Anneau du Rhin podium keeps Girolami in contention
Nestor Girolami’s fifth podium of the season kept him in the hunt at the top of the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup standings ahead of the summer break.
The Argentinian backed up his third pole position of the year with a second-place finish in Race One at Anneau du Rhin, which represented the best return possible given the prodigious speed of his competitors along the kilometre-long main straight.
In hotter conditions in Race Two, Nestor found the handling of his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Civic Type R TCR more difficult but he still came home seventh.
It allowed ‘Bebu’, who is second in the Drivers’ Championship, to reduce his arrears in the standings to 35 points with two rounds of the season remaining.
Team-mate Esteban Guerrieri had put up a stern defence of fourth place in Race One, but was forced to pit when he flatspotted his tyres while saving a slide, having been hit by the car behind through the high-speed Turn 1 right hander.
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport brought the record WTCR win holder into the pits but did send him back out, and Esteban recorded a 10th-place finish as a result.
Race Two yielded the same result, though Esteban had been on for seventh until he was collected by another competitor at the penultimate corner on the final lap of the race.
Tiago Monteiro secured his best result of the season with a perfectly judged drive to sixth in Race Two.
The Portuguese made his own destiny with an excellent launch from fifth on the grid, passing one car and challenging another into the first corner to run fourth in the early stages.
Though he conceded two positions to cars with unchallengeable straightline speed, Tiago’s pace was such that he kept them in sight and could gap the pack behind.
That sixth-place finish coupled with ninth in Race One gave him his best points haul of the season.
A weekend that promised plenty for Attila Tassi on the other side of the garage ended with a best result of ninth.
The Hungarian showed strong pace throughout Saturday until being delayed on his final run in Q2, which cost him a place in the top 10.
That consigned Attila to a starting spot near the back for both races, and a battling display in Race One, in which he received a huge hit from a competitor, went unrewarded as he was forced to stop four laps from the finish.
His Race Two was less eventful, with Attila finishing the weekend by keeping his nose clean and taking a place in the top 10, profiting from the last-lap incident that Esteban was involved in.