Race 2
WTCR 2022
Round 4

Honda Racing drivers dig deep for points on Aragon race day

es Motorland Aragón

Esteban Guerrieri led the Honda charge on a demanding WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup race day at Motorland Aragon.

Honda Racing drivers dig deep for points on Aragon race day

The Argentinian brought home a best result of 11th for the Civic Type R TCR, as all four Honda Racing drivers dug in to score as many points as possible at a track the car is far from well-suited to.

That 11th-place finish came in Race One, where a fast start elevated Esteban to ninth. That was a position he defended for some laps, too, and though he was passed by two cars before the finish he did not come under any further threat from behind.

An even better opening lap in Race Two meant he ran eighth under an early safety car and, while Esteban was again unable to stop others powering past on the long back straight, he was able to keep sight of the pack.

His pace was such that he caught the two cars squabbling for 10th on the last lap, falling just four thousandths shy of another 11th place following an attack through the final sequence of corners.

Nestor Girolami finished one place behind his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team-mate Esteban in both races.

That included a stout defence of 12th place in Race One, as ‘Bebu’ kept a recovering car behind in the final five laps.

In Race Two, his was the second Civic Type R TCR across the line as all four Honda Racing drivers ran close together.

LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler driver Tiago Monteiro scored points in both races following a tough qualifying, finishing 14th in Race One before taking 15th in Race Two as he came home on the tail of his team-mate Attila Tassi.

Attila showed good speed in both races and was running within a second of Esteban in 12th in Race One. However, he suffered a tyre delamination on the main straight four laps from the end of the race and did not finish.

Esteban, Nestor and Attila were all promoted one place in Race Two after another competitor received a five-second time penalty.

Esteban Guerrieri
Esteban Guerrieri 86
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Finishing both races was a positive to begin with. Overall it was a fun race day: I had good starts both times and tried to pull some good moves during the first few laps, which was satisfying even though I knew it would not be possible to keep many cars behind for long. The other positive is that we could keep pace with the pack ahead in Race Two and we had a very good balance. I feel like I extracted the maximum I could so I’m happy with that, because we can only fight with what we have in our hands. We came here to do our best and we did it, so I’m thankful to the team for that.

Néstor Girolami
Néstor Girolami 29
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
As we expected it was a difficult weekend, but at least we scored points in both races. This weekend we tried plenty of different things with the Civic Type R TCR but there was not much difference each time. We are missing a lot of top speed and on this kind of track we suffer a lot as a result, especially with such a long straight that counts for a lot of the lap time. The weekend is done now and there is nothing we can change about it, so we need to move forward and work even harder for Vila Real, because it’s a track that should suit the car much better.

Tiago Monteiro
Tiago Monteiro 18
LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler
We were bracing ourselves for a tough weekend as historically Aragon has never been kind to us, and so it proved to be. Nevertheless, we did not expect the gap to be as big as it was and that is even after we worked hard overnight to improve our Honda Civic Type R TCR. We have had issues and have been working to make it better, but no matter what we do there is a limit to how much our efforts can bring in - we've had our eyes open to that for some time now. It’s not an amazing situation to be in going to my home race so we need to be realistic about this, just as we were coming here.

Attila Tassi
Attila Tassi 9
LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler
That was a very hard pair of races. In Race One I had a great start and stayed clear of any contact, and then I had pretty much the same pace as Esteban or I was possibly even quicker. I felt like I could catch him and maybe in the last few laps I would have a chance to overtake him, but then I had a tyre delamination on the main straight and that was it. Race Two was much hotter and the pace didn’t feel as good, although the gap to the frontrunners was a little hard to believe. It was a hard race so it was all about collecting what points we could, which we managed.

*After the race, Gilles Magnus was penalised and Guerrieri, Girolami and Tassi were moved up to 11th, 12th and 13th place respectively.

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