while Norbert Michelisz cut Thed Björk’s title lead to 6.5 points with two races left in Qatar next month.

Huff, the 2012 world champion and ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver, kept his head in difficult conditions on the famous 6.120-kilometre circuit to claim his first FIA World Touring Car Championship victory since April 2016 and become WTCC race winner number 10 of 2017.

“Absolutely amazing!” said Huff, whose Citroën C-Elysée had been severely damaged in the incident that had stopped the Opening Race on Saturday. “All credit to the team. They did an unbelievable job to rebuild the car last night. At midnight I didn’t think I had a car for today.”

Sunday morning’s finale started behind the Volvo V60 Polestar safety car after overnight rain led to Macau’s first wet WTCC race, and DHL Pole Position sitter Huff was cautious as racing began on lap three. “For the first lap or two I was really careful on the brakes into Lisboa, which allowed [Norbert] Michelisz to catch up, but the car was awesome,” he said after breaking the record with nine Macau wins, a standard he shared with motorbike racer Michael Rutter prior to the start.

Once he got into his stride, Huff opened up a cushion to Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team driver Norbert Michelisz to win by an impressive 8.142s. The victory was his 29th in the WTCC and puts him equal second in the series’ history books with fellow world champion José María López. It also marks German team ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s first WTCC since May 2014.

While Michelisz’s second place allowed him to close the points gap to fifth-placed Björk, the Hungarian was made to sweat for his result. Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Tom Chilton, who started third on the grid, pushed Michelisz hard for the place in the early stages, until factory Honda driver Esteban Guerrieri drafted past the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC on the run to the fast Mandarin right-hander on lap nine when Chilton lost vital grip going off line after a failed pass on Michelisz. Guerrieri looked set to protect his team-mate’s second place all the way to the chequered flag only to make a mistake on the last lap and run wide, allowing Chilton to pounce and reclaim his first Macau podium, crossing the line right behind Michelisz.

Championship leader Björk finished a distant fifth in his Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60, with Macau veteran Tom Coronel following up his second place in the Opening Race to come home sixth in his ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1.

Reverse-grid Opening Race winner Mehdi Bennani was seventh this time for Sébastien Loeb Racing and drops half a point behind Chilton at the top of the WTCC Trophy ranking. The Moroccan finished ahead of RC Motorsport’s Kevin Gleason in eighth and Néstor Girolami (Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo) in ninth. Zsolt Dávid Szabó’s Zengő Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC rounded out the top 10 to score his first world championship point having turned 22 on Thursday.

His team-mate Dániel Nagy finished P11 while Ma Qing Hua set the fastest lap in P12 as he recovered lost ground for serving a drive-through penalty, handed out after he erroneously overtook Mak Ka Lok before the safety car period had finished. Nicky Catsburg had been in the top 10 but fell back to a distant P13 following contact with team-mate Girolami braking for Lisboa. Yann Ehrlacher, Ryo Michigami, John Filippi and Mak completed the finishers. Po Wah Wong was a non-starter for Campos Racing.

WTCC Race of Qatar, the final event of the 2017 season, takes place at the Losail International Circuit from 30 November-1 December when the FIA World Touring Car Championship for Drivers and Manufacturers, plus the WTCC Trophy will be decided. With 60 points up for grabs, seven drivers are still in mathematical contention for the coveted world title.

RACE WINNER QUOTES (full transcript at http://media.fiawtcc.com)
Rob Huff (Main Race winner): “First of all this is for my ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team. At midnight last night we weren’t going to be racing today but the boys did just the most amazing job to fix the car. We’ve had some rotten luck but Macau has always been good to me, it’s always been lucky for me. To be the most winning driver ever in Macau is something special. I don’t know what it is with this place, it just seems to work, we seem to get very lucky here, maybe it’s because I stay out of the casinos and keep my luck on track. The first two laps were so, so difficult. It’s been an amazing day and my hardest win here.”

OPENING RACE REFRESHER

WTCC MAC3 REFRESHER

RESULTS/STANDINGS


RACE FACTS: Opening Race DHL Pole Position: Mehdi Bennani (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
Main Race DHL Pole Position: Rob Huff (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy: Rob Huff (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) 2m26.469s
NEXT EVENT: FIA WTCC Race of Qatar, Losail International Circuit, 30 November-1 December


 
WTCC Rob Huff-jpg WTCC Race of Macau Main Race podium-jpg WTCC Norbert Michelisz-jpg
 

 
 
 
WTCC Race of Macau Volvo V60 Polestar safety car-jpg WTCC Mehdi Bennani-jpg WTCC Race of Macau family photo-JPG
 


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