Reece Barr was satisfied with his start to the 2018 TCR Europe Series at Paul Ricard, despite making contact with Target Competition team-mate Kris Richard.
2016 ETCC Champion Richard was putting heavy pressure on the Honda Civic Type R FK7 of Josh Files ahead, forcing the latter into a defensive line through Virage du Camp.
With Richard’s Hyundai i30 N TCR on the outside line attempting to cutback, Barr seized the half-chance to overtake both in one go and move into fourth.
However, he made contact with the right-rear of Richard’s car, forcing him into a half-spin before coming to rest atop the kerbing.
Richard resumed, and eventually came home outside the points in 12th.
Speaking to TouringCars.net afterwards, Barr was pleased with his debut in the category, accidental contact with Richard aside.
“I was chasing and catching the guys ahead quite quickly, but when I got to them Kris [Richard} went for a wider line and opened the door to try and get the cutback, because Josh [Files] was defending well,” explained Barr.
“Once I got the apex Kris obviously didn’t see me and closed the gap. But I was pretty happy with the race, to be honest.
“To get a fifth on my first race abroad, in TCR Europe and in this car, I was pretty happy with it.”
He also paid tribute to the i30 N for being user-friendly to learn, as he steps into TCR machinery for the first time in his second year of car racing.
“It’s quite an easy car to drive, to be honest,” he said.
“Obviously every car is quite difficult to drive on the limit, but it’s a pleasure to drive and hopefully it all goes well for the rest of the year.”
Starting on the second row in fourth for the reverse grid race tomorrow, the Irishman is confident his long-run pace could see him score a maiden podium finish, potential incidents aside.
“I was really happy with the pace in that race, I was able to make the tyres last so our pace at the end was pretty good,” explained Barr.
“I feel if we get a nice, consistent start and stay out of trouble, I think we’ll have the pace at the end to get a podium.”
The final race of the weekend at Le Castellet is scheduled to start at 15:50 CEST on Sunday [6th May].