Sunday, 7 April 2013

First time winners share the spoils in Marrakech - WTCC Race Of Morocco Review

Nash had his best weekend yet
Michel Nykjaer and Pepe Oriola both won their first WTCC races in an action packed event in Marrakech wich included safety car periods in both races.

Race one started with Honda driver Gabriele Tarquini on pole, Nykjaer in fourth. The Dane passed fellow Chevrolet drivers Yvan Muller and James Nash to take second before passing Tarqunini's Honda Civic on lap six for the lead.

Reigning champion Rob Huff had a good battle with former team mate Muller, passing the Frenchman for fourth early on. However, the Brit was to miss out as Muller regained the place later on.

Michel Nykjaer won the first race
As well as Nykjaer taking the lead, lap six also saw a crash for Honda's Tiago Monteiro. The Former F1 racer crashed out at turn three whilst running in the top ten. The impact resulted in a safety car period whilst the stricken Civic was recovered.

Nykjaer held on to record his, and Nika racing's first WTCC win with Tarquini taking Honda's best WTCC position with second. Britain's James Nash secured his maiden WTCC podium with a third placed finish.

With tenth fastest time in qualifying, Fernando Monje started race two from pole position with Campos team mate Pepe Oriola alongside him in second.

Pepe Oriola claimed race two
Oriola quickly passed his team mate for the lead whilst Monje was left to contend with a rapid Rob Huff and the ever present Yvan Muller. A brave move by Huff at the end of lap one failed to pay off as Muller passed both him and Monje's SEAT, whilst Huff himself retired with suspension damage that resulted from the move.

Fernando Monje's day was to go from bad to worse as he dropped down the field, the ran into the back of LADA driver James Thompson knocking both of them out of the race, much to the Brit's displeasure.

Whilst Bamboo Engineering's James Nash battled with the Munnich SEAT of Marc Basseng for fourth place,the RML Chevrolets of Muller and Tom Chilton began to close in on Oriola with both fighting to gain position.

Honda had a mixed weekend
A safety car period, as a result of another hard Honda smash, this time for Tarquini, bunched up the field once more. However, Oriola kept his cool to clinch his first WTCC win ahead of Muller and Chilton, becoming the youngest ever WTCC winner in the process.

The WTCC season continues in two weeks in Slovakia where France's Yvan Muller will be looking to extend his championship lead.

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