Target Competition may be forced to run a new car for Josh Files at the Red Bull Ring after his current chassis sustained heavy accident damage during qualifying for TCR Europe at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
The double TCR Germany champion was pushing hard in qualifying on Saturday after having his best time deleted, ultimately crashing at the top of Raidillon and causing severe damage to his Hyundai i30 N TCR.
The Target outfit made a commendable turnaround to get the car repaired for the opening race, in which Files initially progressed before being forced to retire with a puncture.
With the car still behaving “strangely,” Files’ Hyundai underwent an engine change for the second encounter, in which he would progress to 16th on the road, eventually being promoted to 14th once post-race penalties for Jimmy Clairet and Santiago Urrutia were applied.
Despite salvaging a handful of points, Files told TouringCars.Net he still suffered with a damaged gearbox and differential, with a potentially switch to a new car for the next round of the series at the Red Bull Ring.
“It’s a new engine, so it’s good to get some kilometres on it, but the car has still obviously got some damage from my accident,” said Files.
“It wouldn’t go up the gears properly and I think maybe the differential is broken – we thought yesterday maybe it was but now I really believe it is broken.
“For the next one we’re looking at maybe taking a new car. It’s too bent. But, you know, I was 16th and I’ve heard a lot of people are under investigation so I could score some points still.
“16th was actually more than I expected after the first couple of laps, I thought we were going to struggle to even keep 21st which I got up to, so that was handy.”
Coming into the weekend, Files led the standings but title rival Julien Briché has now come to the fore by virtue of his third consecutive reverse-grid victory this season.
Files has dropped to fifth in the standings, but believes he will bounce back at the team’s home circuit, and one of his personal favourites.
“The Red Bull Ring will be our track,” he said.
“It’s one of my favourites, if not my favourite track in the world. I love it there, the team love it there, it’s their local track and we’ll be strong.
“Wins are the focus. I’ve always said the championship looks after itself so just got to keep winning and trying to get the pole positions, then the championship will look after itself.”