Marrakech, Race 2: Honda takes 1-2 with Monteiro win

Norbert Michelisz in second

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By Olivier Ferret

9 April 2017 - 19:53
Marrakech, Race 2: Honda takes 1-2 (...)

Tiago Monteiro won the first Main Race of the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship, with Honda team-mate Norbert Michelisz in second at WTCC AFRIQUIA Race of Morocco.

Monteiro started on the DHL-presented pole and led from lights to flag, while Michelisz overtook Polestar Cyan Racing’s Néstor Girolami on the opening lap to take second.

Mischelisz held onto the position until the end of the race, despite a safety car period which was caused when Zengő Motorsport rookie Aurélien Panis went off the track with damage to his right-front suspension. Girolami completed the podium in third.

Behind him in fourth was local hero Mehdi Bennani in the Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën – but Bennani is still under investigation for contact with Nicky Catsburg, who finished in fifth. Thed Björk was sixth, ahead of Tom Chilton in seventh.

There was a race-long battle for eighth between ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel and Rob Huff, leading to some frustrated radio calls from Huff to his ALL-INKL Münnich Motorsport team, but ultimately Coronel was able to hold onto the place.

Ryo Michigami was P10 for Honda to score his first WTCCC points with John Fillipi in P11. Yann Ehrlacher started the Main Race after damage sustained to his car in the Opening Race was repaired. He took P12.

Ehrlacher managed to fight off a last-minute push for position from Opening Race winner Esteban Guerrieri who, along with Dániel Nagy, had been forced to start from the pitlane to enable repairs from the Opening Race to be made in between the two counters. Guerrieri was P13 and winner of the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy with Nagy one place behind.

The championship heads to Monza next for WTCC OSCARO Race of Italy from 28-30 April.

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