Julien Briché kept his title hopes in the TCR Europe series alive with a lights-to-flag win in race one at Monza, finishing ahead of fellow Peugeot racer Aurélien Comte as points leader Josh Files completed the podium.
Briché converted his pole position into a fourth win of the year in a relatively calm opening race in Italy, being guarded by DG Sport Compétition’s Comte throughout the race.
The start saw the two Frenchman move into a comfortable lead, whilst WRT’s Santiago Urrutia initially occupied third.
However, the Uruguayan lost the position on lap nine when Target Competition’s Files, who had moved up to sixth after the first lap and fourth by the end of lap two, passed him heading into the first turn.
Files lacked the pace to catch the leading Peugeots and had to settle for third, with the result seeing his championship advantage cut to 33 points ahead of Sunday’s season finale, with a total of 40 on offer in the race.
Urrutia took the chequered flag in fourth as the leading Audi, ahead of the second Target Hyundai of Mat’o Homola in fifth, the Slovakian having come through from 17th on the grid.
Comtoyou Racing’s Gilles Magnus was sixth, the Belgian having battled hard with Homola in the closing laps.
Andreas Bäckman was seventh in his Hyundai, although the Target Competition driver had two laps earlier been involved in close door-to-door battling with Brutal Fish Racing’s Dan Lloyd, who ultimately retired with a front-left puncture after slight contact with his Swedish rival.
Dominik Baumann followed his Target team-mate home in eighth, whilst the top ten was completed by the Peugeot of Teddy Clairet and M Racing Hyundai of Nelson Panciatici, who finished the race with damage after earlier contact with Gianni Morbidelli.
Morbidelli had earlier been knocked out of the top ten when he was hit by Luca Engstler at the end of the first lap, the incident ending the German’s race.
WestCoast Racing’s Morbidelli was adjudged to have been to blame for the contact with Panciatici later in the race and was handed a drive-through penalty, although the Italian opted to retire from the race rather than serve the sentence.
BRC Racing’s Luca Filippi retired after just one lap when his Hyundai was contacted by Comtoyou Racing’s Sami Taoufik at the first chicane and picked up left-rear damage.
PCR Sport’s John Filippi made up a couple of places late in the race to take 11th, ahead of series returnee Stian Paulsen in 12th.
Sometime entrant Klim Gavrilov was 13th, the Russian having slipped back in the later laps after at one stage battling for a top ten finish, ahead of rookie Taoufik in 14th. Viktor Davidovsky scored just his second points finish of the year in 15th.
Race two gets underway at 11:35 CEST (10:35 BST).
|1||24||Julien BRICHÉ||JSB Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||13||25:42.193||1:57.785||1|
|2||7||Aurélien COMTE||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||13||0.409||1:57.942||2|
|3||9||Josh FILES||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||4.710||1:57.748||9|
|4||55||Santiago URRUTIA||Team WRT||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||13||8.113||1:58.124||3|
|5||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||14.162||1:58.022||17|
|6||16||Gilles MAGNUS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||13||15.488||1:58.279||8|
|7||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||17.555||1:58.146||12|
|8||58||Dominik BAUMANN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||17.564||1:58.665||22|
|9||111||Teddy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||13||17.607||1:58.184||5|
|10||12||Nelson PANCIATICI||M Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||18.458||1:58.170||20|
|11||27||John FILIPPI||PCR Sport||CUPRA TCR||13||19.203||1:58.955||11|
|12||34||Stian PAULSEN||Stian Paulsen Racing||CUPRA TCR||13||20.796||1:58.541||25|
|13||14||Klim GAVRILOV||VRC Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||13||20.914||1:58.869||4|
|14||15||Sami TAOUFIK||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||13||23.638||1:58.690||15|
|15||10||Viktor DAVIDOVSKY||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||13||24.776||1:58.946||18|
|16||22||Josh BURDON||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||13||25.387||1:58.636||33|
|17||112||Jimmy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||13||26.680||1:59.175||13|
|18||25||Natan BIHEL||M Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||27.444||1:58.754||21|
|19||85||Guilherme SALAS||Vuković Motorsport||Renault Mégane RS TCR||13||28.387||1:58.873||28|
|20||88||Maxime POTTY||Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||13||29.102||1:59.292||10|
|21||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||13||30.041||1:58.962||30|
|22||46||Olli KANGAS||WestCoast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||13||33.446||1:59.206||26|
|23||91||Grigoriy BURLUTSKIY||Carville Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||13||34.616||1:59.444||23|
|24||96||Abdulla Ali AL-KHELAIFI||QMMF Racing by PCR Sport||CUPRA TCR||13||34.642||1:59.652||19|
|25||26||Jessica BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||37.037||1:59.134||27|
|26||21||Marie BAUS-COPPENS||JSB Compétition||CUPRA TCR||13||44.620||2:00.053||29|
|27||23||Tamás TENKE||Zengő Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||13||50.227||1:59.617||24|
|28||117||Albert LEGUTKO||Legutko Racing – ADAC Berlin||Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR||13||1:03.859||2:01.514||31|
|29||18||Paul IP Kung Ching||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||13||1:19.878||2:01.544||32|
|R||123||Daniel LLOYD||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||11||DNF||1:58.194||6|
|R||8||Luca ENGSTLER||M1RA Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||DNF||1:58.400||16|
|R||45||Gianni MORBIDELLI||WestCoast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||DNF||1:58.933||7|
|R||30||Luca FILIPPI||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||1||DNF||3:16.857||14|