Benjamin Lessennes scored a strong fifth place on the first day of WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup racing at the Slovakia Ring near Bratislava.
The Belgian started third on the partially-reversed grid and, after losing positions at the start, made up several places during the first half of the race to take his third top-five finish of 2018 for Boutsen Ginion Racing. He climbed from 23rd on the Race-One grid to 20th by the chequered flag.
His team-mate Tom Coronel started Race One from a season’s-best sixth place after an impressive run in qualifying and followed that up with seventh in the race – equalling his best result of 2018.
Unfortunately, a damper issue on the Race Two formation lap prevented him from taking the start and adding to his points total for the day.
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver Yann Ehrlacher maintained his third place in the Drivers’ Championship with a hard-fought sixth place in Race One.
The Frenchman agonisingly missed out on a spot in Q2 later in the day by just three hundredths of a second, meaning he qualified 13th. From there, he made up three positions to finish Race Two in 10th.
His team-mate Esteban Guerrieri was an impressive third-fastest in qualifying, which put him eighth on Race Two’s partially-reversed grid. After being forced to race with his qualifying set-up, he found the balance of the Civic Type R TCR was not ideal and finished ninth.
In the earlier race, which he started from sixth, opening-lap contact from a rival driver broke a left-rear toe-link and necessitated a pitstop for repairs, which dropped him out of contention.
The results from Race Two remain provisional pending the result of protests lodged by ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport and Boutsen Ginion Racing against exclusion from Saturday qualifying due to what were deemed to be incorrect boost pressures on all three cars.