The Honda Civic Type R TCR scored a hard-fought points finish in the first of three WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup races at the Wuhan street circuit in China on Saturday.

Esteban Guerrieri, who put his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport machine 11th on the grid in an ultra-close qualifying session, started strongly to climb to ninth and made up more ground after an early-race safety-car period to finish seventh.

His team-mate Yann Ehrlacher had climbed from seventh to third and eventually finished fourth on the road after a resolute defence of the final podium position for half the race.

Unfortunately, after the race, he was judged to have jumped the start and was penalised 30 seconds, dropping him to 18th.

Timo Scheider, in the third of the German-run Hondas, started 17th and – like his team-mates – gained several positions at the start. Unfortunately for the two-time DTM, champion, he was forced to pit with a technical issue and finished five laps down in 19th.

Local hero Ma Qinghua qualified 15th, but started 19th due to a penalty carried over from Ningbo. The Boutsen Ginion Racing driver started strongly, but his highlight came during the second half of the race when he passed four cars in one lap to finish a season’s-best 11th.

Team-mate Tom Coronel started 21st, despite only qualifying one second away from pole – and 0.3 seconds away from the sixth row. After making up a spot at the start, his race ended after early contact at Turn One.

 

Esteban Guerrieri

Esteban Guerrieri 86

“That was a very tough race, but it’s a positive sign that I’ve finished four places higher than where I started, and that I managed to overtake on a very tight track. We made a big improvement with the speed of the car overnight, but I need to get some more confidence to really push for the consistency I need over a race distance. The team here is very experienced and they know a few things we can change to get ourselves further up the order tomorrow.”

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Yann Ehrlacher

Yann Ehrlacher 68

The race went extremely well and with the conditions out there being so hot, it was incredibly demanding in the car. I made a great start – too great, as it turned out – and was third, but I destroyed my front tyres defending my position, so when Gordon Shedden came up to pass me, I decided not to make it difficult because there was no reason to maybe throw away solid points. I think that’s one of my best drives of the year, so that makes it doubly disappointing to lose the result to the penalty. Tomorrow will be a better day.”

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Timo Scheider

Timo Scheider 42

Qualifying was incredibly close with 23 cars covered by one second, so to start 17th does show some progress from Ningbo. The race was going even better, but I had a warning light come on after a couple of laps, and then after the safety car I felt something wasn’t quite right so I pitted. The guys changed the sparkplugs and I went out and finished. The car felt fast once we solved that issue, so I’m optimistic we can be higher up tomorrow.”

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Qinghua Ma

Qinghua Ma 55

“From where I started, I’m quite satisfied with my race result. The car was consistent and seemed to get better as the race went on. I was quite cautious at the start because the road looked pretty blocked in front of me and I wanted to avoid getting involved in an incident. Then I just waited for the race to settle down, latched on to Thed Bjork and then managed to pass four cars – including three World Champions – on one lap. There are some improvements we need to make, but I’m feeling good about Sunday’s two races.”

Boutsen Ginion Racing
Tom Coronel

Tom Coronel 9

“It was a pretty short race. I saw some cars fighting ahead of me and was deciding where to place my car and I just braked too late and had contact with Fabrizio Giovanardi. It’s a shame, because although I started 21st, the car felt more to my liking in qualifying than it has done since the summer break, and that’s encouraging. I was only 0.3 seconds away from 12th on the grid, and I think we can make some gains overnight and see what we can fight for tomorrow.”

Boutsen Ginion Racing
Dominik Greiner

Dominik Greiner

Team Manager

“On the track today I was very pleased with the performance. All three cars were more competitive in qualifying than they had been in practice, and they each made another performance gain in the race. Yann’s race was magnificent; he defended like a lion, but unfortunately he’s been given a penalty after the race. Esteban and Timo have both found extra pace and we’re now looking at ways of improving things again tomorrow.”

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Olivia Boutsen

Olivia Boutsen

Team Manager

“It’s been a strong race for Ma Qinghua, who has taken his best result since joining our team, and had an incredible lap when he overtook four cars – on a street circuit! He’s finished ahead of many world champions and the current WTCR leader today so he can be very pleased with that. Some points tomorrow would be what he deserves. Tom’s race was unfortunately short, but he’s extremely resilient and, importantly, he’s feeling happier in the car.”

Boutsen Ginion Racing
WTCR Race of China – Wuhan

Wuhan Street Circuit, China

WTCR 2018, Round 8

Saturday 6 Oct 2018, 09:48 Europe/London
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Total Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Jean-Karl Vernay 69 FRA 27 25 Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi 20 laps
2 Pepe Oriola 74 SPA 20 20 Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra +4.913
3 Gordon Shedden 52 GBR 17 16 Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi +5.513
4 Frederic Vervisch 22 BEL 14 13 Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi +10.070
5 Aurelien Comte 7 AND 12 11 DG Sport Competition Peugeot +11.102
6 Kevin Ceccon 31 ITA 10 10 Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo +11.531
7 Esteban Guerrieri 86 ARG 8 9 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +17.044
8 Nathanael Berthon 23 FRA 6 8 Comtoyou Racing Audi +17.556
9 Aurélien Panis 21 FRA 4 7 Comtoyou Racing Audi +18.307
10 Denis Dupont 20 BEL 2 6 Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi +19.060
11 Qinghua Ma 55 CHN - 5 Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda +20.725
12 Thed Björk 11 SWE - 4 YMR Hyundai +21.980
13 Mehdi Bennani 25 MAR - 3 Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen +23.449
14 Rob Huff 12 GBR - 2 Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen +24.049
15 Yvan Muller 48 FRA - 1 YMR Hyundai +26.113
16 John Filippi 27 FRA - 0 Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra +26.980
17 Gabriele Tarquini 30 ITA - 0 BRC Racing Team Hyundai +27.428
18 Yann Ehrlacher 68 FRA - 0 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +39.613
19 Timo Scheider 42 GER - 0 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +5 laps
20 Zsolt Szabo 66 HUN - 0 Zengo Motorsport Cupra +DNC
21 Norbert Nagy 8 HUN - 0 Zengo Motorsport Cupra +DNC
22 Tom Coronel 9 NDL - 0 Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda +DNF
23 Fabrizio Giovanardi 88 ITA - 0 Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo +DNF
24 Mato Homola 70 SLK - 0 DG Sport Competition Peugeot +DNF
25 Norbert Michelisz 5 HUN - 0 BRC Racing Team Hyundai +DNF
Saturday 6 Oct 2018, 04:40 Europe/London
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Jean-Karl Vernay 69 FRA Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi 1:22.846
2 Pepe Oriola 74 SPA Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra 1:22.890
3 Nathanael Berthon 23 FRA Comtoyou Racing Audi 1:22.909
4 Denis Dupont 20 BEL Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi 1:22.959
5 Gordon Shedden 52 GBR Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi 1:22.989
6 Frederic Vervisch 22 BEL Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi 1:23.004
7 Yann Ehrlacher 68 FRA ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda 1:23.186
8 Kevin Ceccon 31 ITA Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 1:23.201
9 Aurelien Comte 7 AND DG Sport Competition Peugeot 1:23.250
10 Mato Homola 70 SLK DG Sport Competition Peugeot 1:23.256
11 Esteban Guerrieri 86 ARG ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda 1:23.322
12 Aurélien Panis 21 FRA Comtoyou Racing Audi 1:23.359
13 Zsolt Szabo 66 HUN Zengo Motorsport Cupra 1:23.368
14 Rob Huff 12 GBR Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen 1:23.506
15 Qinghua Ma 55 CHN Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 1:23.545
16 Mehdi Bennani 25 MAR Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen 1:23.651
17 Thed Björk 11 SWE YMR Hyundai 1:23.655
18 Yvan Muller 48 FRA YMR Hyundai 1:23.669
19 Timo Scheider 42 GER ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda 1:23.771
20 John Filippi 27 FRA Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra 1:23.777
21 Gabriele Tarquini 30 ITA BRC Racing Team Hyundai 1:23.858
22 Tom Coronel 9 NDL Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 1:23.859
23 Norbert Nagy 8 HUN Zengo Motorsport Cupra 1:23.882
24 Norbert Michelisz 5 HUN BRC Racing Team Hyundai 1:24.672
25 Fabrizio Giovanardi 88 ITA Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 1:24.860