Young stars Yann Ehrlacher and Attila Tassi came out on top at WTCR Race of Portugal as Circuito do Estoril served up two action-packed counters yesterday.
Frenchman Ehrlacher, the 24-year-old King of WTCR following his 2020 title triumph, won Race 1 followed by Lynk & Co-powered Cyan team-mates Yvan Muller, from France, and Uruguayan Santiago Urrutia. Tiago Monteiro was leading Race 2 after pole-sitter Esteban Guerrieri was slow getting away, but the Portuguese hero was forced to pit when the right side of his car’s bonnet opened.

That let in his ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport team-mate Tassi to claim his maiden WTCR victory aged 22 years and 13 days, making the Goodyear-equipped Hungarian the youngest winner in the history of the WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup.

Jean-Karl Vernay arrived in Portugal as the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader, retired from Race 1 and lost the status to Monteiro but then regained the coveted blue jacket by finishing second in Race 2 for Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team. BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse’s Norbert Michelisz claimed his first podium of 2021 in another Elantra N TCR.

Monteiro finished fourth in Race 1, one place head of Guerrieri with Mikel Azcona rising from P13 to sixth in his Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición, only for a post-race penalty to drop him to P10. Tassi was also penalised and finished seventh behind Thed Björk. Gilles Magnus, who bagged a FIA Junior Driver/WTCR Trophy win double in his Comtoyou Racing-run, second-generation Audi RS 3 LMS was eighth followed by Rob Huff, whose points were his first since his WTCR comeback.

After tyre damage robbed Gabriele Tarquini of a Race 1 podium, the Italian fought up to fourth in Race 2 ahead of Urrutia, Ehrlacher, Björk and Guerrieri following his delayed getaway. Former FIA World Touring Car champions Muller and Huff completed the top 10. Magnus took another FIA Junior Driver/WTCR Trophy double with Jessica Bäckman second in both categories for Target Competition. Her older brother Andreas took his first WTCR point with P15 in Race 1.

Tassi, meanwhile, had double cause for celebration when he bagged the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy.

RACE WINNER QUOTES

RACE 1: Yann Ehlacher (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR)
“It was a good race. It’s really good for the team, thanks to them because we had quite a hard time I would say. We’ve struggled with performance but with the reverse grid we managed to get those points and this result. I would have preferred winning the main race but I will take that. About the race my only opportunity to overtake really was at the start. We nailed the start and then I managed to overtake him on the inside. The safety car didn’t make my life easy, but the restart went well, I had to defend for a few laps because with their top speed it is not easy to fight. But then he got the puncture and then we ended the race like this. There was debris everywhere, there were things to deal with. It was the first time I raced here with the touring cars so with experience there are a few things to improve. But it’s good points and I’m really happy about this team podium.”

RACE 2:Attila Tassi (ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR)
“Yes, it was not so easy to achieve it. First I am really disappointed again that we are not able to stand together on the podium with Tiago as we are speaking about it for so long now. After he had the problem I don’t know how many laps we had, but it felt like it was going on forever. As I had a radio problem I didn’t have any information of the pace or anything, and then I saw the Hyundais were catching up really quick so I was only focusing lap by lap on my exit on to the main straight and the back straight to not give them an opportunity. Each lap I was concentrating 110 per cent and in the end it finally paid off, so I’m very happy. Thank you for ALL-INKL, for amazing work, for Honda. It’s just an amazing weekend.”

RACE 1 REPORT

RACE 2 REPORT

RESULTS

STANDINGS

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