Maximum points for René Münnich at the second round at Yas Marina
René Münnich took the maximum points on offer for the second weekend in a row during Abu Dhabi round of the TCR Middle East series, driving Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic TCR.
The German scored the best possible 65 points over the course of the weekend, with pole position and victory in the two sprint races, while he again covered just the minimum distance required to take the ten bonus points in Saturday’s four-hour endurance race, in which the TCR Middle East series races on track with the 24HSERIES Middle East Championship.
After just three cars were entered for the season opener at the Dubai Autodrome last week, the field had increased to five cars for the second race meeting, with British team JW Bird Motorsport fielding a Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR for Paul Dehadray and Kieran Griffin, while Zengő Motorsport added a second Cupra TCR for Tamás Tenke.
Münnich took pole position comfortably, with his Honda 2.4 seconds faster than Luc Breukers’ Red Camel Racing Cupra TCR around the 5.6km circuit.
Münnich won the first sprint race by 54 seconds over Breukers, with Dehadray scoring a debut podium in his Golf, while the two Zengő cars of Tenke and team principal Zoltan Zengő both failed to make the finish.
In the fully reversed grid second race, Münnich quickly drove through and into the lead, scoring his fourth consecutive sprint race victory in his Honda, 40 seconds clear of title rival Breukers. Kieran Griffin, now aboard the Volkswagen, was third, with the sole Zengő of Tamás Tenke again a DNF, while Zengő himself was a DNS.
Breukers partnered with his farther Ivo for the endurance race and won the race by a lap ahead of Griffin and Dehadray’s Golf, with the two Zengő cars some laps adrift.
Championship leader Münnich withdrew from the endurance race after the mandatory minimum distance of one hour, which is the point where all competitors are awarded ten points regardless of finishing position.
Münnich now leads the standings by 30 points over Breukers, heading into the season finale next weekend, with the series returning to the Dubai Autodrome.