Girolami seals runner-up spot in WTCR finale
Nestor Girolami drove two brilliant races to secure the runner-up finish in the 2022 WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup Drivers’ standings.
Faced with a back-of-the-grid start for both races, ‘Bebu’ was up against it but kept his head to advance into the top 10 on two occasions.
In a cagey Race One, he made four positions on the opening lap to run 11th, and was later allowed through by ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team-mate Esteban Guerrieri. They ran in formation thereafter as Nestor bagged an important eight points.
Race Two was more chaotic, but the Argentinian kept his Honda Civic Type R TCR clear of trouble ahead as he picked his way through to eighth in the opening laps.
Some determined defending meant he was on course to seal second in the points anyway, but a collision ahead that eliminated his rival in the standings guaranteed Nestor his best overall finish as the race concluded behind the Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition Safety Car.
Runner-up spot, with a record that includes two victories and three pole positions, equals the best finish for a Honda Racing driver in the series.
Esteban ended his fifth campaign in the WTCR with two 11th-place finishes, having overshot at the first corner while challenging for the lead in Race Two.
Despite missing the chance to add to his enviable record as a result, the Argentinian still ends his time in the WTCR with a record 10 victories - two clear of any other driver - and a further 15 podiums.
His and Nestor’s results this year also meant that ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport matched the runner-up finish they achieved in the Teams’ standings in 2020.
There was disappointment for LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler driver Attila Tassi, who ended his season with a retirement having led the finale.
Attila made an excellent start from pole on the partially reversed grid to retain the lead, which he again preserved on lap two with some determined defending.
But he was then needlessly wiped out by an overly ambitious lunge from the third-placed car into Turn 1 on lap three and, having been hit, limped his Civic Type R TCR back to the pits.
That compounded a difficult final race day for the Hungarian, who had a clutch issue at the start of Race One and ended up 14th via two visits to the pits.
Team-mate Tiago Monteiro was still left fighting for all his worth to extract the maximum from his car but plugged away to see out a tricky 2022 campaign with two points finishes.
The Portuguese, a double WTCR race winner, was 13th in Race One before closing the campaign with a ninth-place finish, right behind Nestor.
The Civic Type R TCR ends the WTCR era having played a vital role in the series’ success; it is the only car to have won in all five seasons of competition and in total claimed 22 victories, the most for any model.