Yann Ehrlacher battled to a pair of top-10 finishes on the streets of Vila Real to keep himself in contention for the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup.

The Frenchman and his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team-mates Esteban Guerrieri and James Thompson were innocent victims of a major opening-lap incident on Saturday that involved nearly the entire 27-car grid.

While Esteban’s car was able to take Saturday’s re-started race, the Honda Civic Type R TCRs of Yann and James looked beyond repair.

Incredible work overnight by the German team miraculously returned Yann’s car to near-showroom condition, enabling him to qualify fifth and finish the day’s two races in seventh; results that keep him second in the championship at the season’s midway point.

After finishing second on Saturday, Esteban’s car suffered a mechanical issue in qualifying that restricted him to 19th on the grid.

Having been put into the wall in Race Two by another driver, the Argentinian had to start Race Three from the back and came home 13th; the allowed ‘repair time’ not being sufficient to fix the damage to the left-front corner. James’ car was unfortunately too-badly damaged to fix on-site.

Belgian teenager Benjamin Lessennes scored a fine eighth place in Race Three for Boutsen Ginion Racing.

Having started 12th, he took his joker lap early. His team’s canny strategy paid off as several safety-car periods meant that the majority of the field were forced to wait until the final lap, which gained him four places in one go.

Team-mate Tom Coronel showed top-six pace in morning qualifying, but was unlucky to suffer front punctures in Q1 and both races, which ended his chances of adding to his points total.

Portuguese wildcard Jose Rodrigues kept his nose clean as attrition levels were high. Driving an older-spec Civic Type R TCR, the Target Competition racer qualified 23rd and finished Race Two in 16th place.

He was on the verge of a points-scoring top-10 finish in Race Three when he sustained a last-lap front puncture, which put him in the wall. Although he did not cross the finish line, he was classified in 15th spot.

The next WTCR round takes place at the Slovakia Ring near Bratislava, on July 13-14.

Yann Ehrlacher

Yann Ehrlacher 68

“I cannot even begin to describe how amazing the mechanics are in this team. The worked all night without sleep and got my car ready for today’s races. It was a fast car too and if I hadn’t made a mistake on my Q3 lap, I could have been on the front row. Two seventh places could be very important for the championship, because it could easily have been two non-starts today. I’m second in the points and we have a fast car, so there’s every reason to stay optimistic for the next event in Slovakia.”

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Esteban Guerrieri

Esteban Guerrieri 86

“Yesterday we had a great result with a podium, but today didn’t go so well. A couple of little mechanical issues in qualifying left me 19th and put me in fightback mode for the Races. Unfortunately, in Race Two, Frederic Vervisch made a completely amateur move and simply drove me into the wall. The car had too much damage to fix without breaking Parc Ferme and that meant I started last in Race Three. From there, it’s impossible to recover.”

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Benjamin Lessennes

Benjamin Lessennes 63

“I feel pretty good about today. On the one hand, I missed the reversed-grid pole by just two hundredths of a second, but I did the maximum possible with the car in that session. In Race Two I was battling with Nathanael Berthon on the first lap and he came across on me way too late and we had contact, which put me out. In Race Three I went from 12th to eighth because we made a great call on the joker lap strategy, and I have to thank my team for that.”

Boutsen Ginion Racing
Tom Coronel

Tom Coronel 9

“It’s been a frustrating day. I had a front puncture in qualifying, so I hit the wall and had to start at the back. Then I got front punctures in both of the races, which made a good result possible. It’s a real shame because in Q1 the car was extremely fast. I lost a couple of laps because of minor track-limit violations, but my best lap would have put me in Q2 with a top-six time and that speed was genuine as well.”

Boutsen Ginion Racing
Jose Rodrigues

Jose Rodrigues 26

“What a day! I’ve raced here five times now, and that final race today was by far the toughest I’ve had. The heat was incredible and my car is heavier and less powerful than anything else here due to the compensation weight, wildcard weight and BoP, but despite this, I think I could have points in Race Three because I was up from 24th to 12th and keeping pace with Tom Coronel and Esteban Guerrieri. Unfortunately, I got a puncture and hit the wall, but I’m so pleased with the job we’ve done as a team today in the circumstances.”

Target Competition
Dominik Greiner

Dominik Greiner

Team Manager

“Today’s results were only possible because of the incredible effort that the entire team made to get Yann’s car ready. They didn’t sleep and they worked all night and those two seventh places might be the most important results of the year when we get to the crunch time for the championship. They’re superhuman and deserve all the credit. Unfortunately, James’s car wasn’t repairable, and Esteban had some misfortune too, but we’re still in the hunt and we’ll bounce back in Slovakia.”

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Olivia Boutsen

Olivia Boutsen

Team Manager

“It’s been a very hectic weekend, but Benjamin has come through very well with a strong eighth position in Race Three. We had some luck because the number of safety cars in Race Three meant that our joker-lap strategy worked perfectly, but it was also our decision to get him to take it when he did, and that paid off. It’s a real shame that the punctures stopped Tom from scoring the points that he deserved, because he had strong pace today.”

Boutsen Ginion Racing
Andreas Gummerer

Andreas Gummerer

Team Principal

“In the circumstances, today’s race results were OK. It was incredibly tough on track with the temperatures and with a lot of hard racing, so Jose did a good job to be classified in both races. We made some improvements overnight and they definitely made things better today. The reality is we have the oldest car here and the BoP and compensation weight also makes it the heaviest, so keeping up with some of the other cars was a big challenge. It was an interesting experience to come here as a wildcard entrant.”

Target Competition
Mads Fischer

Mads Fischer

TCR Project Leader, JAS Motorsport

“Today showed what incredible levels of team spirit exist within our customer WTCR teams. The Münnich team did an amazing job to fix Yann’s car and Boutsen Ginion Racing have also done a very good job to get both cars on-track today. Yann is still in the hunt and I’m sure the Civic Type R TCR will be competitive when we get to Slovakia next month. I think this weekend we’ve seen a lot of cars take a lot of damage and I’d like to see less contact in races from now on, because nobody benefits when these kinds of weekends happen.”

JAS Motorsport
WTCR Race of Portugal

Circuito Internacional de Vila Real, Portugal

WTCR 2018, Round 5

Sunday 24 Jun 2018, 17:58 Europe/London
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Thed Björk 11 SWE 25 YMR Hyundai 15 laps
2 Gabriele Tarquini 30 ITA 20 BRC Racing Team Hyundai +3.193
3 Norbert Michelisz 5 HUN 16 BRC Racing Team Hyundai +3.640
4 Pepe Oriola 74 SPA 13 Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra +4.170
5 Mato Homola 70 SLK 11 DG Sport Competition Peugeot +4.781
6 Frederic Vervisch 22 BEL 10 Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi +5.205
7 Yann Ehrlacher 68 FRA 9 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +5.796
8 Benjamin Lessennes 63 BEL 8 Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda +6.099
9 Aurélien Panis 21 FRA 7 Comtoyou Racing Audi +6.710
10 Jean-Karl Vernay 69 FRA 6 Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi +7.216
11 Yvan Muller 48 FRA 5 YMR Hyundai +7.534
12 Edgar Florindo 13 AND 4 Veloso Motorsport Cupra +8.965
13 Esteban Guerrieri 86 ARG 3 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +9.318
14 Denis Dupont 20 BEL 2 Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi +9.333
15 Jose Rodrigues 26 POR 1 Target Competition Honda +1 lap
16 John Filippi 27 FRA 0 Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra +DNF
17 Gordon Shedden 52 GBR 0 Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi +DNF
18 Nathanael Berthon 23 FRA 0 Comtoyou Racing Audi +DNF
19 Fabrizio Giovanardi 88 ITA 0 Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo +DNF
20 Zsolt Szabo 66 HUN 0 Zengo Motorsport Cupra +DNF
21 Tom Coronel 9 NDL 0 Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda +DNF
22 Gianni Morbidelli 10 ITA 0 Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo +DNS
23 Zsolt Szabo 66 HUN 0 Zengo Motorsport Cupra +DNS
24 Aurelien Comte 7 AND 0 DG Sport Competition Peugeot +DNS
Sunday 24 Jun 2018, 16:20 Europe/London
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Mato Homola 70 SLK 25 DG Sport Competition Peugeot
2 Yvan Muller 48 FRA 20 YMR Hyundai +0.764
3 Pepe Oriola 74 SPA 16 Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra +2.025
4 Jean-Karl Vernay 69 FRA 13 Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi +3.635
5 Norbert Michelisz 5 HUN 11 BRC Racing Team Hyundai +4.144
6 Gordon Shedden 52 GBR 10 Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi +6.335
7 Yann Ehrlacher 68 FRA 9 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +6.413
8 Aurélien Panis 21 FRA 8 Comtoyou Racing Audi +6.975
9 Gabriele Tarquini 30 ITA 7 BRC Racing Team Hyundai +7.284
10 Thed Björk 11 SWE 6 YMR Hyundai +7.705
11 Fabrizio Giovanardi 88 ITA 5 Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo +13.105
12 John Filippi 27 FRA 4 Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra +14.666
13 Norbert Nagy 8 HUN 3 Zengo Motorsport Cupra +15.376
14 Edgar Florindo 13 AND 2 Veloso Motorsport Cupra +25.558
15 Tom Coronel 9 NDL 1 Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda +29.649
16 Jose Rodrigues 26 POR 0 Target Competition Honda +37.198
17 Frederic Vervisch 22 BEL 0 Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi +58.399
18 Zsolt Szabo 66 HUN 0 Zengo Motorsport Cupra +DNF
19 Benjamin Lessennes 63 BEL 0 Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda +DNF
20 Denis Dupont 20 BEL 0 Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi +DNF
21 Aurelien Comte 7 AND 0 DG Sport Competition Peugeot +DNF
22 Nathanael Berthon 23 FRA 0 Comtoyou Racing Audi +DNF
23 Esteban Guerrieri 86 ARG 0 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +DNF
24 Gianni Morbidelli 10 ITA 0 Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo +DNF
Sunday 24 Jun 2018, 10:39 Europe/London
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Thed Björk 11 SWE YMR Hyundai 1:59.824
2 Norbert Michelisz 5 HUN BRC Racing Team Hyundai 2:00.164
3 Gabriele Tarquini 30 ITA BRC Racing Team Hyundai 2:00.319
4 Pepe Oriola 74 SPA Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra 2:00.426
5 Yann Ehrlacher 68 FRA ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda 2:01.266
6 Aurélien Panis 21 FRA Comtoyou Racing Audi 2:00.627
7 Jean-Karl Vernay 69 FRA Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi 2:00.636
8 Mato Homola 70 SLK DG Sport Competition Peugeot 2:00.637
9 Yvan Muller 48 FRA YMR Hyundai 2:01.011
10 Gordon Shedden 52 GBR Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi 2:01.114
11 John Filippi 27 FRA Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra 2:01.131
12 Benjamin Lessennes 63 BEL Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 2:01.135
13 Nathanael Berthon 23 FRA Comtoyou Racing Audi 2:01.626
14 Aurelien Comte 7 AND DG Sport Competition Peugeot 2:01.654
15 Fabrizio Giovanardi 88 ITA Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 2:01.721
16 Norbert Nagy 8 HUN Zengo Motorsport Cupra 2:01.750
17 Edgar Florindo 13 AND Veloso Motorsport Cupra 2:01.809
18 Denis Dupont 20 BEL Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi 2:01.983
19 Esteban Guerrieri 86 ARG ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda 2:02.345
20 Gianni Morbidelli 10 ITA Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 2:02.421
21 Frederic Vervisch 22 BEL Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi 2:02.726
22 Zsolt Szabo 66 HUN Zengo Motorsport Cupra 2:03.115
23 Jose Rodrigues 26 POR Target Competition Honda 2:03.593
24 Tom Coronel 9 NDL Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 2:06.503
Saturday 23 Jun 2018, 18:51 Europe/London
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Yvan Muller 48 FRA 25 YMR Hyundai 13 laps
2 Esteban Guerrieri 86 ARG 20 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +2.060
3 Pepe Oriola 74 SPA 16 Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra +10.596
4 Gabriele Tarquini 30 ITA 13 BRC Racing Team Hyundai +12.925
5 Jean-Karl Vernay 69 FRA 11 Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi +13.926
6 Aurelien Comte 7 AND 10 DG Sport Competition Peugeot +14.186
7 Benjamin Lessennes 63 BEL 9 Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda +16.696
8 Nathanael Berthon 23 FRA 8 Comtoyou Racing Audi +19.937
9 Gordon Shedden 52 GBR 7 Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi +20.169
10 Frederic Vervisch 22 BEL 6 Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi +20.678
11 Fabrizio Giovanardi 88 ITA 5 Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo +21.728
12 Mato Homola 70 SLK 4 DG Sport Competition Peugeot +22.669
13 Edgar Florindo 13 AND 3 Veloso Motorsport Cupra +50.040
14 Norbert Nagy 8 HUN 2 Zengo Motorsport Cupra +50.451
15 Zsolt Szabo 66 HUN 1 Zengo Motorsport Cupra +1:05.510
16 Aurélien Panis 21 FRA 0 Comtoyou Racing Audi +DNF
17 Denis Dupont 20 BEL 0 Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi +DNF
18 Tom Coronel 9 NDL 0 Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda +DNF
19 Jose Rodrigues 26 POR 0 Target Competition Honda +DNF
20 Yann Ehrlacher 68 FRA 0 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +DNS
21 James Thompson 15 GBR 0 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +DNS
22 Thed Björk 11 SWE 0 YMR Hyundai +DNS
23 Norbert Michelisz 5 HUN 0 BRC Racing Team Hyundai +DNS
24 Gianni Morbidelli 10 ITA 0 Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo +DNS
25 John Filippi 27 FRA 0 Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra +DNS
26 Mehdi Bennani 25 MAR 0 Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen +DNS
27 Rob Huff 12 GBR 0 Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen +DNS
Saturday 23 Jun 2018, 14:00 Europe/London
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Rob Huff 12 GBR Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen 2:00.924
2 Mehdi Bennani 25 MAR Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen +2:00.951
3 Norbert Michelisz 5 HUN BRC Racing Team Hyundai +2:01.280
4 Yann Ehrlacher 68 FRA ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +2:01.445
5 Thed Björk 11 SWE YMR Hyundai +2:01.683
6 Yvan Muller 48 FRA YMR Hyundai +2:01.785
7 John Filippi 27 FRA Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra +2:02.075
8 Esteban Guerrieri 86 ARG ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +2:02.109
9 Gabriele Tarquini 30 ITA BRC Racing Team Hyundai +2:02.168
10 Jean-Karl Vernay 69 FRA Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi +2:02.357
11 James Thompson 15 GBR ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +2:02.540
12 Zsolt Szabo 66 HUN Zengo Motorsport Cupra +2:02.592
13 Pepe Oriola 74 SPA Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra +2:02.742
14 Benjamin Lessennes 63 BEL Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda +2;02.882
15 Aurelien Comte 7 AND DG Sport Competition Peugeot +2:02.942
16 Tom Coronel 9 NDL Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda +2:03.211
17 Nathanael Berthon 23 FRA Comtoyou Racing Audi +2:03.223
18 Gordon Shedden 52 GBR Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi +2:03.333
19 Frederic Vervisch 22 BEL Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi +2:03.390
20 Fabrizio Giovanardi 88 ITA Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo +2:03.412
21 Aurélien Panis 21 FRA Comtoyou Racing Audi +2:03.469
22 Mato Homola 70 SLK DG Sport Competition Peugeot +2:03.479
23 Norbert Nagy 8 HUN Zengo Motorsport Cupra +2:03.710
24 Gianni Morbidelli 10 ITA Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo +2:03.958
25 Denis Dupont 20 BEL Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi +2:04.450
26 Edgar Florindo 13 AND Veloso Motorsport Cupra +2:05.462
27 Jose Rodrigues 26 POR Target Competition Honda +No time
Driver Standings
Sunday, 24 Jun 2018
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Yvan MULLER 48 FRA 182 YMR Hyundai
2 Gabriele TARQUINI 30 ITA 160 BRC Racing Team Hyundai
3 Yann EHRLACHER 68 FRA 160 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda
4 Thed BJöRK 11 SWE 148 YMR Hyundai
5 Jean-Karl VERNAY 69 FRA 146 Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi
6 Norbert MICHELISZ 5 HUN 135 BRC Racing Team Hyundai
7 Rob HUFF 12 GBR 130 Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen
8 Esteban GUERRIERI 86 ARG 129 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda
9 Pepe ORIOLA 74 SPA 113 Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra
10 Frederic VERVISCH 22 BEL 77 Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi
11 Gordon SHEDDEN 52 GBR 70 Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi
12 Aurelien COMTE 7 AND 68 DG Sport Competition Peugeot
13 Mehdi BENNANI 25 MAR 63 Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen
14 Benjamin LESSENNES 63 BEL 48 Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda
15 Mato HOMOLA 70 SLK 38 DG Sport Competition Peugeot
16 Dániel NAGY HUN 36 M1RA Hyundai
17 James THOMPSON 15 GBR 27 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda
18 Nathanael BERTHON 23 FRA 16 Comtoyou Racing Audi
19 Tom CORONEL 9 NDL 16 Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda
20 Rene RAST 33 GER 10 Audi Sport Team WRT Audi
21 Aurélien PANIS 21 FRA 8 Comtoyou Racing Audi
22 John FILIPPI 27 FRA 3 Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra
23 Zsolt SZABO 66 HUN 2 Zengo Motorsport Cupra