The 2022 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) was originally scheduled to consist of 10 races, but due to the situation in Ukraine, the opening race in Czech and the race in Russia in August were cancelled. Even after the season started, the final race of the second round in Germany was canceled due to safety issues with the tires. In addition, the Asia round, which was scheduled to be held in South Korea, China and Macau, was canceled due to quarantine and transportation problems. For alternate, they held two tournaments in the Middle East for the first time. It was an eventful season.
Honda supplies four Civic Type R TCRs to two customer teams. Nestor Girolami and Esteban Guerrieri from ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport and Tiago Monteiro and Attila Tassi from LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler particiapted.
Opening race off to a great start
At the opening round in Pau, France, Girolami and Guerrieri dominated the front row in qualifying. In Race 1, they showed a stable run from the start and finished 1-2. Girolami won his sixth victory as a Honda driver and showed his strength in the opening round. In the reverse-grid Race 2, Guerrieri finished 5th and Girolami finished 7th, bringing great results to the team.
In the 3rd round in Hungary, Girolami finished 7th in race 1 and 3rd in race 2 which he defended his position for 14 laps and finished on the podium in 3rd place. He continued to get good results from the season opener.
In the 4th round in Aragon (Spain), although they struggled to finish in the top 10 due to the tough compensation weight, led by Guerrieri who finished 11th in both races and all 4 cars scored points.
At the 5th round in Portugal, the 100th round of the WTCR, Attila Tassi (LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler) showed his speed from the beginning of Race 2 and finished 2nd for his first podium finish of the season. Girolami also finished third in Race 1, but unfortunately for Guerrieri, he had trouble in both races and had to retire.
Girolami wins his second season and stays on the title front
Round 6 in Italy took place at the WTCR's inaugural Vallelunga circuit. In Race 1, Girolami, who started from pole position, endured the pressure from drivers who are behind and drove calmly while taking care of his tires to take his second win of the season. In Race 2, Girolami finished 5th and Guerrieri finished 10th after he had to change tires. Although placing himself in 10th, the race itself was good in earning points.
Round 7 in France is the last race before the summer break. Girolami won his third pole position of the season in qualifying. In Race 1, Girolami was fiercely attacked by his rivals on the 1km long main straight, but Girolami ran tenaciously and finished in 2nd place, achieving his fifth podium finish of the season. With two races to go, Girolami closed the gap to the overall leader to 35 points.
Honda teams put up a good fight in the first Middle East event
Round 8 in Bahrain was held in November after an interval of about three months. In Race 2, Guerrieri held the lead until the 4th lap, but was overtaken and finished 2nd by a margin of 1 second. With this result, Guerrieri moved up to 8th in the overall ranking, and showed his determination to aim for even higher positions in the remaining races. Girolami also put a lot of effort to battle, but he was unable to perform enough in the group and to finish which resulted in a disappointing 9th place. With a gap of 60 points from the top, Girolami headed into the final round with only a slight chance of a come-from-behind title.
The ninth round of the WTCR, the final event of the five-year WTCR which was held in Saudi Arabia. In Race 1, Girolami started from the last 15th place, but he bravely moved up the order to 10th place. In Race 2 he managed to avoid the confusion and moved up to 8th in the early laps, where he finished. Girolami finished the season with six podiums, including two wins, three pole positions, and a personal best ranking of 2nd overall.
On the other hand, Guerrieri started 3rd in Race 2 and was aiming for the lead, but he overshot at the first corner and finished 11th in both races. Guerrieri finished the season with 15 podiums including 10 wins which he produced excellent results.
In the team ranking, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport won second place for the first time since 2020. The Civic Type R TCR also made WTCR history by becoming the only car to win all five seasons, taking a total of 22 victories.
|1||Mikel AZCONA||96||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai||337|
|2||Néstor GIROLAMI||29||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda||254|
|3||Nathanaël BERTHON||17||Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport||Audi||240|
|4||Norbert MICHELISZ||5||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai||222|
|5||Gilles MAGNUS||16||Comtoyou Team Audi Sport||Audi||210|
|6||Robert HUFF||79||Zengő Motorsport||Cupra||210|
|7||Esteban GUERRIERI||86||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda||149|
|13||Attila TASSI||9||LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler||Honda||83|
|15||Tiago MONTEIRO||18||LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler||Honda||70|