Nestor Girolami opened the 2020 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season with a victory, on a day of triumphs in the face of adversity for the ALL-INKL.COM and ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport teams.
‘Bebu’ led from lights to flag in Sunday’s 13-lap opening race to claim his fourth WTCR win at the wheel of the JAS Motorsport-built Honda Civic Type R TCR.
After making a fine getaway from pole position, the Argentinian never looked like ceding the lead and clinched a comfortable victory – an excellent result made even better by a first podium in the WTCR for ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport driver Attila Tassi.
That, coupled with a measured drive to fifth in race two, means Nestor holds an early second place in the Drivers’ Championship after the first of this season’s six rounds, seven points behind the series leader.
Things were less serene on the other side of the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport garage for Nestor’s compatriot Esteban Guerrieri.
Having made an excellent start to the opening race, as he advanced from 11th on the grid to eighth, Esteban retired after two laps as a result of radiator damage – a fate also suffered by ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport driver Tiago Monteiro.
Unfazed by the task in hand, both operations completed engine changes in less than two hours before the start of race two, with both drivers rewarding that hard work with top-15 finishes.
From 21st on the grid – a consequence of the team working on the cars in parc ferme conditions – Esteban made up seven places on the first lap alone, recovering to 13th at the finish.
Tiago – who like Esteban had also made an excellent start to race one before his issue; climbing from 17th on the grid to 14th before he stopped – made similar ground, advancing from the back of the grid to finish 15th, only to drop to 19th after a post-race penalty was applied.
Attila’s drive to third in race one was one that oozed maturity, as the 21-year-old balanced hounding the car ahead for second with defending his place on the podium. A maiden WTCR rostrum was no less than he deserved.
He would likely have been on for a top-five finish in race two as well but, having climbed a position to sixth at the start, contact at the Thierry Boutsen chicane sent him to the back of the field.
Undeterred, he staged an improbable comeback to join the fight for the final points positions. He crossed the line in 16th, though was also handed a penalty and eventually classified 20th.
In addition to Nestor’s second place in the Drivers’ Championship, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport is third in the Teams’ standings, with the ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport squad ninth.
The Honda Civic Type R TCR drivers now face a quick turnaround before heading to the Nurburgring Nordschleife for the second round of the season in under a fortnight.