Oriola, Michelisz fight for trophy

After they shared honours last weekend in Portugal, Pepe Oriola and Norbert Michelisz have built solid margins on top of the Yokohama Trophy.


The Spanish teen-ager and the Hungarian youngster scored one race win apiece at Portimao, with ROAL Motorsport’s Alberto Cerqui being classified twice second.

Oriola’s success in Race 2 with the Tuenti Racing Team SEAT Leon was especially brilliant as he crossed the finish line in second position overall behind Alain Menu, claiming his first WTCC podium.

“It was the best day of my life! I’m very happy and I wish to thank SEAT, Tuenti Racing Team, my sponsors and my father,” he said. “It was a tough race, especially in the first part, as I had to fight with Coronel. After overtaking him I pushed to create a gap, because I knew that his car would be faster towards the end of the race. I was also worried about my front tyres and then I significantly slowed down on the last two laps, because I did not want to have a puncture again like at the Slovakia Ring.”

Michelisz and his Zengo Motorsport BMW 320 TC had won the first race, being classified fourth overall after Yvan Muller, Gabriele Tarquini and Rob Huff.

“To win the Yokohama Trophy race was my goal and I focused on it instead of trying to chase the top three,” Michelisz said. “Frankly I expected my car to be more competitive, especially in the second half of the race. I pushed hard, but could not follow the others. I think we have to work a little bit more in terms of race set up, but I’m confident because the BMW is very well balanced.”

Oriola is now leading the standings with 106 points, ten more than Michelisz. Their closest competitor is Stefano D’Aste who lies third, 23 further points adrift.

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