Civic Type R TCR driver Guerrieri
still in WTCR title hunt
Esteban Guerrieri remains in the hunt for the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup with just one round to go thanks to a fourth-placed finish in his Honda Civic Type R TCR at Suzuka, Japan.
The ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver delivered the result in the first of three races at Honda’s home circuit, but his JAS Motorsport-built car was prevented from scoring further after he was on the receiving end of heavy contact in both of the other encounters.
Team-mate Yann Ehrlacher qualified fourth and ran second in Race Three, but was denied a podium after suffering a mid-race issue. His best result of the weekend was ninth in Race Two. Timo Scheider, who finished all three races, scored a best result of 13th.
Boutsen Ginion Racing recorded a double-finish in each of the three races. Tiago Monteiro, returning to racing after an injury-induced 14-month absence, made an impressive impact.
The Portuguese secured a best result of 11th in Race Three and set the fourth-fastest lap of Race Two in what will be his only appearance of the season.
Team-mate Tom Coronel made excellent progress after qualifying outside of the top 20 to finish 14th in Race Three.
Chariya Nuya ended the TCR Thailand season with a dominant victory at the Buriram season finale.
Having finished third in the opening race, the Billionaire Boy Racing driver easily won the final race to secure third spot in the end-of-season points.
Pattarapol Vongprai qualified on the front row and was classified fourth in both races as he sealed the runner-up spot in the Drivers’ Championship and Vattana Motorsport did likewise in the Teams’ points.
Nattachak Hanjitkasem finished fifth in both races in his TBN MK Ihere Racing Team Civic.
Mads Fischer, JAS Motorsport TCR Project Leader, said: “It’s great to have a Civic Type R TCR driver head to the final round of the WTCR in Macau with a chance of winning. It will require a very big points haul and some bad luck for his rivals, but we know he’ll keep on fighting right to the finish. Unfortunately, circumstances didn’t allow Esteban or any of the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport drivers to get the results they wanted. The current Balance of Performance (BoP) in TCR meant that many cars were in a very strange position at Suzuka, so I think that needs some addressing. For example the Civic is to run at less than full power and this makes it very difficult for the drivers to defend positions on the long straights, though the speed through the twisty sections was very good. It was excellent to see Tiago Monteiro back and competitive and also great that the older car is still winning races in TCR Thailand and both Vattana Motorsport and Billionaire Boy Racing have done well this year.”
Main: Esteban Guerrieri, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, FIA WTCR, Suzuka, Japan; Lower: (Row 1 L) Yann Ehrlacher, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR, FIA WTCR, Suzuka, Japan; (R) Tiago Monteiro, Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, FIA WTCR, Suzuka, Japan; (Row 2 L) Chariya Nuya, Billionaire Boy Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Thailand, Buriram, Thailand; (R) Pattarapol Vongprai, Vattana Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Thailand, Buriram, Thailand.
About JAS Motorsport
Founded in 1995, JAS Motorsport is one of the world's leading touring car teams and constructors. Initially fielding Alfa Romeos in the ITC, JAS became a technical partner of Honda in 1998 and has been at the forefront of its activities with touring cars and rallying ever since. In 2012, JAS was chosen to develop, in partnership with Honda R&D, the Civic WTCC, with which it claimed the Manufacturers' world title a year later. JAS designed and built the Civic Type R TCR, which claimed 12 major titles in 2016 and '17 and is now responsible for the build of both the all-new Civic TCR and the NSX GT3 supercar.