Photo: Mattias Persson / TouringCarTimes

Norbert Michelisz strengthens grip on TCR World Tour title on “amazing day”

Norbert Michelisz dealt a big blow to his TCR World Tour title rivals with victory in the opening race of the Macau season-finale, but says anything can still happen in the decisive race on Sunday.

Michelisz extended a slender championship lead to a more comfortable 18 points over Comtoyou Audi’s Rob Huff thanks to his Race 1 victory, with Cyan Racing Lynk & Co’s Yann Ehrlacher also remaining in contention a further two points back.

There are 30 points still up for grabs in Race 2 tomorrow, leaving 2019 WTCR champion Michelisz ideally poised to seal a second world touring car title.

The Hungarian Hyundai driver appeared composed in the post-race press conference immediately after his crucial victory, but said it had been “an amazing day” after fending off Honda rival Néstor Girolami throughout.

“I was a bit worried before the start, but fortunately I had a fantastic one and managed to keep the lead,” Michelisz explained. “Then there was pressure from Néstor. My strategy was to go flat out to build a safe margin, and I did my best to build that gap.

“I was struggling a bit with my tyres in the end because of that, pushing too much in the beginning, but the car was great again just like yesterday. Thanks to the team – it is an amazing day.”

Michelisz will start tenth in the final race tomorrow by virtue of reverse-grid rules, with both Huff and Ehrlacher ahead, and is taking nothing for granted despite extending his points lead significantly today.

“It always feels good to be in front, but it is Macau,” Michelisz concluded. “We have seen things happening here in the past. I try to stay focussed for tomorrow. Starting P10, you’re in the middle of the field. Anything can happen.”