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Dušan Borković doubles up at Paul Ricard with dramatic late move on Vernay

Dušan Borković made a late move at the Curbe des Signes on the final lap of a dramatic second TCR Europe race at Paul Ricard to pass Jean-Karl Vernay and claim victory.

Daniel Nagy completed the podium in third, with the top five separated by less than 2 seconds at the chequered flag.

Rain hit the 3.6 mile Le Castellet circuit in the final few moments before the start, though despite the race being declared wet the teams elected to stick with slick Yokohama tyres.

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Jens Reno Møller made a clean getaway in the Honda Civic Type R FK7, leading Francisco Mora’s Hyundai i30 into the first turn without issue, though further back Britain’s Josh Files claimed third from 2016 ETCC Champion Kris Richard with a bold move to the outside.

An error shortly after pitched the Hell Energy Racing with KCMG driver off circuit in a half-spin and out of the points, though he rejoined without damage.

Møller, meanwhile, was powerless to prevent Vernay’s Audi RS 3 LMS from taking the lead at the end of the opening tour, and though he set the fastest lap the Danish racer wilted from thereon in.

Both Borković and the Subaru WRX STI of double TCR International Champion Stefano Comini used the chaos to make progress, running second and sixth respectively after the opening exchanges.

The action was halted shortly after as Igor Stefanovski, attempting to pass Møller on the Mistral Straight, ran wide over the kerbs, lost the car and crashed into the tyre barrier opposite, necessitating a red flag.

Twenty minutes later the action resumed, with Vernay making a perfect restart to fend off the Hyundai i30 duo behind of Borković and Nagy along with Mikel Azcona’s CUPRA.

The other CUPRA of Stian Paulsen was forced to pit shortly after in need of repairs.

Further back, contact between Target Competition’s Reece Barr and the Autodis Racing machine of Loris Cencetti forced both to stop, the latter with a damaged right-front on the Hyundai.

Heading into the penultimate lap, the top five were barely separable, lapping within tenths of one another and running line-a-stern.

Only Borković could make a move stick, however, braving out a thrilling dice on the final lap with Vernay to claim his second win of the weekend, and take maximum points to Zandvoort in a fortnight.

Azcona lost out to Mora by running wide and eventually finished fifth, with Attila Tassi, Møller, Danny Kroes, Cencetti and Comini rounding out the top ten.

Race result

1 62 Dušan BORKOVIĆ Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 46:08.760 2:16.076 10
2 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Leopard Lukoil Team Audi RS3 LMS TCR 10 1.068 2:17.395 4
3 999 Dániel NAGY M1RA Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 1.315 2:16.961 8
4 26 Francisco MORA M1RA Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 1.516 2:16.656 2
5 25 Mikel AZCONA PCR Sport CUPRA TCR 10 1.961 2:16.729 9
6 9 Attila TASSI Hell Energy Racing with KCMG Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 10 3.711 2:16.052 17
7 11 Jens Reno MØLLER Reno Racing Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 10 4.295 2:16.159 1
8 38 Danny KROES PCR Sport CUPRA TCR 10 9.432 2:17.120 15
9 14 Loris CENCETTI Autodis Racing by Piro Sports Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 19.74 2:18.730 13
10 42 Stefano COMINI Race Republic Subaru WRX STi TCR 10 21.473 2:19.813 25
11 20 Márk JEDLÓCZKY JLG Sport CUPRA TCR 10 22.991 2:20.517 18
12 88 Maxime POTTY Comtoyou Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 10 29.706 2:21.712 14
13 63 Giovanni ALTOÈ Pit Lane Competizioni Audi RS3 LMS TCR DSG 10 30.568 2:19.452 20
14 94 Kris RICHARD Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 36.452 2:24.929 3
15 99 Josh FILES Hell Energy Racing with KCMG Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 10 45.44 2:22.726 6
16 23 Francisco ABREU Sports & You Peugeot 308 TCR 10 58.641 2:26.139 16
17 8 Reece BARR Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 8 2 Laps 2:21.247 5
18 16 Nicola BALDAN Pit Lane Competizioni Hyundai i30 N TCR 8 2 Laps 2:21.051 12
R 66 Andrea LARINI Pit Lane Competizioni CUPRA TCR 6 DNF 2:31.515 21
R 13 Cedric PIRO Autodis Racing by Piro Sports Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 5 DNF 2:35.104 19
R 71 Enrico BETTERA Pit Lane Competizioni Audi RS3 LMS TCR 4 DNF 2:47.052 22
R 34 Stian PAULSEN Stian Paulsen Racing CUPRA TCR 3 DNF 2:35.138 7
R 10 Viktor DAVIDOVSKY PSS Racing Team Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 2 DNF 2:34.964 24
R 24 Gustavo MOURA Speedy Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2 DNF 2:34.371 23
R 7 Igor STEFANOVSKI Stefanovski Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 2 DNF 2:32.869 11
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