Francisco Abreu ‘extremely frustrated’ with race two penalty

Francisco Abreu ‘extremely frustrated’ with race two penalty

Francisco Abreu
Photo: TCR Media

Francisco Abreu was extremely frustrated to receive a stop-and-go penalty in the second TCR Europe race at Monza for contact with Benjamin Lessennes, denying the Portuguese driver a top ten result.

Abreu had been challenging for a podium until his race quickly unraveled on lap six when Comtoyou Racing’s Maxime Potty had to cut the first chicane as he tried to pass Abreu for second.

Whilst Potty should have given the place back, Abreu was quickly swamped by several other cars, resulting in further contact from Mikel Azcona at the first Lesmo bend.

Then further around the lap Abreu went side-by-side with Autodis Racing’s Benjamin Lessennes, and contact between the pair pitched the Belgian into the barriers at speed.

Abreu was deemed to be at fault for the incident and handed a 10-second stop-and-go penalty during the race, which was later converted into a 40-second time penalty, quashing his hopes of a strong result.

The Peugeot racer slammed the decision to give him a penalty, when others went unpunished for incidents throughout the weekend.

“It was hard to defend from Vernay, so I just let him go and do his own thing and after that it was difficult because we had the incident with Mikel,” said Abreu to TouringCars.Net.

“Yesterday we had incidents with [Fabrizio] Giovanardi and [Kris] Richard. But for me, I had just one side-by-side contact with Lessennes and I had a stop-and-go immediately with no analysis.

“For me, it’s a bit frustrating because we are fighting and everyone is fighting, but there is not the same measure for everyone. This is not the correct position from the organisation. I have tried to appeal many things but for us it doesn’t make any difference because I don’t want to win in the secretary’s office.

“It was my line and he wanted to come back from the outside. There’s a lot of doubt here, and when there is doubt you don’t give a stop-and-go in that exact moment.

“This makes me frustrated and this is what I want to talk about with them, but they won’t allow me to talk. It’s a contact sport. That’s my point of view.

“I don’t want to be exaggerating, but it’s frustrating because we have been doing a very good job all year.

“All the tracks are new for me – I have never been to any of these tracks. We started in Paul Ricard with shit results, but we have been going up and up.

“We decided to let Vernay go because we wanted a podium. After he passed us we could keep the pace with him and then the safety car was not good for us, and then the confusion started.

“It was difficult and not the result I wanted to give to Peugeot or the team. We want better but we need to win some respect here.”