All four of Honda Racing’s WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup drivers battled their way to points finishes on an incredibly tough raceday at Motorland Aragon.
After a tricky Saturday, during which all four Honda Civic Type R TCRs were eliminated in the first part of qualifying, both races were expected to be difficult affairs.
But the drivers and both Münnich Motorsport teams dug in to get themselves on the board, with Esteban Guerrieri making the points twice.
The Argentinian had performed a minor miracle to qualify 16th on Saturday, and made just the start he needed to get himself into contention for the points in Race One by overtaking two competitors on the opening lap.
Despite putting himself in the right places to capitalise on any errors from those ahead, Esteban gradually fell back and his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Civic Type R TCR - carrying 60kg compensation weight and an additional 10kg of Balance of Performance weight, as was the case for all of the Hondas - ended up 15th.
Esteban made another excellent getaway in Race Two to climb from 15th to 12th and, despite being tapped from behind early on and ceding positions, came on strong towards the finish to claim a weekend’s best of 11th place - though that became 13th after he received a five-second post-race penalty.
His compatriot Nestor Girolami also made a strong start in Race Two by improving to 15th from 19th on the grid. Though he dipped in and out of the points from there, a late flurry of incidents and some incisive overtaking meant he was 12th in the final classification.
That was a far more fruitful result than in Race One, in which ‘Bebu’ - like his team-mates - had little opportunity to advance and came home 19th after starting 21st.
Hot on Nestor’s heels in Race Two were ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport duo Tiago Monteiro and Attila Tassi, who were 14th and 15th respectively.
Their race came alive with the intervention of the Safety Car late on, after which both were able to pick off competitors to end the day by adding to their Drivers’ Championship points totals.
Attila ended up 18th in Race One, while a drivethrough penalty for passing through the pitlane twice before the start effectively ended Tiago’s Race One before it had started as he came home 21st.
There is now a three-week gap until the third round of the season at Adria International Raceway. The Italian circuit is a new venue for the WTCR, and will mark the end of the first half of the 2021 season.