FIA WTCR - Race of Italy / Adria - 05-07/11/2021 • The title is gone for Engstler Motorsport and Jean-Karl Vernay at the end of the Race of Italy, seventh round of the 2021 WTCR season. The fault of a missed qualification which saw the two drivers of the team eliminated from the first session. However, the pace was there.
A great Race 1,… or almost
Vernay took off perfectly from 12th place on the grid, gained one position and went into full attack mode to complete the fifth lap in the top 10. He fought for ninth place and crossed the finish line in that position. But a penalty dropped him back to 14th place following contact with Berthon’s Audi on lap 4.
A compromised Race 2
For the driver of the #69 Hyundai N, this 2nd race was over from the start. Sandwiched between several cars at turn 4, Jean-Karl Vernay had a puncture and had to return to the pits on the second lap. The final outcome of the race was a bitter last place.
The Frenchman, now sixth in the overall standings, 19 points clear of second place in the drivers’ standings, remains combative despite his lost title chances: “Starting 13th in both races could have been quite difficult, but I had a good start in Race 1 and found a good rhythm. I tried to gain positions quickly and managed to make my way up the grid to finish ninth, which I think was the best we could have done. My start in Race 2 was absolutely super and I gained a place, but after that I was sandwiched by a few cars. I tried to brake to avoid it, but I picked up a puncture and had to pit. It’s not been the weekend we expected here at Race of Italy. Now we have to focus on finishing on the podium of the championship; we are only 19 points behind second place, so we still have the possibility to finish vice-champion.”