Hyundai’s Gabriele Tarquini claimed victory in the second TCR Europe Trophy race at the Adria International Raceway in Italy, but it was DG Sport Compétition’s Aurélien Comte who took the title after Josh Files was hit with a drive-through penalty.
Reverse-grid pole man Florian Thoma initially made a strong start, but the Liqui Moly Team Engstler driver went wide at Turn 1, handing Comte the lead early on, ahead of LMS Racing’s Antti Buri.
WRT’s Maxime Potty made a strong start from fifth on the grid to move into third early on, whilst early points leader Files ended the first lap in seventh, from tenth on the grid.
Target Competition’s Files had moved up to fourth by lap ten, but disaster struck as the three-time TCR champion out-braked himself during an attempted pass on Potty. The Honda overshot, making contact with the left-rear corner of Buri’s Audi and breaking the latter’s suspension.
The stewards had no choice but to hand Files a drive-through penalty for the move, which came three laps later after he had passed Comte for what was then second.
Comte had lost the lead to Tarquini on lap 11, with the Italian, invisible in the points, then managing a comfortable gap at the front of the field to record the i30 N TCR’s second outright TCR win, after victory in the TCR International Series earlier in the month.
The latter stages of the race saw Comte in second fending off Target Competition’s Giacomo Altoè for the position which would merit maximum points. The duo knew that whoever came out on top would win, and in the end Altoè couldn’t find a place to make a pass on the Frenchman, giving the TCR Europe Trophy to Comte. The duo actually finished equal on points, but Comte took the title due to having secured a better result over the weekend.
Potty took fourth, having fallen away from the leading trio, ahead of Thoma in fifth, who settled into the position after being passed by Altoè on lap six.
V-Action Racing’s Luigi Ferrara was seventh in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta, ahead of the recovering Files in seventh, who made up two places in the closing laps after serving his penalty. Files missed out on the title by a mere two points.
Team Novadriver’s Francisco Abreu took eighth, the Portuguese driver having lost out most at the start when he dropped four places with a slow getaway.
Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Luca Engstler was ninth, with Giovanni Altoè completing the top ten.
Sandro Pelatti took the final point for 11th, although the Italian had a boisterous race which saw him make contact with Lev Tolkachev on lap six, forcing his way past the SEAT at Turn 1.
Comte wins a TCR road car for taking the TCR Europe Trophy to add to his fourth place overall in the 2017 TCR Benelux Series earlier in the month.
|1||30||Gabriele TARQUINI||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||20||27:33.484||1:21.040||10|
|2||7||Aurélien COMTE||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 Racing Cup||20||1.792||1:21.478||2|
|3||21||Giacomo ALTOÈ||Target Competition||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||20||2.178||1:21.033||8|
|4||88||Maxime POTTY||WRT Racing Team||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||20||3.875||1:21.418||5|
|5||39||Florian THOMA||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||20||7.659||1:21.423||1|
|6||16||Luigi FERRARA||V-Action Racing Team||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||20||8.481||1:21.982||6|
|7||99||Josh FILES||Target Competition||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||20||9.547||1:21.197||9|
|8||11||Francisco ABREU||Team NOVADRIVER||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||20||13.989||1:22.028||3|
|9||8||Luca ENGSTLER||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||20||16.196||1:22.038||7|
|10||52||Giovanni ALTOÈ||Giovanni Altoè||Volkswagen Golf GTi DSG||20||17.591||1:22.240||12|
|11||53||Sandro PELATTI||Sandro Pelatti||Volkswagen Golf GTi DSG||20||29.960||1:22.759||17|
|12||54||Ermanno DIONISIO||Ermanno Dionisio||Audi RS3 LMS TCR DSG||20||30.238||1:22.416||18|
|13||15||Lev TOLKACHEV||Innocenti – AMG Motorsport||SEAT León TCR DSG||20||38.608||1:22.784||14|
|14||77||Denis GRIGORIEV||Innocenti – AMG Motorsport||SEAT León TCR DSG||20||43.691||1:23.118||16|
|15||4||Olli KANGAS||LMS Racing||SEAT León TCR||20||46.233||1:23.209||15|
|16||76||Daniele CAPPELLARI||Daniele Cappellari||SEAT León TCR DSG||20||49.654||1:23.337||19|
|17||44||Plamen KRALEV||Kraf Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||17||+ 3 LAPS||1:22.393||11|
|R||10||Antti BURI||LMS Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||DNF||1:21.518||4|
|NS||5||Kevin GIACON||Tecnodom||Opel Astra TCR||–||DNS||N/A||13|
|NS||55||Giovanni BERTON||Giovanni Berton||Audi RS3 LMS TCR DSG||–||DNS||N/A||20|