There’s no time to slow down in the WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup with Circuit Pau-Arnos gearing up to host the action this weekend (October 15-17) as the dust still settles following an epic WTCR Race of Czech Republic yesterday.
Néstor GirolamiandNorbert Michelisztook the wins at Autodrom Most, the ninth and 10th different drivers to do so in 10 races, whileYann Ehrlacherstarts the inaugural WTCR Race of France, his home event, as the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader by topping the provisional order after 10 rounds.

Unlike Autodrom Most where a handful of drivers had previous racing knowledge, Circuit Pau-Arnos is new for the entire grid in competitive conditions, making the sixth event of the season a step into the unknown and a huge level playing field.

The track, the shortest of the season at 3.030 kilometres in length and featuring 13 turns, is the work of legendary French driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise, a one-time Formula One grand prix winner. Located 20 kilometres west of Pau city, the circuit has been upgraded to FIA Grade 3 status and its undulating layout will provide an exciting challenge for the WTCR drivers and their Goodyear-equipped TCR cars.

For the second weekend running, the WTCR joins forces with another top series from Discovery Sports Events. After a double-header with the FIM Endurance World Championship for motorbikes in Czech Republic, the deciding round of the PURE ETCR all-electric touring car series shares top billing with the WTCR at Circuit Pau-Arnos to provide an additional thrilling spectacle for the fans.

And there’s every chance those fans will get to cheer a home winner with four flying Frenchmen on the grid, includingYvan Muller, the most successful driver in FIA World Touring Car history. Home hero Muller forms part of the Cyan Racing Lynk & Co line-up with his nephew Yann Ehrlacher, the current King of WTCR. Ehrlacher is the son of former French professional football Yves Ehrlacher and ex-racer Cathy Muller.

Nathanaël Berthon(Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport) andJean-Karl Vernay(Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team) will also fly the Frenchtricoloreat Circuit Pau-Arnos. Both have won in the WTCR and have ample experience at world level. Vernay had worn the coveted blue jacket as the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader until a tough WTCR Race of Hungary weekend dropped him to third place in the title fight, while Berthon is well known for his qualifying pedigree.

Although France has never hosted a WTCR race before, it was a regular fixture on the FIA World Touring Car Championship calendar up until 2016 with Magny-Cours, Paul Ricard and the Pau street circuit hosting races. Current Zengő Motorsport driverRob Huffwon twice, while Muller notched up a single win during that time. Huff, from Great Britain, is the 2012 World Touring Car champion.

He’s part of the CUPRA-powered WTCR line-up that also includes Spanish PURE ETCR title contendersMikel AzconaandJordi Gené, plus promising Hungarian youngsterBence Boldizs, who switched from rallycross to the WTCR for the 2020 season. Azcona starts WTCR Race of France on the back of claiming a second TCR Europe title following dash to Barcelona last Friday night having taken his first WTCR pole position earlier in the day. Gené, meanwhile, had his very first laps in a racing car at Circuit Pau-Arnos in 1986 as a present from his father for winning a Spanish karting title.

Joining Ehrlacher and Muller in Goodyear-equipped Lynk & Co 03 TCRs are the Cyan Performance Lynk & Co-enteredThed Björk, the 2017 WTCC champion from Sweden, and Uruguay’sSantiago Urrutia, who won Race 2 at WTCR Race of Hungary but struggled in WTCR Race of Czech qualifying and lost ground in the title flight after taking just five points from the two races.

Argentine aces Néstor Girolami andEsteban Guerrieriline-up for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport and head to France on a high. Girolami took his first WTCR win of 2021 in Czech Republic where a podium double reignited Guerrieri’s title bid. Portugal’sTiago MonteiroandAttila Tassi, from Hungary, drive identical Honda Civic Type R TCRs for sister team ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport.

Twenty-one-year-old German Luca Engstler, the youngest driver on the grid, partners Vernay at Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team. Hungary’sNorbert Michelisz, who won Race 2 at WTCR Race of Czech Republic, and ItalianGabriele Tarquinihead the BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse with identical Hyundai Elantra N TCRs.

BelgianGilles Magnus, 22, scored his breakthrough WTCR victory in Hungary for Comtoyou Team Audi Sport and tops FIA WTCR Junior Driver Title and WTCR Trophy standings after 10 rounds. Compatriot and team-mateFrédéric Vervischhas also won in a second-generation Audi RS 3 LMS this season. DutchmanTom Coronel, who is in his 32nd season of racing, partners Berthon at Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport.

WHAT HAPPENED AT WTCR RACE OF CZECH REPUBLIC?
*Girolami and Michelisz become winners nine and 10 of wide-open WTCR season
*Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Ehrlacher extends points advantage
*Guerrieri back in the title fight with double podium despite intense pressure in both races
*Azcona claims P2 in Race 2 after away day in Barcelona earns second TCR Europe title
*Spaniard completes memorable weekend with TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy
*Muller, Björk and Vernay complete Race 1 top 6 with Muller sixth in Race 2 behind Berthon
*A haul of 5 points drops Urrutia down the title order. He was 2 points off the series’ lead
*Engstler is the top FIA WTCR Junior Driver Title contender in both races
*Coronel and Magnus share the WTCR Trophy wins
*Heartbreak for home hero Fulín from reversed-grid pole as contact puts him out of Race 1
*WTCR shares top billing with FIM Endurance World Championship at Autodrom Most

WTCR 2021 OVERVIEW
Representing 12 countries, the 2021 WTCR line-up features six FIA world title winners − including current King of WTCR Yann Ehrlacher − plus seven drivers 25 or under.

All drivers count on sustainable biofuel fromP1 Racing Fuelsand tyres fromGoodyear. Along with a Balance of Performance and a compensation weight formula, their use helps to create a level playing field. Meanwhile, significant cost-control measures help maintain strong grid numbers and allow privateer teams with limited technical support from manufacturers to fight at the front.

The 2021 season is set to comprise eight weekends with practice, qualifying and two races timetabled at each event. All events enjoy extensive live global broadcasting.

As well as the FIA Drivers’ and Teams’ titles, theFIA WTCR Junior Driver Titleis for the best racer 24 or under at the start of 2021 with no WTCC/WTCR experience prior to 2019. Independent racers competing without direct manufacturer funding are eligible for theWTCR Trophy, while theTAG Heuer Best Lap TrophyandTAG Heuer Most Valuable Driveraccolade are awarded at each event.

TheGoodyear #FollowTheLeaderrecognises the driver at the head of the title standings after each qualifying session or race. They are presented with the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader blue jacket and carry the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader yellow windscreen strip on their car until such time that they no longer top the points classification. Yann Ehrlacher starts WTCR Race of Czech Republic as the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader, albeit by two-point margin over Santiago Urrutia.

WHAT’S NEW FOR 2021?
*There will be double-headers only in 2021 with two rather than three races at each event
*New cars from Audi (second-generation Audi RS 3 LMS) and Hyundai (Elantra N TCR) join the grid
*P1 Racing Fuels is WTCR’s Official Fuel Supplier with drivers powered by a bespoke fuel featuring 15 per cent renewable components
*Jordi Gené is a WTCR newcomer, while Rob Huff and Frédéric Vervisch are back having missed out on the action in 2020
*Adria, Estoril, Most, Pau-Arnos and Sochi are new venues for 2021, while Czech Republic, France Italy and Russia host the WTCR for the first time
*The Rookie driver award is redefined and renamed as the FIA Junior Driver Title
*WTCR promoter Discovery Sports Events (previously Eurosport Events) holds the FIA’s Three Star Environmental Accreditation following a rigorous auditing process in line with the motorsport world governing body’s Environmental Certification Framework. ClickHEREfor more information.

DID YOU KNOW?
*The super-tight nature of the WTCR was underlined when 0.7s covered the top 18 drivers in Qualifying Q1 at WTCR Race of Czech Republic.
*Esteban Guerrieri is the WTCR’s most successful driver in terms of race wins with the Honda-powered driver triumphing 10 times for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport.
*The Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition as the Official Safety Car of the WTCR for a second season. Bruno Correia from Portugal is the Official Safety Car Driver at WTCR Race of France.

WTCR RACE OF FRANCE ESSENTIALS
Rounds:11 and 12 of 16
Date:October 15-17
Venue:Circuit Pau-Arnos
Location:1 Camin deu Circuit, 64370 Arnos, France
Track length:3.030 kilometres
Race 1 distance:18 laps (54.540 kilometres)
Race 2 distance:21 laps (63.630 kilometres)
WTCR qualifying lap record:To be established
WTCR race lap record:To be established

TIMETABLE
Saturday October 16:
Free Practice 1:10h45-11h30
Free Practice 2:13h30-14h00
Qualifying Q1:16h20-16h40
Qualifying Q2:16h35-16h45
Qualifying Q3:16h55-17h00

Sunday October 17:
Race 1:10h15 (18 laps, 54.540 kilometres)
Race 1 podium:10h50 approx.
Race 2:12h15 (21 laps, 63.630 kilometres)
Race 2 podium:12h55 approx.
All timings are local (CET), provisional and subject to change

EVENT DESCRIPTION
The WTCR becomes the first FIA series to visit Circuit Pau-Arnos in southwest France, 20 kilometres west of Pau. Short in terms of track length (the 3.030-kilometre layout has 13 turns) but big in terms of entertainment, the design is the work of the legendary Jean-Pierre Beltoise, a one-time grand prix winner. The WTCR has yet to race in France, but it has celebrated Yann Ehrlacher’s title triumph in 2020 plus race wins for Nathanaël Berthon, Yvan Muller and Jean-Karl Vernay. Race FR for PURE ETCR, the all-electric touring car series from Discovery Sports Events, will be another weekend highlight.

ENTRY LIST
No Driver (NAT) Team Car*
3 Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR
5 Norbert Michelisz (HUN) BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR
8 Luca Engstler (DEU) Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai Elantra N TCRJ
9 Attila Tassi (HUN) ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR
11 Thed Björk (SWE) Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR
12 Santiago Urrutia (URY) Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR
16 Gilles Magnus (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMSJ T
17 Nathanaël Berthon (FRA) Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMS
18 Tiago Monteiro (PRT) ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR
22 Frédéric Vervisch (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMS
28 Jordi Gené (ESP) Zengő Motorsport Drivers’ Academy CUPRA Leon Competición
29 Néstor Girolami (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR
32 Tom Coronel (NLD) Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMST
55 Bence Boldizs (HUN) Zengő Motorsport Drivers’ Academy CUPRA Leon CompeticiónJ T
68 Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR
69 Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA) Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai Elantra N TCR
79 Rob Huff (GBR) Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición
86 Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR
96 Mikel Azcona (ESP) Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición
100 Yvan Muller (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & C0 03 TCR
*All cars equipped with Goodyear tyres, use sustainable biofuel from P1 Racing Fuels
J = FIA WTCR Junior Driver Title; T = WTCR Trophy

KINGS OF WTCR
2020:Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Cyan Racing / Lynk & Co 03 TCR
2019:Norbert Michelisz (HUN) BRC Racing Team / Hyundai i30 N TCR
2018:Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) BRC Racing Team / Hyundai i30 N TCR

THE BIG NUMBER: 68
The coveted #1 is not being carried in 2021 with King of WTCR Yann Ehrlacher electing to stick with #68, the number he used to win last year’s WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup title and the number of Haut-Rhin, the Frenchdepartmentwhere he’s from.

HOW IT WORKS AT WTCR RACE OF FRANCE
Qualifying:WTCR Race of France begins with two free practice sessions of 45 minutes and 30 minutes duration, followed by a single qualifying session. This is split into three stages (Q1, Q2 and Q3) and includes two elimination periods (Q1 and Q2). Q1 lasts 20 minutes with the fastest 12 progressing to Q2 where they get 10 minutes to battle for the five spots on offer in Q3. The quintet to progress to Q3 get one lap, one at a time to chase the pole position. Points are handed to the fastest five in Q1 and Q3 on a scale of 5-4-3-2-1.

Grids:Race 1 uses a partially-reversed grid with the fastest 10 in Q2 lining up in reverse order, meaning the driver who finishes Q2 in P10 starts Race 1 from pole position, P9 in second and so on. The drivers who were P11 and P12 in Q2 go next followed by the drivers eliminated after Q1. The Race 2 grid uses the combined qualifying order after Q3.

Points:
*The fastest five drivers in Qualifying Q1 and Q3 score points as follows: 5-4-3-2-1.
*The top 15 classified finishers score in each race as follows: 25-20-16-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
*The same scoring system apples to the WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup for Teams and the FIA WTCR Junior Driver Title, although WTCR Junior points are not awarded following Q3
*WTCR Trophy drivers score as follows: 10-8-5-3-1, 1 point for the fastest qualifying lap, 1 point for the fastest lap in each race

WTCR − FIA WORLD TOURING CAR CUP 2021 PROVISIONAL STANDINGS
DRIVERS (after round 10/16)
1 Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR, 135 points
2 Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, 115
3 Mikel Azcona (ESP) Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competitión, 109
4 Santiago Urrutia (URY) Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR, 105
5 Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA) Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team, 102
Full standings attached or clickHERE.

TEAMS (after round 10/16)
1 Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, 236 points
2 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, 210
3 Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, 192
4 Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, 184
5 Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team, 160
Full standings attached or clickHERE.

JUNIOR DRIVERS (after round 10/16)
1 Gilles Magnus (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 244 points
2 Luca Engstler (DEU) Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 224
3 Bence Boldizs (HUN), Zengő Motorsport Drivers’ Academy, CUPRA Leon Competición, 160
4 Jessica Bäckman (SWE), Target Competition, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 131
Full standings attached or clickHERE.

WTCR TROPHY (after round 10/16)
1 Gilles Magnus (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 94 points
2 Tom Coronel (NLD) Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 62
3 Bence Boldizs (HUN), Zengő Motorsport Drivers’ Academy, CUPRA Leon Competición, 49
4 Jessica Bäckman (SWE), Target Competition, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 32
5 Andreas Bäckman (SWE), Target Competition, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 27
Full standings attached or clickHERE.

WTCR TOP 3 FINISHERS SO FAR IN 2021
WTCR Race of Germany Race 1 top 3
1 Tiago Monteiro (PRT) ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, 27m18.961s
2 Yvan Muller (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR +0.514s
3 Santiago Urrutia (URY) Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR +0.746s
Pole position:Yvan Muller (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR
Fastest lap:Mikel Azcona (ESP) Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición, 9m01.919s (168.5kph)

WTCR Race of Germany Race 2 top 3
1 Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA) Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 26m46.689s
2 Luca Engstler (DEU) Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, +0.348s
3 Néstor Girolami (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, +12.479s
Pole position:Girolami (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, 8m54.791s (170.8kph)
Fastest lap:Vernay (FRA) Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 8m53.608s

WTCR Race of Portugal Race 1 top 3
1 Yann Ehrlacher (FRA), Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR, 28m28.096s (142.8kph)
2 Yvan Muller (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR +1.746s
3 Santiago Urrutia (URY) Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR +3.411s
Pole position:Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) BRC Hyundai LUKOIL Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR
Fastest lap:Ehrlacher (FRA), Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR, 1m45.384s (142.8kph)

WTCR Race of Portugal Race 2 top 3
1 Attila Tassi (HUN) ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, 29m04.501s (143.1kph)
2 Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA) Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, +1.030s
3 Norbert Michelisz (HUN) BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR, +1.553s
Pole position:Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, 1m44.522s (144.0kph)
Fastest lap:Tassi (HUN) ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, 1m45.150s (143.1kph)

WTCR Race of Spain Race 1 top 3
1 Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 21m23.928s (151.4kph)
2 Mikel Azcona (ESP) Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competitión, +1.880s
3 Tom Coronel (NLD) Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, +8.455s
Pole position:Tarquini (ITA) BRC Hyundai LUKOIL Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR
Fastest lap:Tarquini (ITA) BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 2m07.023s (151.4kph)

WTCR Race of Spain Race 2 top 3
1 Frédéric Vervisch (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 28m57.708s (150.8kph)
2 Thed Björk (SWE) Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR, +1.191s
3 Gilles Magnus (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, +1.691s
Pole position:Vervisch (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 2m06.169s (152.5kph)
Fastest lap:Vervisch (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 2m07.588s (150.8kph)

WTCR Race of Hungary Race 1 top 3
1 Gilles Magnus (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 30m41.529s.
2 Mikel Azcona (ESP) Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competitión, +2.127s
3 Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, +2.682s
Pole position:Magnus (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS
Fastest lap:Frédéric Vervisch (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 1m53.904s (138.4kph)

WTCR Race of Hungary Race 2 top 3
1 Santiago Urrutia (URY) Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR, 28m53.853s (138.2kph)
2 Frédéric Vervisch (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, +2.328s
3 Mikel Azcona (ESP) Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competitión, +3.387s
Pole position:Rob Huff (GBR) Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competitión, 1m51.993s (140.8kph)
Fastest lap:Vervisch (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS, 1m54.036s (138.3kph)

WTCR Race of Czech Republic Race 1 top 3
1 Néstor Girolami (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, 26m26.520s.
2 Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, +1.060s
3 Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, +1.440s
Fastest lap:Néstor Girolami (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, 1m40.057s (151.5kph)

WTCR Race of Czech Republic Race 2 top 3
1 Norbert Michelisz (HUN) BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 43m40.427s (152.0kph)
2 Mikel Azcona (ESP) Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competitión, +1.508s
3 Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, +11.043s
Fastest lap:Mikel Azcona (ESP) Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competitión, 1m39.503s (152.3kph)
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