Nestor Girolami and Esteban Guerrieri kicked off the 2022 WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup season in style by claiming a 1-2 finish in Pau.
The ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team-mates converted their front-row lockout - earned in Saturday evening’s qualifying session - into a lead off the line, and from there never looked troubled as they controlled the opening race on the Pau-Ville street circuit.
Nestor's win was his sixth as a Honda Racing driver in the WTCR, and went a long way to ensuring he left the race weekend at the head of the Drivers’ Championship.
A seventh-place finish in Race Two gave the Argentinian a seven-point lead in the standings over compatriot Esteban, who was a strong fifth in the same race.
That completed a fine weekend for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, who lead the Teams’ Championship with 91 points.
Attila Tassi was robbed of an opportunity to double the Honda Civic Type R TCR win count for the day when he was pushed into the wall at the start of Race Two.
From second on the grid, the Hungarian launched better than the polesitter but was left with no space, as he hit the wall in avoidance before the inevitable contact from the other car - the driver of which earned a six-place grid penalty for the next round.
Attila dropped to the rear of the field as a consequence, but kept his LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler Civic Type R TCR in the race until the finish. Three points for 13th was his reward for that determination, though the missed opportunity compounded a disappointing day as he was earlier forced to stop just two laps from the finish of Race One while running eighth.
That was again because he was the innocent victim of contact, when he was hit from behind into the tight Turn 4 hairpin while executing a clean overtake.
He was able to complete that race, though the forced visit to the pits meant he ended up an unjust 17th.
While Attila suffered misfortune in Race Two, team-mate Tiago Monteiro made it three Civic Type R TCRs in the top 10 as he picked his way through the field from 15th on the grid.
That marked a decent salvage job for the Portuguese driver, who was always likely to face an uphill struggle after his qualifying was hampered by a difficulty to switch the tyres on.
It was a second points finish of the day too, after a 15th place in Race One.
Both drivers’ misfortune leaves LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler eighth in the Teams’ standings, with their results far from reflecting the performance shown over the Pau weekend.