Norbert Michelis – 2019 WTCR World ChampionDecember 16, 2019
Norbert Michelis won the title in the dramatic roundabout of the 2019 WTCR season, finishing fifth in Sepang’s last weekend race.
After the first bunch of turns, the Hungarian fell into third place, missing the rival for the title race Esteban Guerrieri and Mikel Atzkonu, whose Cupra perfectly clung to the road on the outer radius of the first turn. Soon, Norby lost ground to Kristofferson, who broke through from 22nd place to third in less than a circle.
On the second lap, a safety car appeared on the highway due to the departure of Augustus Farfus in the last sector. At the time of the restart, the virtual leader was Guerrieri.
Soon after the restart of Atzkon, he forged an Argentinean car in the 11th turn. Guerrieri flew off the track, but retained leadership – not for long: on the sixth lap, his Honda engine sharply lost power on the reverse line due to grass stuck in the radiator, and the fight for the title ended.
After another period of safety car (the culprit this time was three-time BTCC champion Gordon Shedden, who completed his monstrous season in gravel), Atskona, Kristofferson and Alfa Romeo racer Kevin Chekkon won the race. And the two-time world champion in rally-cross gained the upper hand in this fight, summing up the beautiful result of the Volkswagen factory program. Chekkon tried to take the second place from Atzona in the last turn of the race, but the Spaniard defended silver.
Frederick Wervish finished lonely on the fourth line, and Norbert Michelis, fifth in the finish line, became WTCR 2019 champion after ten full seasons in World Touring. In his possibly last race of his career, 57-year-old Gabriele Tarquini finished sixth.
The title in the standings of the teams in the first year of performances went to Cyan Racing. Second and third places were taken by BRC Hyundai and Munnich Motorsport.
Thus, the last FIA world champion in 2019 was determined, and the riders had a long three-month vacation ahead of them. The WTCR-2020 season will begin traditionally in Morocco, April 3-5.
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