Target Competition’s Josh Files says he enjoyed his recovery drive in race two of TCR Europe at the Red Bull Ring to bounce back from a poor start and extend his advantage in the championship.
The double TCR Germany champion won yesterday’s opening contest after besting polesitter Luca Filippi into turn one and controlling the race thereafter.
In the reverse-grid race, Files lined up ninth on the grid but lost positions after bogging down and then being forced wide at the Remus hairpin on the opening lap, dropping him outside of the top ten.
In a manic rain-affected encounter, Files was then able to recover to second, benefitting from the battling Tom Coronel and Alex Morgan and then contact between eventual race-winner Luca Engstler with erstwhile leader Luca Filippi.
Files told TouringCars.Net he was “over the moon” to bounce back from a disastrous Spa round to secure nearly a maximum points score from the Spielberg weekend.
“Of the 85 points you can take, I’ve taken 80,” said Files. “I prayed for the rain to come because it’s the only chance you really have to move forward a good amount of positions.”
“And it came! Which I was very happy about, and I got a really good start initially and then the car just bogged down so I lost loads of positions.
“Then I got pushed out on the way up to turn two so I got shuffled back but I just regrouped, saw the rain coming and thought this isn’t over.
“Just kept making progress, others went off and I made some really nice moves. Everyone was very fair to me so I have to say for me it was a great race and I thought it was very fair, good touring car racing. I’m delighted.”
His highly successful Spielberg weekend means he now enjoys a 40 point advantage over closest rival Engstler, who jumped to second in the standings after his victory, ahead of Julien Briché, who had led the points after Spa.
“I don’t like to say I’ll just score points to fight for the championship, but Oschersleben is a track I know quite well too,” Files said.
“So there I’ll be attacking absolutely for the pole, just like here and try to win races and get podiums.
“We’ll have to see after Oschersleben – there’s a long break – we’ll have to see where we are then and make some decisions for the last two maybe.
“At the moment it’s just about attacking for wins and just trying to get as many positions as possible.”