WTCC season refresher #1: Morocco
Esteban Guerrieri scored his maiden FIA World Touring Car Championship victory with the Opening Race spoils in Marrakech on 9 April, while top spot for Tiago Monteiro in the big-scoring Main Race at WTCC AFRIQUIA Race of Morocco put the Portuguese at the head of the charge for world title glory following the first weekend of the season.
Guerrieri, in only his second WTCC appearance, started the Opening Race second on the grid but capitalised on Tom Coronel’s fading brakes to win for Campos Racing ahead of Polestar Cyan Racing’s Thed Björk and local hero Mehdi Bennani.
Norbert Michelisz followed his Honda team-mate Monteiro home in the Main Race, which was longer and offers more points than previously. Néstor Girolami took third for the factory Volvo Polestar squad, which ended the weekend level with Honda in the Manufacturers’ standings.
Guerrieri’s victory underlined a bright WTCC future for the talented Argentine, once a rival of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in Formula 3. His pace in the Main Race also earned him the prestigious TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy and a watch.
Other notable performances came from rookie racer Aurélien Panis and Ryo Michigami, who took their first WTCC point with P10 in the Opening Race and Main Race respectively. Dániel Nagy set the fastest lap in the Opening Race for Zengő Motorsport in P11.
After Guerrieri secured the WTCC Trophy laurels in the Opening Race, Tom Chilton took the Main Race class victory when on-the-road winner Bennani received a two-second penalty for a collision with Nicky Catsburg, which dropped him from fourth to sixth overall and from first to second in the classification for privateer racers.
Opening Race DHL Pole Position:Tom Coronel (Chevrolet RML Cruze)
Main Race DHL Pole Position:Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic)
TAG Heuer Best Lap:Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet RML Cruze), 1m23.624s
WTCC MAC3 winner:Team Volvo Polestar