Esteban Guerrieri recorded two strong points finishes at Pau-Arnos to consolidate his WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup title hopes.
On a weekend where the Civic Type R TCR was far from the fastest car, Esteban executed both days of action well, losing only two points to the Championship leader come the end of Race Two.
He started the day with a smart drive to fourth in Race One, heading Nestor Girolami in what was a routine opener for the two ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Civic Type R TCRs.
Another top-five finish appeared to be on the cards in Race Two, until the order was shaken up in a chaotic final few laps.
As the pack closed up, Esteban came off worst through the tight left-right chicane and dropped to seventh. He remained there until the finish despite attempting to overtake the points leader, who cut back across the track to block his line, on the final lap.
It means the Argentinian is third in the standings, 22 points from the summit, with two race weekends of the 2021 season remaining.
After finishing fifth in Race One, Nestor played an important role in Race Two, leapfrogging both Esteban and the points leader with a perfect start to run fifth.
Having allowed Esteban through, ‘Bebu’ then played the role of wingman by backing the pack up to protect his team-mate’s position.
Sixth place should have been his reward for that rearguard action, but Nestor lost pace as the race approached mid-distance and eventually stopped with what was diagnosed as a tyre delamination that left him with a suspension issue.
Despite that disappointment, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport remain second in the Teams’ Championship.
Tiago Monteiro’s Sunday was something of a rollercoaster, with his best result of 12th in Race Two in no way indicative of his raceday potential.
From 10th on the grid in Race One, the Portuguese had an excellent launch and was in contention for eighth, only to be hit from the side on the approach to the Turn 3 hairpin.
Tiago was a passenger from there as his car slid into the barrier at high speed, with the right-rear suspension broken in the impact.
The ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport team nevertheless worked frantically during the allotted repair time prior to Race Two and sent the Civic Type R TCR out 30 seconds before the pitlane closed, allowing Tiago to take up 11th on the grid.
Having again made up ground off the line to run in the top 10, Tiago was forced off midway through Race Two and dropped down the order, but made up positions before the finish to reward his crew’s efforts with four points.
Team-mate Attila Tassi also recorded a best finish of 12th despite also being the innocent victim of a big hit in Race One.
From 18th on the grid, Attila managed to climb five positions through the opening corners before being turned in on by the car on the outside.
He was able to continue, however, and advanced another position before the finish to take away four points. Race Two proved more difficult but the Hungarian was still able to make up ground, eventually finishing 16th.