Esteban Guerrieri made it a double podium for the Honda Civic Type R TCR with a gritty drive to third place in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup at Ningbo International Speedpark in China.
Having finished second in Saturday’s opener, the Argentinian driver magnificently rose through the field from eighth on the partially-reversed Race Two grid and snatched his fifth rostrum finish of the year for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport.
His aim to make it a triple podium in Race Three was thwarted after just half a lap when a rival driver turned in on him while trying to defend second position and bent Esteban’s right-front suspension.
The Münnich team had suffered an already challenging day. Holding third for most of Race Two, Yann Ehrlacher was barged out of the position – and into a half-spin that cost him six more places – with just two laps remaining.
A hard hit from another car on the final lap not only put him out, but also required extensive work by his team to replace the car’s left-rear corner. Due to the short time gap between races, he was forced to start from the pitlane. He finished 19th.
A first-lap puncture in the earlier race caused an unplanned pitstop for Timo Scheider and destroyed any hope of a good result, but a gutsy drive by the German in a red-flagged Race Three meant he ended his first weekend in front-wheel-drive machinery with 11th place.
Boutsen Ginion Racing’s Ma Qinghua was one of the stars of qualifying. After going eighth-fastest in Q1, he had hopes of making the single-lap Q3 pole shoot-out, but a broken anti-roll bar restricted him to 12th on the grid.
After setting laptimes on a par with the leaders, late contact with another car removed a potentially points-paying result in Race Two. The resultant mechanical damage was enough to prevent him starting the finale.
Team-mate Tom Coronel continued his trend of making big gains in the races compared to qualifying. Twice starting 23rd, he finished 16th and 17th.
The series continues next weekend in the City of Wuhan in central China.