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Rio Hondo WTCC: Michelisz wins for Honda after Catsburg puncture

Norbert Michelisz wins Termas de Rio Hondo WTCC 2017

Honda's Norbert Michelisz grabbed his second World Touring Car Championship victory of 2017 in the main Termas de Rio Hondo race after long-time leader Nicky Catsburg's Volvo suffered a puncture.

Michelisz failed to score a point in the first race due to a puncture of his own on the opening lap, but inherited his second victory in as many WTCC rounds in the second half of the main event as Catsburg suffered a second catastrophic tyre failure of the weekend.

Catsburg jumped away from pole at the start of the race to head the field into the first corner, with Michelisz defending his second place on the grid from team-mate Tiago Monteiro.

Having fended off the sister Honda's attentions, Michelisz stayed with Catsburg early on but forfeited six tenths of a second in the space of two laps in the middle of the race, as Catsburg began to build a comfortable lead.

But disaster struck on lap eight of the 13-lap race for Catsburg, who picked up a left-front puncture for a second race in a row, crushing his own hopes of a second victory of 2017.

Nicky Catsburg Polestar Volvo puncture Termas de Rio Hondo WTCC 2017

With Monteiro in tow, Michelisz nurtured his Civic home in the closing laps to head a comfortable one-two - Honda's second of the season and its first since the opening round in Marrakech.

Monteiro's second place allowed him to extend his points lead over third-place finisher Thed Bjork, whose third podium from four races restored some pride for Volvo.

Home Argentinian driver Esteban Guerrieri backed up a podium finish in the opening race with a fine fourth in the main event, finishing five seconds behind Bjork in his Campos Racing Chevrolet Cruze.

Sebastien Loeb Racing team-mates Mehdi Bennani and Tom Chilton were separated by the second Volvo of Nestor Girolami, with Chilton dragging his understeering Citroen C-Elysee to seventh after contact at the first corner.

Chilton finished the opening race first on the road but was demoted to fourth for a brusque move on RC Motorsport driver Yann Ehrlacher for the lead.

He finished ahead of the Lada fair and square in the second race as Ehrlacher defended from Munnich Motorsport's Rob Huff.


1Norbert MicheliszHonda Racing Team JASHonda22m39.375s
2Tiago MonteiroHonda Racing Team JASHonda0.505s
3Thed BjorkPolestar Cyan RacingVolvo1.381s
4Esteban GuerrieriCampos RacingChevrolet6.379s
5Mehdi BennaniSebastien Loeb RacingCitroen14.281s
6Nestor GirolamiPolestar Cyan RacingVolvo14.675s
7Tom ChiltonSebastien Loeb RacingCitroen20.386s
8Yann EhrlacherRC MotorsportLada20.750s
9Rob HuffMunnich MotorsportCitroen20.999s
10Tom CoronelROAL MotorsportChevrolet21.983s
11Ryo MichigamiHonda Racing Team JASHonda22.361s
12John FilippiSebastien Loeb RacingCitroen22.989s
13Kevin GleasonRC MotorsportLada26.701s
14Daniel NagyZengo MotorsportHonda39.996s
15Zsolt David SzaboZengo MotorsportHonda40.437s
16Nicky CatsburgPolestar Cyan RacingVolvo1 Lap


1Tiago Monteiro200
2Thed Bjork188
3Norbert Michelisz171
4Mehdi Bennani164
5Nicky Catsburg159
6Tom Chilton147
7Rob Huff135
8Esteban Guerrieri113
9Nestor Girolami68
10Yann Ehrlacher45
11Tom Coronel34
12John Filippi15
13Kevin Gleason2
14Ryo Michigami2
15Aurelien Panis2
16Daniel Nagy1
17Manuel Fernandes0
18Zsolt David Szabo0

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