Norbert Michelisz closed to within a handful of points of the FIA World Touring Car Championship lead with a deserved podium finish on the streets of Macau on Sunday.

The Hungarian started from the front row and ran second throughout the Main Race, which was held in damp conditions, to secure his sixth podium finish of the season. He is now just 6.5 points away from the head of the Drivers’ Championship with a round to go.

The result was equally important after the Castrol Honda WTCC mechanics had spent a sleepless night repairing damage sustained to the Civics of Norbert and team-mate Esteban Guerrieri.

Norbert is now just 6.5 points away from the series lead with 60 available at the season finale in Qatar in 12 days.

Having started fifth, Esteban made excellent progress to move up to third by half-distance. He finished fourth to ensure a maximum Manufacturers’ score and move Honda to within 12.5 points of the championship lead.

Following his history-making podium finish on Saturday, Ryo Michigami was again aiming for a strong result from seventh on the grid.

Unfortunately, contact from another car on the opening lap knocked his steering out of alignment and cost him three places. A trip down the escape road mid-race dropped him to 15th by the chequered flag.

Norbert Michelisz

Norbert Michelisz 5

“Second place is a hugely important result for the Drivers’ Championship fight and I’m only 6.5 points behind now heading to Qatar. None of this would have been possible without the incredible job by the team. We had two cars with big damage yesterday and they worked all night, finishing at 6am. I tried to attack for the win early on because in the wet, I think I had the best package, but in the damp, I didn’t quite have the confidence to push. Esteban was a big help by getting into third place and helping me to make a safe gap, so a big thank you to him too.”

Castrol Honda WTCC
Esteban Guerrieri

Esteban Guerrieri 86

“That’s four races for me with Honda and four finishes in the top six, which I think shows good consistency. It was a lot of fun to drive in these conditions and I had great pace from my car, so I have to thank the team who stayed up all night to fix it after yesterday. I was able to move into third, but it wasn’t easy to stay there because I had to make sure not to hit Norbi, but also to hold off Tom Chilton. In the end I ran wide on the last lap and lost a podium, but it didn’t affect the Manufacturers’ Championship points, which was important. I’m very satisfied.”

Castrol Honda WTCC
Ryo Michigami

Ryo Michigami 34

“I was quite confident of moving up the order after yesterday’s podium finish, but I was hit on the first lap by Nick Catsburg and lost a lot of positions. The alignment wasn’t right with the car after that, but I still managed to recover to 10th. A few laps later I ran down the escape road at Lisboa, had to recover and lost a lot of time. The conditions were very tricky today in the damp, but as a team we still made up big points in the Manufacturers’ Championship, which was our aim.”

Honda Racing Team JAS
Alessandro Mariani

Alessandro Mariani

CEO, JAS Motorsport

“Second and fourth places are strong results and also mean we had the top two Manufacturer cars today. The team did an incredible job – beyond incredible, in fact – to do an impossible job and repair two badly-damaged cars overnight. This result is 100% for them. Looking at the bigger picture, our aim for this weekend was to continue to close the gap to the leaders of the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championships and we’ve done this. I think it’s going to be a very competitive final round in Qatar.”

Honda Racing WTCR
Ryuichi Furukawa

Ryuichi Furukawa

Large Project Leader WTCC Development, Honda R&D

“We have made up a lot of ground in the battle for the Championship today, as we did yesterday, and this is thanks to some fantastic driving by Norbi and Esteban as well as incredible teamwork by everybody in the garage to repair the heavy damage to their cars sustained yesterday. The pace was strong on-track and Esteban did a great job to take big manufacturer points.”

Castrol Honda WTCC
WTCC Race of Macau

Macau Guia Circuit, Macau

WTCC 2017, Round 9

Sunday 19 Nov 2017, 03:27 Europe/London
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Total Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Rob Huff 12 GBR 30 25 Münnich Motorsport Citroën 13 laps
2 Norbert Michelisz 5 HUN 23 18 Castrol Honda WTCC Honda +8.142
3 Tom Chilton 3 GBR 19 15 Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën +8.684
4 Esteban Guerrieri 86 ARG 16 12 Castrol Honda WTCC Honda +9.228
5 Thed Björk 62 SWE 13 10 Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo +21.237
6 Tom Coronel 9 NDL 10 8 ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet +25.818
7 Mehdi Bennani 25 MAR 7 6 Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën +28.693
8 Kevin Gleason 24 USA 4 4 RC Motorsport Lada +31.583
9 Nestor Girolami 61 ARG 2 2 Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo +34.326
10 Zsolt Szabo 66 HUN 1 1 Zengo Motorsport Honda +41.598
11 Dániel Nagy 99 HUN 0 0 Zengo Motorsport Honda +57.796
12 Qinghua Ma 30 CHN 0 0 Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën +1:07.945
13 Nick Catsburg 63 NDL 0 0 Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo +1:22.466
14 Yann Ehrlacher 68 FRA 0 0 RC Motorsport Lada +1:23.361
15 Ryo Michigami 34 JPN 0 0 Honda Racing Team JAS Honda +1:51.491
16 John Filippi 27 FRA 0 0 Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën +2:03.720
17 Ka Lok Mak 4 CHN 0 0 RC Motorsport Lada +2:32.928
Saturday 18 Nov 2017, 06:57 Europe/London
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Total Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Mehdi Bennani 25 MAR 25 25 Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën 6 laps
2 Tom Coronel 9 NDL 18 18 ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet +1.532
3 Ryo Michigami 34 JPN 15 15 Honda Racing Team JAS Honda +2.964
4 Thed Björk 62 SWE 12 12 Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo +3.608
5 Norbert Michelisz 5 HUN 10 10 Castrol Honda WTCC Honda +4.598
6 Esteban Guerrieri 86 ARG 8 8 Castrol Honda WTCC Honda +5.730
7 Rob Huff 12 GBR 6 6 Münnich Motorsport Citroën +6.082
8 Tom Chilton 3 GBR 4 4 Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën +6.524
9 Nick Catsburg 63 NDL 2 2 Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo +10.021
10 Kevin Gleason 24 USA 1 1 RC Motorsport Lada +13.311
11 John Filippi 27 FRA 0 0 Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën +15.407
12 Yann Ehrlacher 68 FRA 0 0 RC Motorsport Lada +15.993
13 Nestor Girolami 61 ARG 0 0 Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo +20.423
14 Qinghua Ma 30 CHN 0 0 Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën +20.709
15 Dániel Nagy 99 HUN 0 0 Zengo Motorsport Honda +27.194
16 Zsolt Szabo 66 HUN 0 0 Zengo Motorsport Honda +44.055
17 Ka Lok Mak 4 CHN 0 0 RC Motorsport Lada +52.361
18 Po Wah Wong 44 CHN 0 0 Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Chevrolet +5 laps
Friday 17 Nov 2017, 07:17 Europe/London
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Total Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Rob Huff 12 GBR 5 Münnich Motorsport Citroën 2:23.995
2 Norbert Michelisz 5 HUN 4 Castrol Honda WTCC Honda 2:24.301
3 Tom Chilton 3 GBR 3 Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën 2:24.844
4 Thed Björk 62 SWE 2 Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 2:25.146
5 Esteban Guerrieri 86 ARG 1 Castrol Honda WTCC Honda 2:25.240
6 Kevin Gleason 24 USA - RC Motorsport Lada 2:28.059
7 Ryo Michigami 34 JPN - Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2:28.829
8 Tom Coronel 9 NDL - ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2:3.966
9 John Filippi 27 FRA - Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën No time
10 Mehdi Bennani 25 MAR - Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën No time
11 Nestor Girolami 61 ARG - Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo No time
12 Nick Catsburg 63 NDL - Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo No time
13 Yann Ehrlacher 68 FRA - RC Motorsport Lada 2:28.281
14 Zsolt Szabo 66 HUN - Zengo Motorsport Honda 2:30.256
15 Dániel Nagy 99 HUN - Zengo Motorsport Honda 2:31.628
16 Ka Lok Mak 4 CHN - RC Motorsport Lada 2:35.183
17 Po Wah Wong 44 CHN - Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Chevrolet No time
18 Qinghua Ma 30 CHN - Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën No time
Driver Standings
Sunday, 19 Nov 2017
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Thed BJöRK 62 SWE 255.5 Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo
2 Norbert MICHELISZ 5 HUN 249 Castrol Honda WTCC Honda
3 Mehdi BENNANI 25 MAR 216 Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën
4 Nick CATSBURG 63 NDL 211.5 Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo
5 Tom CHILTON 3 GBR 210.5 Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën
6 Esteban GUERRIERI 86 ARG 205 Castrol Honda WTCC Honda
7 Tiago MONTEIRO 18 POR 200 Castrol Honda WTCC Honda
8 Rob HUFF 12 GBR 183 Münnich Motorsport Citroën
9 Nestor GIROLAMI 61 ARG 112 Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo
10 Yann EHRLACHER 68 FRA 90 RC Motorsport Lada
11 Tom CORONEL 9 NDL 69 ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet
12 John FILIPPI 27 FRA 34 Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën
13 Kevin GLEASON 24 USA 32.5 RC Motorsport Lada
14 Ryo MICHIGAMI 34 JPN 19 Honda Racing Team JAS Honda
15 Filipe DE SOUZA 26 CHN 8.5 RC Motorsport Lada
16 Aurélien PANIS FRA 2
17 Dániel NAGY 99 HUN 1 Zengo Motorsport Honda
18 Zsolt SZABO 66 HUN 1 Zengo Motorsport Honda