Esteban Guerrieri bagged a podium and two further top-10 finishes on an otherwise testing day for the Münnich Motorsport teams in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup at the Slovakiaring.
The 2019 WTCR runner-up showed the full range of his skills on Sunday – first by rising up the race-one order to finish fourth, then fending off faster cars to bag his second podium of the campaign in race two, before a similar performance in the finale as he finished seventh.
Esteban made an outstanding charge during race one; despite slipping a couple of positions at the start, he had battled back into his starting position of ninth by the end of the first lap, and gained another place on lap two.
As the pack ahead – which included his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team-mate Nestor Girolami – squabbled for position, Esteban used the opportunity to get involved and followed ‘Bebu’ through as the pair jumped up to fourth and fifth, with an unplanned but ultimately fair battle between the pair going in Esteban’s favour on the final lap.
Esteban went one better in race two, as he took advantage of the front three tripping over each other into Turn 1 at the start of the race to grab the lead.
Having spent four laps behind the Safety Car, the Argentinian maintained the lead on the restart and led the majority of the race thereafter, but was ultimately powerless to prevent two cars from passing him on the run to Turn 1 three laps from the finish.
Seventh in race three brought Esteban’s total for the weekend to 48 points, and means he is now the best-placed Honda driver in the standings in fifth.
Nestor started race two from pole and, despite losing ground when he was hit at the start, was on course to score another top-five finish before his race weekend came to an untimely end.
Having started the final lap fourth, Nestor was attempting to defend his position on the run out of Turn 1 when he was tagged from behind. That sent his car out of control at high speed into the inside barrier, with a hefty impact sending the car airborne briefly.
Nestor was taken to the medical centre and checked over before being sent to a local hospital, but was discharged on Sunday evening and returned to the track.
Race two also marked the end of the weekend for ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport driver Attila Tassi.
Attila made a good getaway from 11th on the grid, but was part of a four-car, side-by-side battle on the run to Turn 2 that ultimately ended his race.
Tapped from behind, Attila was a passenger as he made slight contact with one car on the inside, before a bigger hit with another to his left that took both cars out.
Despite the disappointment of his early finish, Attila was still able to reflect on a strong showing in race one.
Starting 16th, Attila was one of only two drivers to make the bold choice of picking full slicks on a damp but drying track. The Hungarian dropped back at the start, but brought his Honda Civic Type R TCR to life in the second half of the race as conditions continued to improve, rising to 11th by the finish.
Tiago Monteiro was another frustrated driver, as yet another race weekend failed to go to plan.
The Portuguese, who sacrificed his qualifying to tow the rest of the Münnich drivers, felt comfortable with his car in the mixed conditions of race one as he finished 13th, then registered a ninth-place finish in race two after fighting his way back up the order and avoiding trouble.
However, Tiago retired two laps from the finish of the final race with radiator damage while again running in the points.
The Münnich Motorsport teams now face a tight turnaround, with the Hungaroring hosting the fourth round of the WTCR season next weekend.