Leopard Lukoil Team’s Jean-Karl Vernay converted pole position into victory in race one of the TCR Europe weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.
The 2017 TCR International Series champion made a strong start and fended off early pressure from Belgian Maxime Potty to win by 0.7
Completing the podium was championship leader Mikel Azcona, who had a quiet race in third position, over ten seconds clear of Dušan Borković in fourth place.
Borković couldn’t keep up with the Volkswagen Group podium finishers, and was forced to defend late in the race from Julien Brichè’s Peugeot, which recovered to fifth after making a terrible start and dropping to tenth at the end of the first lap.
Next was Norwegian Stian Paulsen, who also struggled at the start as he bogged down on the grid and lost further places going across the run-off at Les Combes.
In seventh position was Kris Richard in the second of the Target Competition Hyundai’s, ahead of Danny Kroes’ CUPRA.
Dániel Nagy recovered to ninth from 14th on the grid, holding off Francisco Abreu, who made it two Peugeots in the top ten.
Early in the race, two-time TCR International Series champion Stefano Comini leapfrogged fellow Honda runner Josh Files, and a fierce battle ensued which eventually ended with both cars retiring from the race.
Files outbraked himself and cut the Bus Stop chicane, and upon giving the position back to Comini, Paulsen dived down the inside and both Files and Comini made hard contact into La Source as the latter was seemingly unaware of Paulsen on the inside of Files.
Late in the race Attila Tassi and Jens Reno Møller made contact at Eau Rouge, with Møller spinning at the top of Raidillon and eventually retiring from the race.
Reece Barr will start tomorrow’s race from reverse-grid pole, with Kris Richard for company on the front row.
Race two is set to get underway at 11:20 CEST (10:20 BST) tomorrow [10th June].
|1||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||11||28:03.224||2:31.425||1|
|2||88||Maxime POTTY||Comtoyou Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||11||0.705||2:31.479||2|
|3||25||Mikel AZCONA||PCR Sport||CUPRA TCR||11||5.055||2:31.764||4|
|4||62||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||15.509||2:32.951||6|
|5||4||Julien BRICHÉ||JSB Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||11||15.552||2:32.615||3|
|6||34||Stian PAULSEN||Stian Paulsen Racing||CUPRA TCR||11||23.103||2:33.052||5|
|7||94||Kris RICHARD||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||25.314||2:33.490||9|
|8||38||Danny KROES||PCR Sport||CUPRA TCR||11||29.867||2:34.101||11|
|9||999||Dániel NAGY||M1RA||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||30.546||2:34.749||14|
|10||23||Francisco ABREU||Sports & You||Peugeot 308 TCR||11||32.210||2:34.473||16|
|11||9||Attila TASSI||Hell Energy Racing with KCMG||Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR||11||45.409||2:34.690||15|
|12||13||Cedric PIRO||Autodis Racing by Piro Sports||Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR||11||45.907||2:34.581||17|
|13||63||Giovanni ALTOÈ||Pit Lane Competizioni||Audi RS3 LMS TCR DSG||11||47.468||2:34.851||19|
|14||35||Munkong SATHIENTHIRAKUL||Monlau Competición||CUPRA TCR||11||47.704||2:35.535||21|
|15||14||Loris CENCETTI||Autodis Racing by Piro Sports||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||53.154||2:34.289||18|
|16||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||11||1:01.648||2:36.743||22|
|17||21||Marie BAUS-COPPENS||JSB Compétition||CUPRA TCR DSG||11||1:02.013||2:35.524||20|
|R||11||Jens Reno MØLLER||Reno Racing||Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR||9||DNF||2:34.334||12|
|R||8||Reece BARR||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||7||DNF||2:33.954||10|
|R||42||Stefano COMINI||Autodis Racing by THX||Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR||5||DNF||2:34.584||8|
|R||99||Josh FILES||Hell Energy Racing with KCMG||Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR||4||DNF||2:34.457||7|
|NS||10||Viktor DAVIDOVSKY||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|
|NS||26||Francisco MORA||M1RA||Hyundai i30 N TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|