Nicky Catsburg takes championship lead after winning Nürburgring Race 2
Polestar Cyan Racing’s Nicky Catsburg has taken his second career victory in the WTCC, and his first for Volvo at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. With Tiago Monteiro not scoring after a disastrous race day, Catsburg has taken the lead of the drivers’ championship as well.
Monteiro was unable to take his fourth place spot on the grid after Honaa were unable to complete repairs after his Race 1 puncture within the 15-minute repair time. This meant he had to start from the pits, behind both the 15-car WTCC field and the 11-car ETCC field.
At the start, Catsburg launched into the lead ahead of pole-sitter Norbert Michelisz, but was challenged into the second corner by Münnich Motorsport’s Rob Huff, but the Citroën driver was pushed out wide and dropped to fourth. Huff soon recovered to third, passing the second Volvo of Thed Björk before leaving the Grand Prix section on the first lap.
Catsburg led the first lap ahead of Michelisz and Huff, with Björk not far behind, with the Citroën of Tom Chilton in fifth.
Unlike in Race 1, there was limited passing at the Döttinger Höhe straight in Race 2, with Huff unable to keep up with Michelisz’s Honda down the straight, also having to keep an eye on Björk’s Volvo behind.
Catsburg began to pull away from the pack from the second lap, leaving Michelisz and Huff fighting over second, while Monteiro was still carving his way through the ETCC field, with the Portuguese driver struggling to catch the WTCC pack due to the traffic.
There was a suspected puncture on the final lap for the Zengo Honda of Daniel Nagy, who crashed out of 13th place, handing the spot to Tiago Monteiro, but critically three outside from the points positions.
Catsburg went on to win by three seconds over Michelisz, with Huff finishing third for the second race in a row, with Race 1 winner Björk fourth ahead of Chilton.
SLR Citroën’s Mehdi Benanni was a distant sixth, with Tom Coronel leading the pair of Chevrolets, just holding off Argentina’s Esteban Guerrieri.
RC Motorsport’s Yann Ehrlacher was ninth in the Lada Vesta, with John Filippi completing the top ten for Sébastien Loeb Racing.
Catsburg’s win propels him in the lead of the championship for the first time on 127 points, two clear of Tiago Monteiro who scored no points on race day, with Thed Björk just six points behind in third.