Rookie Michelisz wins Macau finale
The Hungarian claims maiden win at Macau
Hungarian rookie Norbert Michelisz took an impressive victory in the final race of the season in Macau. Already crowned earlier today in the Rookie Challenge the youngster crossed the line ahead of Gabriele Tarquini and Rob Huff. The Italian secured second in the championship on equal points with the Briton but having scored more victories.
Sergio Hernández was victorious in the Independents’ Trophy and secured the title.
From the standing start Kristian Poulsen pulled away from pole as fellow front-row starter Alain Menu stalled. The field made their way cleanly around the stranded Chevrolet before the Swiss racer managed to get away and rejoin the pack.
Norbert Michelisz had a great start and the rookie, followed by Gabriele Tarquini and Augusto Farfus all passed the Danish independent on the run to the Lisboa Bend demoting him to fourth.
The red flags were then out as behind the leaders a crash at Police corner blocked the track. All 12 cars from Romanov in 14th backward were involved or blocked including Nobuteru Taniguchi, Yukinori Taniguchi, Darryl O’Young, Fredy Barth, Kevin Chen, Colin Turkington, Philip Ma, Masaki Kano, Joseph Rosa Merszei, Michel Nykjær and Alain Menu. Most got going after the track was cleared but Romanov, O’Young, the two Taniguchis, and Barth retired.
After a 20-minute wait on the grid for the restart while the circuit was cleared, Michelisz led the cars around to resume racing. The order was Michelisz from Tarquini, Farfus, Poulsen, Muller, Huff, Monteiro, Engstler, Coronel and Hernández.
The Chevrolet’s of Muller and Huff were putting pressure on Poulsen with the Cruzes getting down the inside at Lisboa and Huff then also moving ahead of Muller.
The Chevrolet cars quickly moved onto the back of the BMW of Farfus. The Brazilian defended hard for a couple of laps with his rear bumper hanging off before Huff making a great move at Mandarin to take third.
As Huff began chasing Tarquini, Muller also found a way passed around the outside of Farfus into Lisboa. Poulsen crashed out of the race leaving Engstler in the Independents’ lead. Masaki Kano’s race ended at Fisherman’s bend but the car was quickly recovered under yellow flags while Joseph Rosa Merszei hit the wall at Lisboa.
After being held up in the earlier collision, Colin Turkington was given a drive-through penalty, after his team were working on his car beyond the three-minute board on the grid in time, dropping him to the back of the field.
Norbert Michelisz drove a clean race to take his first overall WTCC victory, the rookie ending an impressive debut season on a high.
On the last lap the race was on for second in the race, and second in the championship, as Huff chased Tarquini. The Briton couldn’t find a way though however and crossed the line in third. Tarquini secured his second place in the championship. Hernández moved ahead of Engstler into ninth and the lead of the Independents’.
|01||N. Michelisz||Seat Leon TDI||10 laps - 54m37.415s|
|02||G. Tarquini||Seat Leon TDI||+1.193s|
|03||R. Huff||Chevrolet Cruze||+1.543s|
|04||Y. Muller||Chevrolet Cruze||+10.886s|
|05||A. Farfus||BMW 320si||+14.675s|
|06||T. Coronel||Seat Leon TDI||+14.894s|
|07||A. Priaulx||BMW 320si||+15.716s|
|08||T. Monteiro||Seat Leon TDI||+16.360s|
|09||S. Hernandez||BMW 320si||+20.951s|
|10||F. Engstler||BMW 320si||+25.099s|
|11||M. Nykjaer||Seat Leon TDI||+43.156s|
|12||M. Bennani||BMW 320si||+47.302s|
|13||C. Turkington||BMW 320si||+1m01.671s|
|14||K. Chen||BMW 320si||+1m47.235s|
|15||P. Ma||Honda Accord||+1m52.404s|
|16||C. Campanico||BMW 320si||+2 laps|
|17||M. Kano||BMW 320si||DNF|
|18||K. Poulsen||BMW 320si||DNF|
|19||J. Merszei||BMW 320si||DNF|
|20||A. Menu||Chevrolet Cruze||DNF|
|21||A. Romanov||BMW 320si||DNF|
|22||Y. Taniguchi||Chevrolet Lacetti||DNF|
|23||N. Taniguchi||BMW 320si||DNF|
|24||F. Barth||Seat Leon TDI||DNF|
|25||D. O’Young||Chevrolet Lacetti||DNF|
|26||H. Ho||BMW 320si||DNS|
|27||A. Couto||Seat Leon TDI||DNS|
|Best Lap||R. Huff||Chevrolet Cruze||2m32.766s|
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