WTCR Race of Morocco is painted with BRC Racing Team colours
Gabriele Tarquini SHOW - Winner of Race 1 and Race 3
BRC Racing Team could not hope for a better start to the season, thanks to a monumental performance by Gabriele Tarquini at the wheel of his Hyundai i30 N TCR, dominating the first round of FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR).
In Qualifying 1 Norbert Michelisz and Gabriele Tarquini made a strong start, placing themselves in second and third position, respectively. However, the Hungarian driver was forced to prematurely conclude his session due to a problem with an engine oil line. The team made the decision to change the engine as a precaution. Despite the limited time between the session and the start of Race 1, masterful work of the mechanics enabled him to line-up at the back of the Race 1 grid.
At the start of Race 1 Tarquini, a veteran and star of the category, put all his experience to good use. With an extraordinary start he immediately leapt into the lead and proved unstoppable in his #30 Hyundai i30 N TCR to take the first chequered flag of the season.
Norbert Michelisz’s tough weekend continued, having to stop on track as he fought his way up from the back of the field.
The action at the Circuit Moulay El Hassan restarted on Sunday with the second qualifying session, to set the start order for Race 2 and 3. Norbert Michelisz again showed his single-lap speed to claim third position, while superb Gabriele Tarquini was again in superb form to grab DHL Pole Position after a challenging final part of the session.
In Race 2, with the first 10 positions reversed on a tight street circuit track with few overtaking opportunities, Michelisz began chasing points to make up for frustrating opening day. Happily, the Hungarian was able to take 7th place, adding further to the three points he claimed from the earlier qualifying session.
Gabriele Tarquini once again delivered a lightning start, moving up the order during the first lap. However, the close quarters racing through the middle sector of the lap saw him make contact with another car. In the following laps the team and the driver, in radio contact, decide to return to the pits with the aim of repairing the car for the imminent start of Race 3.
In Race 3, Norbert Michelisz made a great start, only to find his path blocked by Yvan Muller. The contact relegated him to the fifth position that he maintains until the end of the race.
Gabriele Tarquini, a.k.a. “Il Cinghio”, was hungry for a second victory on the historic weekend, and after another very good start from DHL Pole Position, lead throughout the race, defending from his pursuers’ attacks. His Hyundai i30 N TCR flew to the finish line for his second win, sealing a perfect weekend.
Thanks to the long work carried out last year in collaboration with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing, BRC Racing Team returns to Italy after the first of the ten scheduled races, gaining first place both in TEAMS and DRIVERS Rankings.
Gabriele Tarquini comments: “The Hyundai i30 N TCR was fantastic, fast and reliable, and kept a great pace all weekend. BRC Team impeccably coped with every situation. I’m over the moon and hope the dream continues”.
Norbert Michelisz explains: “It was a pretty unlucky weekend, but I still managed to get important scores for the general ranking. We have 27 races ahead and nothing is lost. I’m very motivated for the next event, my home race at Hungaroring”.
This is the comment from BRC CEO, Massimiliano Fissore: “The Marrakech weekend was very positive for BRC Racing Team. We proved to have a good team, excellent drivers and the Hyundai i30 N TCR was extremely competitive. These factors make us optimistic for the season ahead, and we believe we have all the parts to be among those challenging for the victory all year”.
Race 1 WTCR 2018 Morocco – Circuit Moulay El Hassan – Marrakech – 20 laps
1 - Gabriele Tarquini - BRC Racing Team 48' 58.707
2 - Thed Björk - Yvan Muller Racing + 0.729
3 - Robert Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing + 2.823
4 - Jean-Karl Vernay - Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team + 4.593
5 - Gordon Shedden - Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team + 5.702
6 - Esteban Guerrieri - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport + 10.136
7 - Yann Ehrlacher - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport + 10.784
8 - Aurélien Comte - DG Sport Compétition + 11.577
9 - Mehdi Bennani - Sébastien Loeb Racing + 15.025
10 - John Filippi - Campos Racing + 15.026
Race 2 WTCR 2018 Morocco – Circuit Moulay El Hassan – Marrakech – 20 laps
1- Jean-Karl Vernay - Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team 31' 41.418
2 - Mehdi Bennani - Sébastien Loeb Racing + 0.890
3 - Pepe Oriola - Campos Racing + 3.270
4 - Yann Ehrlacher - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport + 3.631
5 - Thed Björk - Yvan Muller Racing + 6.570
6 - James Thompson - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport + 7.916
7 - Norbert Michelisz - BRC Racing Team + 11.929
8 - Esteban Guerrieri - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport + 13.630
9 - Yvan Muller - Yvan Muller Racing + 14.555
10 - Tom Coronel - Boutsen Ginion Racing + 14.959
Race 3 WTCR 2018 Morocco – Circuit Moulay El Hassan – Marrakech – 23 laps
1 - Gabriele Tarquini - BRC Racing Team 35' 32.310
2 - Yvan Muller - Yvan Muller Racing + 2.524
3 - Thed Björk - Yvan Muller Racing + 2.922
4 - Yann Ehrlacher - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport + 4.645
5 - Norbert Michelisz - BRC Racing Team + 5.937
6 - Mehdi Bennani - Sébastien Loeb Racing + 6.631
7 - Robert Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing + 8.121
8 - James Thompson - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport + 9.932
9 - Jean-Karl Vernay - Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team + 10.743
10 - Pepe Oriola - Campos Racing + 13.740
OVERALL RANKINGS - DRIVERS
1 - #30 Gabriele Tarquini ITA - BRC Racing Team – HYUNDAI – pt. 62
2 - #11 Thed Björk SWE - MRacing - HYUNDAI – pt. 51
3 - #69 Jean-Karl Vernay FRA - Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team – AUDI – pt. 41
4 - #68 Yann Ehrlacher FRA - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport – HONDA – pt. 37
5 - #25 Mehdi Bennani MAR - Sébastien Loeb Racing – VOLKSWAGEN – pt. 32
6 - #48 Yvan Muller FRA - MRacing – HYUNDAI – pt. 29
7 - #12 Rob Huff GBR - Sébastien Loeb Racing – VOLKSWAGEN – pt. 24
8 - #5 Norbert Michelisz HUN - BRC Racing Team – HYUNDAI – pt. 22
9 - #74 Pepe Oriola ESP -Campos Racing - CUPRA - pt. 16
10 - #86 Esteban Guerrieri ARG - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport – HONDA – pt.14
OVERALL RANKINGS -TEAMS
1 - BRC Racing Team – HYUNDAI – pt. 86
2 - MRacing – HYUNDAI – pt. 82
3 - Sébastien Loeb Racing – VOLKSWAGEN – pt. 56
4 - Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team - AUDI – pt. 56
5 - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport –HONDA – pt. 53
6 - Campos Racing - CUPRA – pt. 20
7 - DG Sport Competition – PEUGEOT – pt. 6
8 - Boutsen Ginion Racing – HONDA – pt. 2
BRC Racing Team
BRC Racing Team is the racing department of BRC Gas Equipment.
With a presence in over 70 countries in the world, and a customer portfolio that includes the major car manufacturers, BRC Gas Equipment is a world leader in the production of systems and components for LPG and CNG conversion of vehicles. BRC Racing Team is an integrated project of R&D and Marketing, aimed at promoting the brand and the corporate image through Motorsport.
About the Hyundai i30 N TCR
Announced in February 2017 the i30 N TCR represents Hyundai Motorsport’s first steps into circuit racing. Built and developed by the Customer Racing department at the team’s headquarters in Alzenau, Germany the car is based on Hyundai’s high-performance i30 N model. Design work for the project began in September 2016, with the first on track test taking place in April 2017. An exhaustive development schedule ended with the i30 N TCR taking victory in its very first race in the TCR International Series at the Zhejiang Raceway in China. Hyundai Motorsport delivered the first cars to customer teams in December 2017, with teams due to compete around the world during 2018.
About the FIA World Touring Car Cup
The World Touring Car Cup is running to new rules and a new name from 2018 as the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) hits the tracks. Promoted by Eurosport Events, the organisation behind the WTCC, and using the TCR technical regulations – a cheaper and more accessible concept embraced by manufacturers including Audi, Honda, Hyundai, Opel, Peugeot, Renault, SEAT and Volkswagen – WTCR will be contested over 10 weekends in four continents from April to November. Each event will consist of three races and will typically take place over two days. Day one includes a single qualifying and race, while day two is more in keeping with the previous WTCC set-up: a three-phase qualifying and two races with the first race utilising a reverse grid. A maximum of 26 entries will be accepted plus a further two wildcards at each event. Although there won’t be manufacturer teams under cost-cutting measures, several top drivers from the WTCC and other international touring car series are set to take part with the prospect of some extremely close and exciting racing.