Julien Briché admitted that he had made ‘one or two mistakes’ during the TCR Europe season, with the Peugeot driver ‘paying dearly’ at the season finale at Monza, where he finished runner-up despite a win and a second.
Briché determinedly fought to close down a 48 point deficit to Josh Files going into the final weekend.
The Frenchman started in the best possible form, claiming pole position in Saturday’s qualifying session and the extra five points which goes with it, whilst Files qualified in only ninth.
Briché then went on to win race one and cut the gap to 33 points, with Files limiting the damage by finishing in third.
With the title therefore still alive going into Sunday’s race, Briché knew he had his work cut out, with Files starting on the front row and Briché in tenth for the reverse grid race.
As Files assumed the lead, Briché charged through the pack, ending up in second just behind his rival but unable to pass him.
Even if Briché had got past Files, unless the Brit had retired or dropped out of the top ten, he would have been unable to take the title, such were Briché’s mathematical prospects.
“We started the programme in late, but we arrived at Monza hoping for a miracle to win the title,” said Briché. “Mathematically it was complicated, but I tried until the end.
“We have made two or three mistakes during the season and we paid them dearly. But it’s racing.”
Briché paid tribute to his Target Competition rival for their season-long battle, with Briché actually claiming more wins (four) than any other driver, including Files (three).
“We can be proud of what we have done and Josh had a great season. Congratulations to him and the team.”