Nestor Girolami put on a faultless display at Vallelunga to claim his second win of the 2022 WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup season.
The Argentinian was tasked with withstanding race-long pressure, managing his tyres, and negotiating a Safety Car period in Race One, and passed all tests with aplomb as he converted pole position into a victory.
Though performance was harder to come by in a hotter, more demanding Race Two, ‘Bebu’ followed his victory up with a fifth-place finish.
His efforts mean he is now second in the Drivers’ Championship, 36 points from the lead, with ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport also up to second in the Teams’ standings.
Esteban Guerrieri played the ultimate support role in Race Two, having run ahead of his team-mate in fifth.
From the back of the pack, Esteban charged up the order and was first asked to attack the cars ahead, which included the points leader, then to drop back behind Nestor - which also meant he could protect the lead Civic Type R TCR from those behind.
Sixth place should have been his reward, but he required a visit to the pits at the end of the penultimate lap for a tyre change and dropped to 10th.
Esteban had earlier finished seventh in Race One - which marked his 100th start in the WTCR - despite suffering an engine failure on the final lap, having gradually lost water after a stone kicked up by a rival damaged his radiator.
Attila Tassi and Tiago Monteiro recorded points finishes in each race despite encountering tyre problems on both occasions.
The efforts of LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler were such in Race One that Attila, who needed a pitstop to change tyres, was able to recover to fifth as he put together another weekend that demonstrated the team’s potential with the Civic Type R TCR.
He had made an excellent overtake on the first lap of Race Two to run second, and thereafter applied pressure to the race leader, but dropped out of the fight when he was forced to pit to have a tyre changed. That meant he was eighth at the finish.
Tiago, who celebrated his birthday on Sunday, had been a nailed on top-10 runner a day earlier until qualifying, and despite starting down the order showed his potential in both races.
He ran eighth, in the same pack as Esteban and Nestor, in Race Two but pitted with five laps to go and was limited to 11th.
That was a repeat of his result in Race One, in which he was forced to pit after eight laps.