Guerrieri converts pole position into a victory at Marrakech

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Esteban Guerrieri converted his pole position into a lights-to-flag victory, opening the score for the 2019 WTCR at Marrakech.

The Argentine crossed the finishing line with a slim margin of six tenths over Thed Björk who gave Lynk&Co a podium results on its maiden race.

Guerrieri’s teammate Néstor Girolami completed the podium, providing the icing on the cake for Münnich Motorsport and Honda.

Actually the third to take the chequered flag was Jean-Karl Vernay in the WRT Audi, but the Frenchman was handed a 5-second time penalty for pushing Andy Priaulx in the first part of the race and dropped to 7th.

At the start, Guerrieri made good use of the pole and kept Björk at bay; behind them Girolami and Priaulx clashed and the Briton took third; Girolami dropped to fifth behind Vernay who had overtaken Gabriele Tarquini at the start.

At the end of lap 1, Yvan Muller pitted and then rejoined; the Frenchman had qualified second, but started from the back of the grid due to an engine change.  

On lap 5, Vernay pushed Priaulx wide and the latter dropped from third to sixth.

On lap 11, Mikel Azcona hit Norbert Michelisz and passed him to take ninth position; the Spaniard too was given a 5-second penalty that dropped him to 15th.

Action will resume tomorrow at 11:00 local time (12:00 CET) with Qualifying for Races 2 and 3.

Race 1

  1. Esteban Guerrieri (Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic FK7), 18 laps
  2. Thed Björk (Cyan Racing, Lynk&Co 03), 0.638
  3. Néstor Girolami (Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic FK7), 2.191
  4. Gabriele Tarquini (BRC Squadra Corse, Hyundai i30 N), 2.965
  5. Andy Priaulx (Cyan Racing, Lynk&Co 03), 4.298

Championship points

  1. Guerrieri 30 pts
  2. Björk 23
  3. Girolami 18