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Macau WTCR: Muller scores back-to-back wins

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Macau WTCR: Muller scores back-to-back wins
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Nov 17, 2019, 1:37 AM

Yvan Muller doubled up on Macau Guia Race World Touring Car Cup victories, winning the reversed-grid second race from teammate Thed Bjork to haul himself right into the title fight.

Muller started fifth, but had dragged his Cyan Racing Lynk & Co into the lead before the end of the opening lap and was not headed thereafter.

The four-time world champion's nephew Yann Ehrlacher led the early reckoning in his Lynk & Co, leading Bjork on the run down to Lisboa while Muller passed the Mulsanne Alfa Romeo of Kevin Ceccon and Esteban Guerrieri (Munnich Motorsport Honda) to run third.

Ehrlacher then moved over on the exit of Maternity Bend at the top of the mountain, letting Bjork and Muller through into first and second, before Muller passed Bjork for the lead.

That position change was not shown on the race broadcast, but Muller indicated in his post-race television interview that he "owed" both Ehrlacher and Bjork.

Bjork stayed in Muller's slipstream for the remaining seven laps but did not challenge his teammate, with Muller adding to his Saturday race win to move to within 20 points of the top of the WTCR standings.

The two leading Lynk & Cos were kept honest by Ceccon, who recorded his second podium finish of the weekend by finishing third, while Guerrieri gave his own title hopes a boost with a gutsy drive to fourth.

The Argentinian briefly occupied third after passing Ehrlacher opportunistically at Lisboa at the start of the second lap, though was easy prey for Ceccon a lap later.

Guerrieri was visibly on the limit in his attempts to keep the rear of his Honda in line, but rebuffed a number of attempted overtakes from the BRC Hyundai of Nicky Catsburg, including a final-lap assault at Mandarin, to secure the position.

Fifth ultimately went the way of Johan Kristoffersson (Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen), ahead of Ehrlacher - who lost a handful of positions when Guerrieri squeezed past him - the fourth Lynk & Co of Andy Priaulx, and Audi drivers Frederic Vervisch and Jean-Karl Vernay.

Catsburg ultimately dropped back after his failed attempt to pass Guerrieri, giving 10th to his points-leading teammate Norbert Michelisz.

The Hungarian lost one position from his 12th-place starting position on the opening lap, but was handed a position early on by teammate Gabriele Tarquini, passed the Volkswagen of Rob Huff soon after, and was promoted one additional position when Catsburg slowed.

Those gains mean Michelisz has an 11-point margin over Guerrieri in the title race, with Muller a further six points back.

Race results:

Cla # Driver Chassis Laps Gap
1 100 France Yvan Muller
Lynk & Co 8
2 11 Sweden Thed Björk
Lynk & Co 8 0.455
3 31 Italy Kevin Ceccon
Alfa Romeo 8 0.932
4 86 Argentina Esteban Guerrieri
Honda 8 1.896
5 14 Sweden Johan Kristoffersson
Volkswagen 8 5.305
6 68 France Yann Ehrlacher
Lynk & Co 8 8.076
7 111 Guernsey Andy Priaulx
Lynk & Co 8 8.662
8 22 Belgium Frederic Vervisch
Audi 8 9.010
9 69 France Jean-Karl Vernay
Audi 8 10.222
10 5 Hungary Norbert Michelisz
Hyundai 8 11.101
11 1 Italy Gabriele Tarquini
Hyundai 8 11.583
12 88 Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Hyundai 8 12.712
13 50 Netherlands Tom Coronel
CUPRA 8 12.908
14 12 United Kingdom Rob Huff
Volkswagen 8 13.925
15 96 Spain Mikel Azcona
CUPRA 8 18.087
16 10 Netherlands Niels Langeveld
Audi 8 18.589
17 55 China Ma Qing Hua
Alfa Romeo 8 19.527
18 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro
Honda 8 20.361
19 29 Argentina Nestor Girolami
Honda 8 20.762
20 2 Sweden Robert Dahlgren
CUPRA 8 31.614
21 33 Germany Benjamin Leuchter
Volkswagen 8 31.747
22 9 Hungary Attila Tassi
Honda 7 1 Lap
25 Morocco Mehdi Bennani
Volkswagen 5 3 Laps
36 Lo Kai
Audi 5 3 Laps
6 Germany Luca Engstler
Hyundai 2 6 Laps
21 France Aurelien Panis
CUPRA 1 7 Laps
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Macau WTCR: Priaulx completes Lynk & Co hat-trick

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About this article

Series WTCR
Event Macau
Sub-event Race 2
Drivers Yvan Muller
Author Jack Cozens