The race to win the 2021 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup heads to the heat of MotorLand Aragón in Spain from July 9-11 following action-packed counters in Germany and Portugal that produced four different winners and a big helping of drama.
After four rounds,Jean-Karl Vernayis the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader for Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team. But less than 10 points separate the French ace from Argentina’sEsteban Guerrieri(ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport) in sixth position, such is WTCR’s typically wide-open nature. Also in the top-six mix areAttila Tassi,Yvan Muller,Santiago UrrutiaandTiago Monteiro.

Honda-powered Tassi heads to Spain from his native Hungary high on confidence after he landed his breakthrough WTCR victory at Circuito do Estoril last month. The ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport young gun became the WTCR’s second youngest winner aged 22 years and 13 days after he moved in front when home-hero team-mate Monteiro was slowed by a technical issue.

With second-place finishes in Germany and Portugal, Muller, the four-time FIA World Touring Car champion, is firmly in the fight for Cyan Racing Lynk & Co. The French legend is equal on points with Uruguayan Urrutia, who bagged his first WTCR win at MotorLand Aragón last November.

Indeed, it was at the season-deciding WTCR Race of Aragon on November 15, 2020, whenYann Ehrlacherbecame the King of WTCR on the back of a hugely impressive campaign. Ehrlacher, from France, returns to the track this season after winning Race 1 at WTCR Race of Portugal last month and having turned 25 on July 4.

Ehrlacher is among 22 top touring car aces, including category experts and young talents reaching speeds of 260kph in turbocharged TCR cars fromAudi,CUPRA,Honda,HyundaiandLynk & Co, taking on the 5.345-kilometre MotorLand Aragón track for races five of six of 2021.

A new addition to the WTCR roster in 2020, MotorLand Aragón had the unique honour of hosting two WTCR events in the same year with WTCR Race of Aragón added as the season finale following delays readying the planned venue due to the pandemic.

While both visits to MotorLand Aragón in 2020 were behind closed doors, a limited number of 6400 tickets are on sale for this year’s event following approval by the local Security Board. It’s part of the phased return of spectators to international sporting events in Span and will be in accordance with an exhaustive protocol that has been developed to take into account the circuit’s characteristics and facilities to ensure the safety and health of all attendees.

As well as savouring the two races that make up Spain’s rounds of the WTCR, fans will be treated to the unique spectacle that is PURE ETCR, the all-new, all-electric touring car series from Eurosport Events, the same promoter behind WTCR.

Top Spanish racerMikel Azcona, who will compete with CUPRA power in WTCR and also in PURE ETCR, is relishing the opportunity to compete in front of his home fans. “It’s really good knowing my fans can come because I have received a lot of messages from them on social media wanting to be there,” he said. “When you are driving and you have all this support from the grandstands with the flags and everything it makes you even more motivated and you feel like you are going a little bit faster to do a good result to enjoy with the fans. You want to make a big spectacle to give the fans some good moments.”

Azcona took victory in the second WTCR race to take place at MotorLand Aragón driving a CUPRA Leon Competición for Zengő Motorsport. He’ll be joined in the Hungarian team by compatriotJordi Gené, who is back racing at international level for the first time in five years this season and is full of experience and achievement. Like Azcona and Jean-Karl Vernay, Gené will be on double time at MotorLand Aragón when he takes part in PURE ETCR’s Race of SP event, which begins on Friday July 9 and shares the billing with WTCR on Saturday and Sunday, albeit on a shorter track layout.

WTCR RACE OF SPAIN ESSENTIALS

Rounds:5 and 6 of 16
Date:July 9-11, 2021
Venue:MotorLand Aragón
Location:Crta. A-2404, Km 1, 44600 Alcañiz, Teruel, Spain
Track length:5.345 kilometres
WTCR qualifying lap record:
Norbert Michelisz (Hyundai i30 N TCR) 2m05.838s (152.9kph), 31/10/20
WTCR race lap record:
Gilles Magnus (Audi RS 3 LMS) 2m06.689s (151.8kph), 01/11/20

TIMETABLE
Saturday July 10:
Free Practice 1:09h45-10h30
Free Practice 2:12h45-13h15
Qualifying Q1:16h30-16h50
Qualifying Q2:16h55-17h05
Qualifying Q3:17h10-17h25

Sunday July 11:
Race 1:11h15 (10 laps, 53.306 kilometres)
Race 2:13h15 (12 laps, 63.996 kilometres)
All timings are local (CET), provisional and subject to change

EVENT DESCRIPTION
MotorLand Aragón near Alcañiz in the northeast of the country, was a popular addition to the WTCR schedule when it hosted the inaugural WTCR Race of Spain in 2020. Despite huge enthusiasm for the city-based Circuito Guadalope from 1965, growing safety requirements and difficulties staging top-level events meant time was called on racing through the streets in 2003, which led to the MotorLand Aragón project. Former F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa collaborated with circuit designer Hermann Tilke on the track layout, which was inaugurated in September 2009 and has staged the Gran Premio de Aragón de MotoGP since 2010.

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 TCR
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 LMS
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
19 Andreas Bäckman (SWE) Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR
22 Frédéric Vervisch (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMS
26 Jessica Bäckman (SWE) Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR
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 LMS
55 Bence Boldizs (HUN) Zengő Motorsport Drivers’ Academy CUPRA Leon Competición
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

WTCE RACE OF SPAIN PREVIOUS WINNERS

2020 (MotorLand Aragón, October 31/November 1):
Race 1:Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA) Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris
Race 2:Mikel Azcona (ESP) Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición TCR
Race 3:Thed Björk (SWE) Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR

WHO SAID THAT?

Mikel Azcona (ESP) Zengő Motorsport / CUPRA Leon Competición:“Portugal was a tough weekend, not so much points, but I hope in Aragón, my home race, we will be on the podium, as last year. When you have all this support from the grandstands with the flags and everything it makes you even more motivated and you feel like you are going a little bit faster to do a good result to enjoy with the fans. You want to make a big spectacle to give the fans some good moments.”

Jordi Gené (ESP) Zengő Motorsport Drivers’ Academy / CUPRA Leon Competición:“I have only tested at MotorLand. But when you race at home you always have that extra push. It’s interesting and it’s going to be the first race when we have PURE ETCR and WTCR at the same time.”

Néstor Girolami (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport / Honda Civic Type R TCR:“I hope to come back stronger at Aragón after missing out on a lot of points in Portugal. IIt will be tough for us with the maximum compensation weight, but we will push hard and work together as always to get the cars in the top 10.”

Norbert Michelisz (HUN) BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse / Hyundai Elantra N TCR:“My target for the rest of the season will be to do clever and clean races and score points. It’s impossible to tell where we will be in Aragón, but I have a good feeling so I’m confident that we can finish inside the top 10.”

Santiago Urrutia (URY) Cyan Performance Lynk & Co / Lynk & Co 03 TCR:“I won in Aragón last year when we were racing in the winter so it’s great to go back in the summer because I love that. I don’t think the heat will cost anything and we can be quick in any condition with the car we have so I am not worried about it.”

Frédéric Vervisch (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport / Audi RS 3 LMS:“Portugal was a difficult weekend for us. We were P13 and P11 in the two races, we wanted more but we tried what we could, hopefully we can find a better package and be more competitive in Aragón.”

THE BIG NUMBER: 12
All drivers use the single specification Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport tyre. For WTCR Race of Spain, each driver has 12 dry-weather slick tyres allocated and can carry over 10 from previous events. In addition, 16 wet-weather tyres are available.

HOW IT WORKS AT WTCR RACE OF SPAIN

Qualifying:WTCR Race of Spain 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
1 Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA) Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team, Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 61 points
2 Attila Tassi (HUN) ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, 56
3 Yvan Muller (FRA) Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR, 56
4 Santiago Urrutia (URY) Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR, 56
5 Tiago Monteiro (PRT) ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, 52
Full standings attached or clickHERE.

WTCR WINNERS 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
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
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
Fastest lap:Yann 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
Fastest lap:Tassi (HUN) ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, 1m45.150s (143.1kph)
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