Néstor Girolami extends points lead with his third win of the year at the Slovakiaring

Néstor Girolami led a Münnich Motorsport 1-2 in the second race of the day at the Slovakiaring, with the Argentinian extending his points lead over his team-mate Esteban Guerrieri to 12 points.

Rob Huff started from pole position in the Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR ahead of Girolami’s Honda, while third on the grid was the Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS of Niels Langeveld, after Aurélien Panis was given a two-place penalty for his incident with Mehdi Bennani in Race 1.

Huff got away well but Girolami put his car ahead on the inside into Turn 1, but Huff got the switchback after running out wide at cutting over and nabbed the spot back at the exit.

Guerrieri meanwhile had shot through from sixth on the grid to third in his Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic TCR, while there were incidents behind, with Race 1 winner Frédéric Vervisch running out wide and bouncing across the grass in his Audi, fatally damaging his car, and with Volkswagen’s Benjamin Leuchter involved in incidents with Cyan Racing’s Thed Björk and the Engstler Hyundai of Luca Engstler, with all three out of the race with damage.

Huff’s lead lasted one more lap before he was passed by Girolami at Turn 3 on the second lap, and the Volkswagen driver was then defending to keep back Guerrieri in the sister Honda.

Guerrieri made his move one lap later and now Huff was left to defend against the Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo of Kevin Ceccon.

The fight continued for six laps before Ceccon shot past Huff on the straight on lap seven, with the Briton soon passed by Nicky Catsburg’s BRC Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR, with the Dutchman making quick progress after starting tenth.

Huff held on to fifth to secure his best result of the season ahead of Michelisz’s Hyundai, with Mikel Azcona seventh and the best-placed of the Cupras in seventh, with Niels Langeveld scoring his best result of the season, and Audi’s best finisher in the race, with eighth.

Ma Qing Hua recovered from an early spin to finish ninth in his Alfa Romeo, with Tom Coronel driving from last to tenth in his Comtoyou Racing Cupra TCR.

Yvan Muller was again the best of the Cyan Racing Lynk & Co drivers with 11th, and again the only one to score points.

Girolami’s win sees him move 12 points clear of Guerrieri, with Tarquini hanging on to third in the championship despite scoring no points in Race 2 after he was given a drive-through penalty following contact with the Cupra of Aurélien Panis and finished down in 19th.

The final race of the day gets underway at 16:45 CEST, with Catsburg starting from pole position for the second time today.