WTCR – King of WTCR Ehrlacher becomes youngest FIA World Touring Car title winner in Aragón
*Cyan Racing Lynk & Co driver takes coveted accolade aged 24 in action-packed 2020 finale
*Uncle Muller makes it a family 1-2 in title chase with first victory of the season in Race 2 *Uruguayan Urrutia converts DHL Pole Position to breakthrough Race 3 triumph
*Guerrieri stuns by winning Race 1 from P16 on damp track but title hopes soon fade
*Vernay wins WTCR Trophy for Team Mulsanne, takes third in the overall standing
WTCR Race of Aragón, MotorLand Aragón, November 13-15: Race report
WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup, rounds 14, 15 and 16 of 16
Yann Ehrlacher is the youngest FIA World Touring Car title winner in history following a momentous day at MotorLand Aragón for the 24-year-old Cyan Racing Lynk & Co driver*.
Another WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup season decider packed full of drama began with a sensational victory for Ehrlacher’s chief rival Esteban Guerrieri − from P16 on the grid − but ended with a first WTCR title for France following on from success for Italy’s Gabriele Tarquini and Hungary’s Norbert Michelisz in 2018 and 2019 respectively, plus a breakthrough maiden race win for Uruguay’s Santiago Urrutia.
Ehrlacher, whose uncle Yvan Muller has four FIA World Touring Car Championships to his name and won Race 2 for Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, has worn the coveted yellow jacket as the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader all season.
Despite Guerrieri’s victory for Honda-powered ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport trimming his title advantage to 16 points after Race 1, Ehrlacher remained composed starting Race 2 and he duly became King of WTCR when Guerrieri was forced to pit with damage.
But Ehrlacher’s title didn’t hinge on the results of the WTCR Race of Aragón weekend. A three-time winner in 2020, Ehrlacher belied his lack of experience to win World Touring Car racing’s biggest prize on the back of an impressive campaign.
The previous youngest FIA World Touring Car title winners were Andy Priaulx and José María López, who were both 31 when they became champions for the first time in 2005 and 2015 respectively.
Muller, who fittingly won the race in which his nephew became King of WTCR, was one of the first to congratulate Ehrlacher amid emotional scenes in the MotorLand Aragón pitlane. And by finishing fourth in Race 3, Muller secured the runner-up spot with fellow Frenchman Jean-Karl Vernay taking third and the WTCR Trophy for independent racers.
Guerrieri appeared to have done enough to beat Vernay to third place after Attila Tassi, his fellow Honda-powered driver, slowed to hand him the vital point he needed to beat his rival. But a 30-second drive-through penalty for track limits infringements dropped Guerrieri down the order to leave Team Mulsanne-run Vernay to celebrate third position after an impressive season in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferrraris.
After losing out on the WTCR title at the season finale for a third successive season, Guerrieri can nevertheless lock back on a stellar campaign in his Honda Civic Type R TCR. As well as setting the record for the most WTCR wins, Guerrieri’s Race 1 triumph was the stuff of legend, although he owed a huge debt of gratitude to his team-mate Néstor Girolami.
Guerrieri’s fellow Argentine also opted for slick front Goodyear tyres and wet-weather rear covers and excelled by charging from P11 on the grid to lead by the end of lap one. But with Guerrieri desperately needing as many points as possible, Girolami moved over on the final lap to allow Guerrieri to win for a fourth time in 2020.
Gilles Magnus, who won the WTCR Rookie Driver award at the penultimate event of the season, overtook his Audi-powered Comtoyou team-mate Nathanaël Berthon in Race 1 but lost out on a second top-three in Race 2 when home hero Mikel Azcona demoted him to fourth on the final lap in his Zengő Motorsport-entered CUPRA Leon Competición. Azcona finished behind Vernay and winner Muller with Vernay joining winner Urrutia and second-placed Ehrlacher on the Race 3 podium.
Urrutia’s first victory in his Cyaan Performance Lynk & Co 03 TCR follows on from him becoming the TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver at WTCR Race of Spain earlier this month, an award shared this time by Muller and Vernay, who both scored 49 points to conclude the 2020 season.
Norbert Michelisz’s tenure as the King of WTCR ended with a weekend-high fifth in Race 2 for BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse, while Azcona was three times in the top three as Thed Björk took sixth in Race 3 for Cyan Performance Lynk & Co.
Malaysian WTCR returnee Mitchell Cheah (Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team) scored points in Race 2 in P13, one place behind Vuković Motorsport Renault Mégane driver Aurélien Comte.
Source : Fia