Julien Briché takes third consecutive TCR Europe reverse-grid win at Spa

Julien Briché takes third consecutive TCR Europe reverse-grid win at Spa

Photo: TCR Media

JSB Compétition’s Julien Briché has taken his third TCR Europe reverse-grid victory in a row, after winning race two at the Hungaroring, Hockenheim at now Spa-Francorchamps.

In what was a frantic race, reverse-grid polesitter Dušan Borković defended his lead well in the opening laps before the field bunched up under the safety car with the two Hyundais of Dániel Nagy and Natan Bihel off at different points on the 4.35-mile circuit.

Once the race restarted, Borković was immediately forced to defend into La Source from Clairet’s Peugeot, with the latter locking up, going wide and allowing Briché through.

Briché’s Peugeot then challenged Borković on the exit of Raidillon, managing to gain the lead before the braking zone at Les Combes, where Clairet hit the back of Borković, spinning him off the circuit and dropping him down to 17th and eventually retiring.

Briché also took to the grass in the ensuing carnage, but led the rest of the contest to take his third victory of the season. He is currently under investigation for a jump start and for passing Mat’o Homola’s Hyundai in a yellow flag zone.

Meanwhile, second-placed Clairet is under investigation for the contact with Borković, so the podium results remain provisional at this point.

Target Competition’s Homola enjoyed a solid race to complete the podium, after gaining a place from fourth on the grid and eventually having to defend from fellow Hyundai runner Andreas Bäckman in the closing laps.

Bäckman progressed seven positions from the sixth row to finish fourth after an opportunistic move to pass Ash Sutton and Aurélien Comte as they battled through Les Combes, with the Swede completing the move as the trio went three-wide on the entry to Bruxelles.

Sutton would hold on to fifth ahead of Comte, with race one podium finisher Santiago Urrutia finishing seventh at the flag, while Teddy Clairet made it four Peugeots in the top ten.

Luca Engstler led home fellow Hyundai runner Luca Fillipi, with the BRC Racing Team driver tagging the back of Tom Coronel’s Honda on the exit of Raidillon on the final lap, pitching the Dutchman into the barrier and causing front-end damage.

With many battles boiling over in the final laps, Coronel hit the back of Stian Paulsen as both cars took avoiding action across the grass at Les Combes, with Paulsen spearing across the circuit but thankfully not being collected by the following drivers.

The race result promotes Briché up to the top of the Drivers’ standings, 13 points clear of race one winner Gilles Magnus.

Erstwhile championship leader Josh Files, who was ahead coming into the Belgian round, failed to secure any points all weekend after a crash in qualifying, a DNF in race one and 16th in the second encounter.

As a result, he drops to fifth in the championship standings.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 24 Julien BRICHÉ JSB Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 9 28:04.461 2:32.268 5
2 112 Jimmy CLAIRET Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308 TCR 9 1.849 2:32.462 3
3 70 Mat’o HOMOLA Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 3.051 2:32.298 4
4 19 Andreas BÄCKMAN Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 3.349 2:32.681 11
5 116 Ashley SUTTON Team WRT Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 9 3.706 2:32.592 7
6 7 Aurélien COMTE DG Sport Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 9 4.080 2:32.908 6
7 55 Santiago URRUTIA Team WRT Audi RS3 LMS TCR 9 12.115 2:33.807 9
8 111 Teddy CLAIRET Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308 TCR 9 12.893 2:32.983 12
9 8 Luca ENGSTLER M1RA Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 13.886 2:33.419 16
10 30 Luca FILIPPI BRC Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 15.419 2:34.204 24
11 46 Olli KANGAS WestCoast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 9 16.065 2:32.965 13
12 45 Gianni MORBIDELLI WestCoast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 9 16.192 2:34.224 15
13 123 Daniel LLOYD Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 9 16.449 2:33.919 18
14 23 Tamás TENKE Zengő Motorsport CUPRA TCR 9 16.953 2:33.671 25
15 17 Martin RYBA Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 9 19.301 2:34.233 28
16 9 Josh FILES Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 19.696 2:34.189 33
17 14 Klim GAVRILOV VRC Team Audi RS3 LMS TCR 9 20.113 2:33.794 26
18 26 Jessica BÄCKMAN Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 20.614 2:34.070 23
19 27 John FILIPPI Vuković Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR 9 20.966 2:34.551 22
20 10 Viktor DAVIDOVSKY PSS Racing Team Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 9 25.317 2:34.457 32
21 21 Marie BAUS-COPPENS JSB Compétition CUPRA TCR 9 26.254 2:36.103 29
22 81 Stéphane VENTAJA Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308 TCR 9 26.536 2:35.772 31
23 88 Maxime POTTY Team WRT Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 9 28.195 2:32.989 8
24 38 Lewis KENT Essex & Kent Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 31.247 2:35.698 30
25 50 Tom CORONEL Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 9 1:48.315 2:34.032 14
R 16 Gilles MAGNUS Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 7 DNF 2:33.722 10
R 34 Stian PAULSEN Stian Paulsen Racing CUPRA TCR 7 DNF 2:34.004 17
R 62 Dušan BORKOVIĆ Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 6 DNF 2:31.874 1
R 12 Nelson PANCIATICI M Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 5 DNF 2:33.649 19
R 25 Natan BIHEL M Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 2 DNF 2:34.858 21
R 96 Abdulla Ali AL-KHELAIFI QMMF Racing by PCR Sport CUPRA TCR 2 DNF 2:46.795 27
R 99 Dániel NAGY M1RA Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 0 DNF N/A 20
R 3 Davit KAJAIA PCR Sport with Georgia CUPRA TCR 0 DNF N/A 2
NS 44 Lilou WADOUX JSB Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR DNS N/A