Jean-Karl Vernay extended his lead in the TCR International Series drivers’ championship with victory over team-mate Rob Huff in the second race at Spa-Francorchamps, with Comtoyou Racing’s Stefano Comini completing the podium.
An eventful race saw pole-sitter Maxime Potty removed from the lead at the opening corner when Boutsen Ginion Racing’s Tom Coronel missed his braking point, hitting Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Pepe Oriola and pushing the Spaniard into the leading Michaël Mazuin Sport car.
The result led to Coronel and Oriola’s retirements from the race, whilst Potty was able to continue, albeit outside the points.
The drama allowed Edouard Mondron to take the lead, ahead of Huff and the other Boutsen Ginion Honda of Benjamin Lessennes. Vernay, meanwhile, found himself in fourth place after the first lap skirmishes.
On the second lap Huff was able to pass the leading Delahaye Racing Volkswagen of Mondron for the lead, whilst Lessennes also looked to pass, but missed his braking point.
Lessennes then passed Mondron for second at Turn 5 on the following lap, before closing up to the back of Huff and trying a pass at the same place on the following lap.
Unfortunately for the Belgian, contact between the duo saw him run wide, whilst Huff retained the lead and Lessennes dropped to fifth.
Vernay then caught up to the leaders and on lap five went around the outside of both Huff and Mondron to take the lead, with his new team-mate slotting into second to act as rear-gunner for the rest of the race.
Comini got past Mondron on lap seven to secure the final podium position, ensuring that the Audi driver and double champion remains within sight of Vernay in second in the championship standings.
Mondron held on to take fourth, ahead of fellow Belgians Lessennes in fifth and the second Comtoyou Racing Audi of Frédéric Vervisch in sixth.
GE-Force’s Davit Kajaia took a well-earned seventh place, ahead of Craft-Bamboo’s James Nash in eighth, the duo having benefitted when M1RA’s Attila Tassi went wide at Pouhon on the final lap of the race. Tassi salvaged a ninth place finish.
A disappointing weekend for WestCoast Racing saw Giacomo Altoè complete the top ten, securing the Swedish team’s only points finish of the weekend.
Zengő Motorsport’s Ferenc Ficza had been running in the points in eighth but the Hungarian had a spin on lap five, putting him to the back of the pack and meaning he could only manage 14th.
Both DG Sport Compétition Opel Astras of Pierre-Yves Corthals and Mat’o Homola retired from the race one lap apart, with both drivers pulling into the pits with apparent technical issues on their cars.
The result sees Vernay extend his championship advantage, with the Frenchman on 91 points ahead of Comini on 66 points. Tassi remains in third, a further 13 points adrift, with Dušan Borković in fourth, despite failing to score any points in race two as he finished in 11th.
|1||2||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Leopard Racing Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||9||9 LAPS||2:32.822||7|
|2||3||Rob HUFF||Leopard Racing Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||9||0.720||2:33.636||6|
|3||1||Stefano COMINI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||2.325||2:32.593||10|
|4||25||Edouard MONDRON||Delahaye Racing Team||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||9||3.888||2:33.860||3|
|5||63||Benjamin LESSENNES||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||9||4.907||2:33.256||8|
|6||6||Frédéric VERVISCH||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||5.909||2:33.573||9|
|7||16||Davit KAJAIA||GE-Force||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||9||11.790||2:33.366||11|
|8||54||James NASH||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||9||12.398||2:33.859||16|
|9||9||Attila TASSI||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||9||13.116||2:33.880||5|
|10||21||Giacomo ALTOÈ||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||9||13.817||2:34.153||14|
|11||62||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||GE-Force||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||9||13.834||2:34.047||19|
|12||12||Guillaume MONDRON||Delahaye Racing Team||SEAT León TCR||9||16.594||2:34.109||22|
|13||5||Roberto COLCIAGO||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||9||22.418||2:34.551||18|
|14||55||Ferenc FICZA||Zengő Motorsport||SEAT León TCR||9||22.845||2:33.430||12|
|15||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||9||23.224||2:34.799||13|
|16||52||Maxime POTTY||Michaël Mazuin Sport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||9||26.455||2:35.172||1|
|17||18||Duncan ENDE||Icarus Motorsports||SEAT León TCR||9||35.207||2:35.415||24|
|R||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||DG Sport Compétition||Opel Astra TCR||5||DNF||2:33.418||17|
|R||23||Pierre-Yves CORTHALS||DG Sport Compétition||Opel Astra TCR||4||DNF||2:33.963||15|
|R||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||4||DNF||2:36.546||2|
|R||11||Jens Reno MOLLER||Reno Racing||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||2||DNF||2:52.820||21|
|R||64||Tom CORONEL||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||1||DNF||N/A||4|
|R||34||Stian PAULSEN||Stian Paulsen Racing||SEAT León TCR||0||DNF||N/A||20|
|R||7||Hugo VALENTE||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||0||DNF||N/A||23|