WTCR Zandvoort: Thed Björk heads Yann Ehrlacher after controversial team orders

Thed Björk took victory ahead of Lynk & Co team-mate Yann Ehrlacher in a controversial final FIA World Touring Car Cup race at Zandvoort, which saw the two switch positions twice under team orders.

Ehrlacher started the race from pole position, after his uncle Yvan Muller lost the pole he had originally gained in qualifying, with Björk alongside.

At the start the Swede made a better start than Ehrlacher and the Frenchman moved over, but Björk was already alongside and slight contact was made.

Two laps later Björk received a call from the team radio telling him to move over and he duly obliged, but the matter was not resolved as Ehrlacher was then asked to move back over for Björk just two laps later.

The two then settled into formation, with Björk taking his third win of the year as a clearly frustrated Ehrlacher took second, venting over the team radio about always having “the weakest engine” in his car.

BRC Racing’s Norbert Michelisz completed the podium after switching positions with team-mate Augusto Farfus at the final corner, even though the Brazilian had held the position for all of the race before that.

Cyan Racing’s Yvan Muller finished the race where he started it in fifth, ahead of PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona in sixth.

Johan Kristoffersson made up one place when he passed Nicky Catsburg on the opening lap, the Swede finishing as the top Volkswagen in seventh.

Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri was eighth and the best Honda, with the Argentine leaing The Netherlands with an 11-point championship lead as a result.

The top ten was completed by reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini, who made up four places on the opening lap, ahead of SLR’s Rob Huff in tenth, with the Volkswagen driver being one of only a few drivers to make a genuine pass in a race largely devoid of moves, overtaking Catsburg for the position on lap 14.

Catsburg was 11th after losing out in the three-corner side-by-side battle with Huff, ahead of Comtoyou Racing’s Aurélien Panis in 12th, who headed up a three car train containing SLR’s Mehdi Bennani and Münnich’s Néstor Girolami.

Having claimed his first WTCR podium in race two, SLR’s Benjamin Leuchter was the only retirement after slowing with technical issues on lap ten whilst running in 12th.

WRT’s Jean-Karl Vernay finished the race, but an issue with his Audi at the last corner meant he crawled across the line, having been running in 15th until the last corner.

Race result

111Thed BJÖRKLynk & Co 03 TCR1515 LAPS1:48.1982
268Yann EHRLACHERLynk & Co 03 TCR150.8301:48.0871
35Norbert MICHELISZHyundai i30 N TCR152.3771:48.1533
48Augusto FARFUSHyundai i30 N TCR152.9951:48.1114
5100Yvan MULLERLynk & Co 03 TCR153.6581:48.1945
696Mikel AZCONACUPRA TCR154.1201:48.2216
714Johan KRISTOFFERSSONVolkswagen Golf GTi TCR154.4321:48.1218
886Esteban GUERRIERIHonda Civic Type R TCR156.6961:48.27210
91Gabriele TARQUINIHyundai i30 N TCR157.5431:48.03814
1012Rob HUFFVolkswagen Golf GTi TCR159.8401:48.16012
1188Nicky CATSBURGHyundai i30 N TCR1511.0931:48.3547
1221Aurélien PANISCUPRA TCR1513.0941:48.06013
1325Mehdi BENNANIVolkswagen Golf GTi TCR1513.3281:47.88016
1429Néstor GIROLAMIHonda Civic Type R TCR1513.5581:47.95011
15111Andy PRIAULXLynk & Co 03 TCR1515.5911:48.36317
1622Frédéric VERVISCHAudi RS3 LMS TCR1515.9561:48.42620
1710Niels LANGEVELDAudi RS3 LMS TCR1516.1211:48.47218
1831Kevin CECCONAlfa Romeo Giulietta TCR1516.8471:48.50219
1918Tiago MONTEIROHonda Civic Type R TCR1517.5371:48.49423
2050Tom CORONELCUPRA TCR1518.4751:48.39525
2155Ma QING HUAAlfa Romeo Giulietta TCR1519.0091:48.31224
229Attila TASSIHonda Civic Type R TCR1522.7791:48.80421
2337Daniel HAGLÖFCUPRA TCR1522.8491:48.78222
2452Gordon SHEDDENAudi RS3 LMS TCR1523.6771:48.81026
2569Jean-Karl VERNAYAudi RS3 LMS TCR1529.6211:48.41215
R33Benjamin LEUCHTERVolkswagen Golf GTi TCR10DNF1:47.9839

WTCR Zandvoort: Thed Björk heads Yann Ehrlacher after controversial team orders

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