The Hungarian Norbert Michelisz (Hyundai Elantra N TCR) was crowned 2023 Kumho TCR World Tour champion in Macau yesterday as the Belgian, Frédéric Vervisch (Audi RS3 LMS TCR) won Race 2 of the weekend ahead of Santiago Urrutia (Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR) and Yann Ehrlacher (Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR).
The season’s drama-filled last race was only decided when, while on his final attempt at a win to secure the championship, Rob Huff (Audi RS3 LMS TCR) touched the car in front of him, a move common in touring car racing. However, this time, it resulted in disaster as his bonnet locks broke, causing the bonnet to fly open and shatter the windshield.
Unable to see, Huff was forced to reduce speed and stop at the pits so the team could remediate the damage. Unfortunately, the harm to his championship hopes was irreparable, since Michelisz, although finishing in eighth position, had enough margin to secure the championship.
Michelisz’s victory in Race 1 Saturday, where he earned maximum points while Huff finished third, heavily influenced the championship outcome.
Before the final race, Michelisz boasted an 18-point lead over Huff and was 20 points ahead of Ehrlacher, who was third in the tally.
After the race, Michelisz celebrated the championship win, saying, “On a day like this, with a team like this, and a racetrack like this, what else do you need in life? I’m incredibly happy.”