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Klim Gavrilov claims lights-to-flag win for Russia in race one

Klim Gavrilov gave Team Russia a victory in the first race of the Touring Car Cup for the FIA Motorsport Games at Vallelunga, with the Audi driver leading Slovakia’s Mat’o Homola home in Italy.

Gavrilov started the race from pole position after the fastest driver in qualifying, Germany’s Luca Engstler, suffered from a blown engine in the qualifying session and lost his pole position.

When the lights went out Gavrilov immediately moved into a comfortable lead, with Homola’s Hyundai slotting into second and never looking particularly likely to take the fight to the 19-year-old Russian at the front of the field.

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In the end Gavrilov claimed an easy win by almost six seconds from Homola. Belgium’s Gilles Magnus was third, but the Audi driver was involved in contact with The Netherlands’ Tom Coronel on lap six, which resulted in damaged suspension for the latter.

At the time Magnus had been fighting for fourth, before he then fought past France’s John Filippi on lap ten after several laps of battling with the CUPRA driver.

Filippi claimed fourth, ahead of Czechia’s Dušan Kouril Jr in fifth, the latter having had a relatively quiet race from seventh on the grid.

New Zealand’s Faine Kahia was an impressive sixth in his Audi, up from 11th on the grid, ahead of Sweden’s Jessica Bäckman in seventh, with the Hyundai driver having passed the ailing Coronel on lap seven.

Coronel fought on after the damage from contact with Magnus, driving the second half of the race with a noticeable crab on his Honda on his way to eighth.

The top ten was completed by Italy’s Enrico Bettera and Hong Kong’s Jim Ka To.

The UK’s Rory Butcher was classified in last, one lap down, after having pitted mid-race in his MG. The BTCC racer had started from third on the grid, but a poor start saw him down in 12th by the end of the opening lap.

Three drivers failed to finish, with both Norway’s Kristian Moe Sætheren and Kuwait’s Salem Alnusif coming together on the opening lap, resulting in a safety car intervention for two laps.

Engstler joined the race late on for some exploratory laps with the new engine in his car.

Race two takes place at 13:20 CEST on Sunday, with Gavrilov again starting on the front row of the grid as he aims to secure the crown for Russia.

Race result

1 14 Klim GAVRILOV Team Russia Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 27:30.808 1:41.609 1
2 70 Mat’o HOMOLA Team Slovakia Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 5.864 1:42.214 2
3 16 Gilles MAGNUS Team Belgium Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 12.785 1:42.175 6
4 27 John FILIPPI Team France CUPRA TCR 15 18.065 1:42.507 5
5 59 Dušan KOURIL JR Team Czech Republic Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 18.637 1:42.605 7
6 55 Faine KAHIA Team New Zealand Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 19.925 1:42.825 11
7 26 Jessica BÄCKMAN Team Sweden Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 20.225 1:43.048 12
8 33 Tom CORONEL Team Netherlands Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 15 20.676 1:42.434 4
9 69 Enrico BETTERA Team Italy Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 25.562 1:43.248 10
10 88 JIM Ka To Team Hong Kong Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 15 26.568 1:43.209 19
11 21 Mason FILIPPI Team USA Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 29.947 1:43.640 13
12 5 Julius ADOMAVICIUS Team Lithuania Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 15 30.364 1:43.330 15
13 15 Norbert KISS Team Hungary Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 15 32.777 1:43.919 9
14 18 Zhendong ZHANG Team China MG6 TCR 15 36.350 1:44.051 16
15 25 Valters ZVIEDRIS Team Latvia Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 37.001 1:43.488 8
16 6 Rory BUTCHER Team United Kingdom MG6 TCR 14 + 1 LAP 1:44.270 3
R 8 Luca ENGSTLER Team Germany Hyundai i30 N TCR 6 DNF 1:42.160 20
R 10 Kristian Moe SÆTHEREN Team Norway Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 0 DNF N/A 17
R 35 Salem ALNUSIF Team Kuwait Audi RS3 LMS TCR 0 DNF N/A 18
NS 11 Martin DE ANDRES Gonzalo Team Spain Peugeot 308 TCR DNS N/A 14
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