Michelisz wins inaugural TCR World Tour title in dramatic decider

Norbert Michelisz sealed the first TCR World Tour crown in Macau. Image: MGPOC

Hyundai’s Norbert Michelisz is the inaugural TCR World Tour champion after a dramatic finale on the streets of Macau.

Michelisz and Audi’s Rob Huff went into the final race of the weekend as the two main title contenders, the former holding an 18-point lead after winning Saturday’s opener.

The top 10 were then inverted for Race 2, which Huff effectively needed to win to have any hope of pipping Michelisz at the post.

By the eighth of the 11 laps it seemed like Huff did have a shot at the title, the Briton barging into third place at Lisboa right as Audi teammate Frederic Vervisch had passed Santiago Urrutia for the lead.

That opened the door for Vervisch to hold up Urrutia and help Huff get to the lead.

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Huff’s hopes were dashed later on that lap, though, minor contact with Urrutia resulting in his bonnet flying open and breaking his windscreen.

He had to crawl back to the pits while Michelisz, now in eighth thanks to Huff’s misfortune, cruised to the title.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Michelisz. “On a day like this, on a circuit like this, with a team like this, what more can you have in life as a race car driver?

“I’m incredibly proud of the team and incredibly thankful for them. The car was flawless. I’m amazed, blessed and incredibly happy.”

Vervisch won the race from Urrutia and Yann Ehrlacher.

Ben Bargwanna’s rookie Macau weekend came to a devastating end, the Aussie wrecking his Peugeot with a high-speed crash at Mandarin on the opening lap.

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