WTCR : Adria podium keeps Honda Racing driver Guerrieri in title fight

Honda Racing driver Esteban Guerrieri ensured he will head to the final round of the 2021 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season in contention for the title thanks to strong performances in both races at Adria.

The Argentinian put in a determined drive in Race One and led the initial running, eventually finishing third.

From second on the grid, Esteban launched into the lead on the run to the first corner and held the advantage on the opening lap until the polesitter barged his way back past at the final corner while taking to the grass.

Esteban ultimately finished third, registering his third podium finish of the season, before a measured drive to sixth place in Race Two.

He will therefore head to the final round of the season 37 points off the lead, with a maximum of 60 available at the Sochi Autodrom season finale in three weeks’ time.

Team-mate Nestor Girolami did an effective job in Race One, eventually bringing his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Civic Type R TCR home in eighth place.

‘Bebu’ then made a stunning start from the third row of the grid in Race Two to run fourth, but his hopes were soon ended by two impacts in quick succession.

Honda Racing driver Esteban Guerrieri ensured he will head to the final round of the 2021 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season in contention for the title thanks to strong performances in both races at Adria.

Adria podium keeps Honda Racing driver Guerrieri in title fight

The Argentinian put in a determined drive in Race One and led the initial running, eventually finishing third.

From second on the grid, Esteban launched into the lead on the run to the first corner and held the advantage on the opening lap until the polesitter barged his way back past at the final corner while taking to the grass.

Esteban ultimately finished third, registering his third podium finish of the season, before a measured drive to sixth place in Race Two.

He will therefore head to the final round of the season 37 points off the lead, with a maximum of 60 available at the Sochi Autodrom season finale in three weeks’ time.

Team-mate Nestor Girolami did an effective job in Race One, eventually bringing his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Civic Type R TCR home in eighth place.

‘Bebu’ then made a stunning start from the third row of the grid in Race Two to run fourth, but his hopes were soon ended by two impacts in quick succession.

Adria podium keeps Honda Racing driver Guerrieri in title fight

Despite leaving room on the inside, Nestor was hit from behind at the long Turn 4 right-hander, which sent him off into the gravel. He was hit again, this time from the side, when two other cars came together as he attempted to rejoin, and retired at the end of the opening lap.

Attila Tassi survived both races to bring home a best finish of 12th in his ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport-run car.

That came in Race Two, in which the Hungarian made a good start from 11th before being pushed out wide. He nevertheless regrouped, putting up an excellent defence of his position for more than half the race to score four points. He earlier finished 16th in Race One.

After a clutch issue in qualifying, Tiago Monteiro used Sunday’s races to test alternative set-ups that the team had previously considered using.

Despite his limited experience of those options he ran competitively in both races, finishing just behind Attila in 17th in Race One before improving to 15th in Race Two.

Esteban Guerrieri #86 – ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport : « Taking away a podium and staying in the title fight has to go down as a positive day considering our deficit to most of our competition here. I knew Race One was going to be tough even after I got the lead, but for my rival to push from behind at the second-last corner then dive on the grass and push me wide didn’t feel like the best way for those positions to change. But still, to bring home third place was a good result and with sixth in Race Two we limited the damage. We head to Sochi with a bit of a gap, but it’s not over by any means. Now I’m a little bit tired, so I will relax and recharge the batteries for the final round. »

Néstor Girolami #29 – ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport : « Unfortunately it was not the best day. Eighth in Race One was OK but the pace was not so good. We were fighting other brands who we lost a lot to on acceleration, especially when the grip of the new tyres was gone. In Race Two I had an amazing start to gain two positions then maintain them through Turns 1 and 2, but at Turn 4 a rival went straight and pushed me off. It doesn’t make sense to race like that; I left him space because I knew he was on the inside, but even when I turned in late with an open line he hit me. When I rejoined I’d lost maybe three or four positions, and suddenly I felt another big impact that damaged my car. »

Attila Tassi #9 – ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport : « After a bit of a compromised day yesterday, today was about going for points without taking any risks. In Race One the car still needed some adjustments but it felt good, but I got pushed off the track by a competitor and that really set me back because there are not many opportunities to overtake here. It was a similar story in Race Two, despite making a good start and running right behind Esteban initially. It’s a bit of a shame and in some terms I’m a little bit disappointed, but there are still positives to take considering the pace I was able to find on qualifying day. Hopefully at Sochi everything will come together throughout the weekend. »

Tiago Monteiro #18 – ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport : « After the mechanical problems in qualifying, we knew everything was more or less decided in terms of our chances on such a tight and twisty track, so we took the opportunity to do something a bit different. We tried two different, original set-ups in the races – some things that we had discussed before but never had the courage to do. It worked well in Race One and not as well in Race Two, but in the end it was interesting. The weekend was not great and it’s clear in such a tough and competitive Championship you have to start at the front, so once you have a problem it’s very hard. I hope our luck changes at Sochi and we can finish the season as we started it, at the front of the field. »

Dominik Greiner – Münnich Motorsport : « It was not the ideal day for us in the end, especially with the contact Nestor received and the extra work on the car it will cause our guys. Still, we are able to take positives from the three other drivers being able to bring the cars home in good shape – including the set-up experiments we tried with Tiago’s car and Esteban’s results, which keep him in the top three in the Championship. Not the best outcome, but the team made the most of the opportunities and we are still in the Drivers’ and Teams’ title fights for Sochi. »

Mads Fischer – JAS Motorsport : « All four drivers have shown a real fighting spirit today at the end of another tricky weekend. Esteban did what he needed to do by getting the results to keep himself in the game, and we really couldn’t have expected more than what he achieved. It’s disappointing Nestor wasn’t there to join him in Race Two after a fantastic start – the hit he received was typical of his luck this season. Despite results being harder to come by, Attila and Tiago both had productive days for different reasons. The opportunities are still there at Sochi, so let’s hope the drivers can end the season on a high and we’ll see where that puts them. »

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