Michelisz takes WTCR drivers’ championship lead
Our customer, BRC Racing Team, is celebrating a race win and three podium finishes at Race of China, the seventh round of the 2019 WTCR – World Touring Car Cup season.
Taking place this weekend (September 13-15), Race of China saw BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse driver Norbert Michelisz take the lead of the drivers’ championship thanks to a strong performance at the Ningbo circuit. He now has a 16-point advantage over his closest rivals.
China in hand
“There’s still a long way to go, but it is always nice to be leading the pack rather than be the one chasing,” said Norbert after his Race 2 victory.
His team-mate Gabriele Tarquini came back fighting from a difficult Saturday to secure two podium finishes, one alongside the Hungarian in Race 2. He improved two places in the drivers’ standings to now lie in eighth.
“I was very pleased to be back on the podium twice after a long break and I’m very happy for the team,” said Gabriele.
The team consolidated its third place in the championship, just 36 points from the leader.
The i30 N TCR showed competitive pace at the 4.010km Ningbo circuit with all four BRC Racing Team cars qualifying in the top ten for Sunday’s races.
Augusto Farfus retired from Race 2 after contact on the first lap, but bounced back to finish in fourth in the final race of the weekend.
“Of course we are here to win races but I can be content with fourth place and I go home with a smile on my face,” said Augusto.
Team-mate Nicky Catsburg was in podium contention in both of Sunday’s races, though misfortune on track ultimately hampered his final results.
“I think the pace was good throughout the weekend and I had two good qualifying sessions but unfortunately in the races I was a little bit unlucky with some of the crazy moves,” said Nicky.
The BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team is fourth in the team’s standings with Augusto and Nicky 10th and 11th in the drivers’ championship respectively.
Team Principal of BRC Racing Team Gabriele Rizzo said: “Overall, we have to be happy with our result at WTCR Race of China. The hard work of our team over the summer paid us dividends. We deserve all the points we were able to collect here in Ningbo and we have to be proud we got them thanks to our own sweat without any other help. All four Hyundai i30 N TCR cars had the pace to fight for podium positions on Sunday and though it was Norbert and Gabriele this time, it could also have been Augusto and Nicky in their position. Norbert now leads the drivers’ championship by 16 points and we reduced the gap to the lead in the teams’ standings. We need to stay focussed on the continuous improvement in our performance and reliability; there is still a long way to go.”
WTCR will return on October 25-27 for Race of Japan.