Photo: Jacques Letihon Photographe

Norbert Michelisz wins dramatic last race of the season at Mettet

Norbert Michelisz won the final race of the day at Mettet in a dramatic final round of the TCR Benelux series at the Circuit Jules Tacheny, after two incidents on the opening lap saw the race red flagged and completed in fading light.

Michelisz started from pole at the rolling start courtesy of his Race 3 victory in his Boutsen Ginion Honda ahead of the Peugeot of Aurélien Comte. Corthals pre-empted a move down the inside and got the lunge ahead of Comte to grab second into Surtees, while further back there was drama as the two Team WRT team-mates came together.

Denis Dupont, in the WRT-run SEAT, tipped Volkswagen-equipped team-mate Grégoire Demoustier into a spin on the way to the first corner, with Demoustier narrowly missing the Volkswagen of Alexis van de Poele as he hit the barrier.

Mathieu Detry was also caught up in the aftermath in his Ferry Monster SEAT and stopped at Anderson, with the officials calling for the safety car.

The marshals hadn’t even had time to display the boards before the next incident, as Corthals ran side-by-side with Michelisz at Saarinen, and then spun across the nose of the Honda and off the banking at Hubin, rejoining the track hard and taking terminal damage to the rear of his Opel Astra.

The race was red flagged and resumed 15 minutes later, with Michelisz still leading ahead of Comte and van de Poele.

The main mover of the race was Renaud Kuppens, who had started last and worked his way up to fourth, benefitting as Edouard Mondron ran wide and gave away fourth place at Mertens during the closing stages.

Michelisz went on to win the race over ten seconds clear of Comte, who notched up another second-place finish for Peugeot Belgique Luxembourg at the circuit, while van de Poele finished on the final spot on the podium.

The 2017 TCR Benelux series starts again on April 23rd at Circuit Zolder, Belgium.