Esteban Guerrieri kickstarted his 2020 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup campaign with a stunning victory at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The 2019 WTCR runner-up, who started the race second, claimed the lead with a daring move on the opening lap before streaming clear of the chasing pack in tricky conditions.
After two sighting laps of the Grand Prix circuit behind the Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition Safety Car, Esteban looked raring to go from the moment the race got under way – showing his nose to the polesitting car into the first corner.
Though he decided against any move there, the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver snatched top spot on the Nordschleife by diving to the outside of the leader on the brakes, then keeping his foot in – his Honda Civic Type R TCR emerging with the lead after running side-by-side with his rival through a couple of corners.
From there Esteban romped clear; having extended a lead of close to seven seconds by the end of the second lap, he backed off on the final tour but still won by a commanding 3.385 seconds.
It marks Esteban’s second win at the legendary ‘Green Hell’ in three years, while he also finished on the podium twice last year, and was the perfect tonic after a frustrating season opener at Zolder two weeks earlier.
His Argentinian compatriot and team-mate Nestor Girolami had a quiet but productive run to sixth, a result that continued his strong start to the 2020 campaign.
Keeping his nose clean marked mission accomplished for ‘Bebu’, who will start Saturday’s main race from pole position after his own stunning run on the Nordschleife on Friday evening.
ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport’s Tiago Monteiro got off the mark for 2020 with a battling run to eighth in his Civic Type R TCR.
The Portuguese driver’s performance was all the more impressive consider his windscreen wiper stopped working at the end of the first lap.
Attila Tassi had been running sixth, but was taken out of contention when he was hit by a rival on the final lap – an incident for which his assailant escaped punishment.
The 21-year-old still has a chance to bag strong points on Saturday, as he starts the main race from third place.