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Mikel Azcona wins first TCR Europe race after big start shunt

PCR Sport’s Mikel Azcona held off KCMG’s Attila Tassi for victory in the opening TCR Europe race of the weekend at Zandvoort, as a big start-line accident wiped out three cars.

At the start pole-sitter Jaap van Lagen made a poor getaway, dropping to fifth as Tassi took the early lead.

However, a big shunt further back in the pack meant that there would be just one lap of racing, with Azcona passing Tassi for the lead at Turn 8 before encountering the safety car.

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The accident at the start occurred when Target Competition’s Reece Barr moved over into M1RA’s Dániel Nagy, with the wheel-to-wheel contact sending Barr across the circuit and into the barriers.

As Barr bounced back into the pack, Igor Stefanovski took avoiding action and pushed the Peugeot of Julien Briché into the pit wall, with both the Hyundai and Peugeot out on the spot.

When the race resumed after two laps behind the safety car, Azcona got a strong restart and controlled the rest of the race, with Tassi unable to take the fight to the CUPRA driver and having to settle for second.

However, the Hungarian’s position was not assured and a comeback drive from the Audi of Jaap van Lagen, who had worked his way into third three laps earlier, almost secured him second.

In the end Van Lagen had to settle for third, ahead of the second KCMG Honda of Josh Files, who took fourth after losing out on a podium on lap seven to the Dutchman.

Dušan Borković was the best-placed of the Target Competition drivers in fifth, although Azcona has cut his points lead to just eight after the race.

Stian Paulsen came through from tenth on the grid to take sixth, having past Nagy for the position on the fourth lap when racing resumed.

Nagy himself was seventh, ahead of the second PCR CUPRA of Danny Kroes in eighth.

M1RA’s Francisco Mora and Jens Reno Møller completed the top ten after the duo spent much of the second part battling for position.

Comtoyou Racing’s Maxime Potty retired from the race on lap five after the Volkswagen driver appeared to lock his brakes at Turn 1 and went straight on into the Tarzan gravel.

The second TCR Europe race takes place at 14:55 CEST (13:55 BST) on Monday.

Race result

1 25 Mikel AZCONA PCR Sport CUPRA TCR 12 12 LAPS 1:46.373 2
2 9 Attila TASSI Hell Energy Racing with KCMG Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 12 1.806 1:47.237 3
3 46 Jaap VAN LAGEN Leopard Lukoil Team Audi RS3 LMS TCR 12 2.188 1:46.939 1
4 99 Josh FILES Hell Energy Racing with KCMG Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 12 5.352 1:47.721 6
5 62 Dušan BORKOVIĆ Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 12 5.956 1:47.917 4
6 34 Stian PAULSEN Stian Paulsen Racing CUPRA TCR 12 10.652 1:47.184 10
7 999 Dániel NAGY M1RA Hyundai i30 N TCR 12 12.978 1:47.944 7
8 38 Danny KROES PCR Sport CUPRA TCR 12 13.052 1:47.629 9
9 26 Francisco MORA M1RA Hyundai i30 N TCR 12 14.112 1:48.044 17
10 11 Jens Reno MØLLER Reno Racing Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 12 17.730 1:48.190 8
11 23 Francisco ABREU Sports & You Peugeot 308 TCR 12 20.237 1:48.492 14
12 20 Márk JEDLÓCZKY JLG Sport CUPRA TCR 12 22.847 1:48.941 15
13 14 Loris CENCETTI Autodis Racing by Piro Sports Hyundai i30 N TCR 12 26.130 1:48.997 20
14 94 Kris RICHARD Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 12 26.426 1:48.877 22
15 10 Viktor DAVIDOVSKY PSS Racing Team Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 12 33.466 1:49.626 18
16 17 Martin RYBA Brutal Fish Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 12 40.273 1:49.656 19
17 13 Cedric PIRO Autodis Racing by Piro Sports Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 12 40.541 1:49.554 16
R 88 Maxime POTTY Comtoyou Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 4 DNF 1:49.501 13
R 21 Marie BAUS-COPPENS JSB Compétition CUPRA TCR DSG 2 DNF N/A 21
R 8 Reece BARR Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 0 DNF N/A 5
R 7 Igor STEFANOVSKI Stefanovski Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 0 DNF N/A 11
R 4 Julien BRICHÉ JSB Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 0 DNF N/A 12
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