Johan Kristoffersson takes Volkswagen’s first win of 2019 at the Nürburgring
Johan Kristoffersson has claimed the first win for the Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen team of the season at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, winning the race from pole position ahead of Comtoyou Racing Audi driver Frédéric Vervisch, while there was last lap drama between former champions Gabriele Tarquini and Rob Huff.
Kristoffersson started from pole position ahead of the LMS Racing Audi RS 3 LMS of Antti Buri, with the Finn battling to take the lead into Turn 1, with Kristoffersson trying to cover off the first corner, with minor contact in Turn 2.
This allowed Vervisch a run, with the Belgian passing him into second before they headed out onto the Nordschleife.
Buri then slowly fell down the order, with the BRC Racing Hyundai of Gabriele Tarquini passing the Finn, with Rob Huff in his Volkswagen also making his way past at this point.
At the end of the lap, Benjamin Leuchter in the #33 Volkswagen completed a carbon copy of Huff’s pass on Vervisch and Néstor Girolami yesterday, getting the double slipstream from Esteban Guerrieri’s Honda and Aurélien Panis’s Cupra to move up to eighth at this point at Döttinger Höhe.
On lap two, Huff closed up on the rear of Tarquini’s Hyundai, but was unable to make a move at the Döttinger Höhe straight and remained in fourth onto the final lap.
Huff stayed in touch and made a move on Tarquini at the Karousel, but Tarquini clipped Huff into a spin and into the barriers, with Huff into retirement.
Tarquini, now damaged, fell victim to the Hyundai of Augusto Farfus at Döttinger Höhe, with the Brazilian grabbing his first podium of the season on the final lap, with Tarquini holding onto fourth ahead of the KCMG Honda of Attila Tassi.
Race 3 pole-sitter Benjamin Leuchter finished sixth ahead of championship leader Esteban Guerrieri, with the Hyundai of Norbert Michelisz eighth, the Cupra of Aurélien Panis ninth, and Jean-Karl Vernay’s WRT Audi completing the top ten.
Guerrieri has now extended his championship lead to 29 points over Michelisz ahead of Race 2, where Leuchter starts on pole position, with Guerrieri promoted to second on the grid with Huff’s car still stranded at the Karousel.
Race 3 follows at 12:20 CEST.