Esteban Guerrieri regained the lead of the Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship following two epic contests at a virtual Slovakia Ring tonight, broadcast on Eurosport and other channels around the world.
But despite moving four points clear of ‘home’ racer Mato Homola, the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda driver from Argentina was unable to add to his victory tally, instead settling for second place in Race 1, behind Cyan Racing Lynk & Co’s Yann Ehrlacher, and fourth in Race 2.
It was Ehrlacher’s first Pre-season Esports WTCR triumph, the Frenchman converting his DHL Pole Position to become the fifth different winner out of six races on the RaceRoom Racing Experience platform. Niels Langeveld (Netherlands) snatched third place from Hungary’s Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse) in the closing corners to complete the Race 1 podium in his Comtoyou Team Audi Sport entry.
Attila Tassi (Hungary) made the most of his reverse-grid Race 2 pole to win for a second time in Pre-season Esports WTCR, the first driver to do so, in his ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda, ahead of CUPRA driver Mikel Azcona (Spain) and Homola (BRC Racing Team Hyundai).
With the real WTCR set to visit the Slovakia Ring in October, the Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship counter provided an exciting virtual taster of what’s to come in a few months from now. It also further underlined the fact the remaining three events of the Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship, which is exclusively for WTCR drivers, are not to be missed given the action-packed spectacle served up tonight.
All the action from the Slovakia Ring will be replayed on the WTCR’s social media channels from 09h00 CET tomorrow (Monday).
RESULTS AT A GLANCE
1 Yann Ehrlacher (France) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 0 TCR
2 Esteban Guerrieri (Argentina) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR
3 Niels Langeveld (Netherlands) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport
DHL Pole: Yann Ehrlacher (France) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 0 TCR
Fastest lap: Niels Langeveld (Netherlands) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport
1 Attila Tassi (Hungary) ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR
2 Mikel Azcona (Spain) CUPRA Racing CUPRA Leon Competición
3 Mato Homola (Slovakia) BRC Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR
DHL Pole: Attila Tassi (Hungary) ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR
Fastest lap: Yann Ehrlacher (France) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 0 TCR
Lap 1: For the third time of asking the DHL pole-sitter isn’t delayed at the first corner, as had been the case at Salzburgring and Hungaroring, with Ehrlacher keeping his place through the T1 right-hander. Girolami, from fifth on the grid, passes Langeveld for third around the outside at T1 and closes on Michelisz in second. Guerrieri pressures Langeveld, Ceccon muscles ahead of Björk, who then has a brush with Monteiro.
Lap 2: Langeveld gets a run on Girolami at the super-fast T2 but there’s no way through. Ehrlacher edges ahead in the lead, Azcona closes up to Langeveld.
Lap 3: Guerrieri demotes Michelisz in second on the inside at T3, Girolami has similar ambitions but there’s contact between him and Michelisz. However, Girolami makes it through, as does Langeveld followed by Azcona.
Lap 4: Langeveld makes more progress with a pass on Girolami for third at T1. Girolami tries to retake the place on the outside at T3, there’s a clash and in the confusion that follows, Michelisz is back up to third from sixth. Tassi overtakes Girolami, Langeveld is fourth behind Michelisz but coming under pressure from Tassi.
Lap 5: Michelisz begins to pull clear in third, Girolami repasses Tassi at T1 but goes wide at T3 and also loses out to Homola. They battle hard and make contact.
Lap 6: What appears to be a small advantage for Michelisz in third is no more as Langeveld is firmly on the Hyundai driver’s tail. They’re alongside each other on the exit on T1 and there’s contact on the run to T2. Azcona nudges Girolami wide nearing the end of the lap for seventh, as Langeveld gets ahead of Michelisz for third with a late pass.
Lap 1: Behind DHL pole-sitter Tasssi, Boldizs makes a great start from P3 to briefly hold second but Monteiro has other ideas at T1 and Azcona follows him through. Homola demotes Boldizs to fifth at T3. Azcona gets ahead of Monteiro for second and there’s light contact between several drivers.
Lap 2: Homola takes third from Monteiro − whose defensive opening lap allows Tassi to open up a slight margin − on the entry to T3, Guerrieri and Michelisz battle over fifth place.
Lap 3: Michelisz is the next driver to find a way by simracing novice Monteiro, taking fourth on the run to T1. Guerrieri gets ahead of Monteiro at T2 before Girolami takes sixth from Monteiro at T3. Ehrlacher, in eighth, closes on Monteiro.
Lap 4: Guerrieri is now right behind Michelisz in the battle for fourth, Langeveld hits Boldizs as Ceccon and Muller scrap for points.
Lap 5: Guerrieri takes Michelisz for fourth on the exit of T1. Coronel, who has run as high as eighth, goes off but makes it to the finish in P14.
THE WINNERS SAID WHAT?
Yann Ehrlacher (Race 1): “We can call it the first win of the season, even if it’s esports. It was a good race, I finally managed to make a race from lap one to the end without any crashes. Well done to the two other guys with me on the podium, and we come back maybe with the points a little bit in the championship. I’m pleased with this.”
Attila Tassi (Race 2): “First of all I have to say a big thanks to Tiago, I think I owe him a beer now. He made a little bit of bodyguard and from that, from lap two, I knew I had to go 100 per cent, not make any mistake. I took care of my tyres, it was not my maximum. Obviously, I was pushing quite hard because I saw Mikel catching me with Homola, but the gap was enough. I’m very happy with this second win and I hope to keep this rhythm in the rest of the season.”
Race 1 (12 minutes, 6 laps):
1 Yann Ehrlacher (FRA), Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR, 13m02.393s
2 Esteban Guerrieri (ARG), ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR +2.104s
3 Niels Langeveld (NLD), Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS +4.913s
4 Norbert Michelisz (HUN), BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse, Hyundai i30 N TCR +5.038s
5 Attila Tassi (HUN), ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR +6.102s
6 Mato Homola (SVK), BRC Racing Team, Hyundai i30 N TCR +7.086s
7 Mikel Azcona (ESP), CUPRA Racing, CUPRA Leon Competición +7.780s
8 Néstor Girolami (ARG), ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR +7.907s
9 Bence Boldizs (HUN), Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición +14.144
10 Aurélien Comte (France) DG Sport Compétition Peugeot 308TCR +14.195s
Race 2 (12 minutes, 6 laps):
1 Attila Tassi (HUN), ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, 13m04.524s
2 Mikel Azcona (ESP), CUPRA Racing, CUPRA Leon Competición +0.793s
3 Mato Homola (SVK), BRC Racing Team, Hyundai i30 N TCR +1.566s
4 Esteban Guerrieri (ARG), ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR +2.068s
5 Norbert Michelisz (HUN), BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse, Hyundai i30 N TCR +2.630s
6 Néstor Girolami (ARG), ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR +4.003s
7 Yann Ehrlacher (FRA), Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR +4.141s
8 Niels Langeveld (NLD), Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS +6.604s
9 Bence Boldizs (HUN), Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición +8.015s
10 Tiago Monteiro (PRT), ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR +8.695s
PROVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 6 OF 12:
1 Esteban Guerrieri (Argentina), ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, 99 points
2 Mato Homola (Slovakia), BRC Racing Team, 95
3 Yann Ehrlacher (France), Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, 89
4 Norbert Michelisz (Hungary), BRC N Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse, 89
5 Attila Tassi (Hungary), ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport, 83
6 Mikel Azcona (Spain), CUPRA Racing, 79
7 Néstor Girolami (Argentina), ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, 68
8 Niels Langeveld (Netherlands), Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, 65
9 Bence Boldizs (Hungary), Zengő Motorsport, 55
10 Yvan Muller (France), Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, 33
The Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship heads next to a virtual Ningo International Speedpark in China on 5 July with all the action on Eurosport at 23h00 CET, subject to final scheduling.
Missed the action? Missing Tarquini?
Catch the replays on the WTCR’s social media channels from 09h00 CET tomorrow (Monday). And watch out for a surprise appearance by inaugural WTCR title winner Gabriele Tarquini, from BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse. Not a fan of online racing, Tarquini elected not to take part in the Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship so has been training on two wheels instead…
The Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship explained
Held over six weekends until 19 July on the RaceRoom Racing Experience platform, the Pre-season Sports WTCR Championship gives fans the chance to watch virtual WTCR racing with a difference.
All drivers taking part will have a webcam and microphone connected, making it possible for viewers to see and hear their heroes during the races. The microphone feature will also allow drivers to be interviewed as well as interacting with their rivals. Videos of drivers on their simulators, at home and enjoying some fun moments will also be shared during the one-hour shows.
New-for-2020-liveries will be used with six epic tracks, including three that will feature in the real WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup, providing the challenge.
Each Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship event will feature a 10-minute qualifying session followed by a top-five Superpole shootout, which will be included in the official broadcast.
Race 1 will last for 12 minutes with the grid using the combined qualifying results. Race 2 will also last for 12 minutes but with the top 10 qualifying results reversed to form the first five rows of the grid. Cars will appear as they will look when the WTCR begins, as planned, for real later this year.
Making it happen for the fans
Organised to give WTCR drivers the chance to engage with fans through the WTCR’s social media platforms while they wait the start of the 2020 campaign and a prelude to the full Esports WTCR online championship due to begin later this year, the Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship from RaceRoom in partnership with Eurosport Events lists Goodyear, TAG Heuer, DHL, KW Suspensions, TrackTime and Liqui Moly as partners with a TAG Heuer watch going to the champion. The series will promote the FIA’s #RaceAtHome campaign.
More than a game: Click here to view the Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship announcement.