MICHELISZ IS NEW KING OF WTCR, HAFIZH SHOWING STRONG CREDENTIALS IN FOUR-WHEEL
Tuesday, 17th December 2019 – The 2019 WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup season concluded yesterday under the bright floodlights of Sepang International Circuit (SIC) with Norbert Michelisz of BRC Hyundai N Squadre Corse crowned as the new King of WTCR; garnering a total of 370 points after completing ten rounds of intense competition around the globe.
Championship leader after 9 rounds with 326 points and holding a 15-point advantage over Estaban Guerrieri, the Hungarian driver extended his lead at the top of the standings by winning the opening race today with his Argentinian rival taking third place. Michelisz, however, failed to close the championship battle with Race 2 after Guerriera of ALL-INK.COM Munnich Motorsports won that penultimate race of the season and the Hungarian only managing eighth placing in a wet race that finished behind the safety car.
With the stage set for a decisive night race for Race 3 with a straight fight between Michelisz and Guerriera for the overall crown, the Hungarian driver was guaranteed the title after his Argentinian rival was forced to pit midway through the race after his Honda Civic Type R TCR was hit from behind. Michelisz completed the race in fifth position while Guerriera had to be contended with 22nd placing.
The season-finale in Sepang also featured three Malaysians amongst the four wildcard drivers that included Malaysia’s MotoGP star Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah, who also competed in bike Endurance World Championship (EWC) 8 Hours of Sepang where he finished seventh overall with Yamaha Sepang Racing that also featured Italian Franco Morbidelli and Michael van der Mark.
Making his debut in competitive four-wheel racing, Hafizh, who was 29th in qualifying, clearly improved with his additional lap times. Finishing in 25th placing in Race 1, the Malaysian MotoGP star was 22nd in Race 2; before bettering to a credible 15th place in an exciting Race 3.
Mitchell, who is the more established race car driver which winning the Sepang 1000km endurance race in November, had to also fight fever apart from the challenging wet race, to finish 19th in the opening before improving further to an impressive 16th place in Race 2. The young Malaysian was clearly feeling effects of the fever when he finished 19th in the final race.
Veteran Douglas Khoo, who was 30th in qualifying on Friday, finished in 26th position in Race 1; before improving to 24th in Race 2. The final race saw the best of the Malaysian driver as he finished the 14-lap battle in 21st place.