FIA WTCC: Nykjaer and Oriola claims first WTCC title

FIA WTCC: Nykjaer and Oriola claims first WTCC title image

Text: / Photos: FIA WTCC Press | posted April 09, 2013 17:04

Yvan Muller leads driver standing

Thirteen months after Monza 2012, Gabriele Tarquini finished on pole position giving Honda its first pole in WTCC. Instead of the expected battle between the five Cruze cars, Tarquini managed to finish first on both qualifying rounds.

James Nash followed soon after with a time of 1:44.406, a difference of just 0.048 seconds behind Tarquini. Yvan Muller (1:44.504), Michael Nykjaer (1:44.745), Tom Chiltion (1:44.863) and Alex MacDowall (1:45.060) completed the Chevrolet quintet behind Tarquini's Honda.

During the race day at Circuit Moulay El Hassan, Marrakech, Morocco; Michel Nykjaer and Pepe Oriola both scored a well deserved first WTCC victory. Nykjær who only rejoined the championship this year and Oriola, the youngest amongst all drivers maneuvered through the city circuit as good as the more experienced drivers.


Although Honda had a good run with Tarquini during the qualifying runs, Nykjaer managed to get past Tarquini during lap 5 causing him to lose his lead right before Tiago Monterio crashed at turn 3. During race 2, Oriola, who will just turn 19 in three months, took advantage of the reverse grid and led the race with Yvan Muller and Tom Chilton tailing behind him.

Yvan Muller meanwhile is now focusing more on points after losing the 2012 title despite the most number of races won. Muller managed to secure a 37 points lead after the four races.

The championship will resume at Slovakia Ring, on April 27 and 28 for rounds 5 and 6.