Jean-Karl Vernay says he did all in his power to prevent Dušan Borković from winning the second TCR Europe race at Paul Ricard, but ultimately came up just short on the final lap.
The Audi RS 3 LMS driver sycthed through in unpredictably wet conditions at the start to claim an early lead from pole-sitter Jens Reno Møller, but before long found himself fending off the Hyundais of Borković, Francisco Mora and Daniel Nagy, as well as Mikel Azcona’s CUPRA.
A red flag stoppage after Igor Stefanovski’s sizeable crash at Turn 7 prolonged the race, and by the time the contest restarted circuit conditions started to dry out.
That left Borković in a prime position to put pressure on the Frenchman, and he got the move done on the final lap into Curbe des Signes.
“I have done all I could,” said Vernay after the race.
“Whilst the track was wet and slippery I was able to stay ahead, as the car was perfect.
“But when the racing lines began to dry I knew I had no chance. The Hyundai is far superior by now; I was able to keep Borković at bay until halfway through the final laps, but eventually I could not prevent him from passing me.”
Regardless, the WRT driver leaves the south of France well-placed in the standings, sitting fourth with a total of 26 points after the double header in Le Castellet.
Vernay heads next to the third round of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), his primary programme in 2018, at the Nurburgring Nordschleife over the weekend of 12-13 May.