2018 champion Mikel Azcona claimed a fine victory in the opening race at Spa-Francorchamps after starting 13th on the grid.
Azcona, who is making a one-off return to the TCR Europe field this weekend, stormed to the win after a stunning drive through the field, with him getting the better of long-time race leader Tom Coronel on the penultimate lap.
The Volcano Motorsport driver, who also gives the CUPRA TCR its first victory of the season, went around the outside of the Dutch driver at Blanchimont and held on for the remainder of the race to take the win by 2.037 seconds.
Behind Coronel who took second in what was also his return to the championship, third was championship leader Mike Halder.
The German has extended his championship as a result of another podium in what is turning into a consistent season for the Honda Civic driver.
John Filippi had been ahead of Halder, but on lap seven the Profi Car Team Holder man made a fine cutback move on the Frenchman at Stavelot.
Filippi was then passed by Andreas Bäckman before the end of the race, with the two teammates taking fourth and fifth respectively.
Race one on Friday afternoon saw drama from the opening lap, as Nicolas Baert, who had been third in the championship standings, collided with Jessica Bäckman at Les Combes with both retiring from the race and the safety car being called as a result.
Lap one had also seen pole sitter Mehdi Bennani overtaken by Coronel, and after the safety car returned to the pits at the beginning of lap three, the Moroccan continued to drop back before ending the race a somewhat lonely sixth.
Seventh at a damp Spa was Sami Taoufik, who was another driver to move up the field well after an engine change after free practice two forced him to start from the back of the grid.
Dan Lloyd and Pepe Oriola in the pair of Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda’s had been close to each throughout the whole of the race and had also been battling the Peugeot of Julien Briché before the Frenchman dropped back in the later stages and he finished 11th.
Splitting the Honda duo in the overall leaderboard was Nicola Baldan, who finished ninth in the first race in TCR Europe for the new CUPRA Leon Competición and the 2017 TCR Italy champion finished ninth.
Race two of the TCR Europe series at Spa is set to take place tomorrow at 11:50 CEST (10:50 BST).
|1||96||Mikel AZCONA||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||9||9 LAPS||2:53.586||13|
|2||31||Tom CORONEL||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||9||2.037||2:54.536||2|
|3||7||Mike HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||9||8.109||2:55.017||7|
|4||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||11.339||2:54.889||4|
|5||27||John FILIPPI||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||12.443||2:55.626||3|
|6||250||Mehdi BENNANI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||19.732||2:56.011||1|
|7||25||Sami TAOUFIK||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||25.289||2:54.810||21|
|8||123||Daniel LLOYD||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||9||28.695||2:57.518||5|
|9||18||Nicola BALDAN||Elite Racing||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||9||28.866||2:56.916||17|
|10||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||9||29.697||2:57.424||8|
|11||24||Julien BRICHÉ||JSB Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||9||30.826||2:57.232||15|
|12||21||Jimmy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||9||34.193||2:57.928||16|
|13||33||José Manuel SAPAG||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||35.329||2:57.984||6|
|14||20||Teddy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||9||35.425||2:58.135||14|
|15||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||36.861||2:58.389||9|
|16||53||Michelle HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||9||38.385||2:58.153||19|
|17||99||Dániel NAGY||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||46.230||2:58.669||10|
|18||16||Evgenii LEONOV||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||9||49.463||2:57.628||20|
|19||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||9||49.998||2:58.437||18|
|20||81||Stéphane VENTAJA||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||9||1:11.951||3:02.539||22|
|R||26||Jessica BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||1||DNF||N/A||11|
|R||8||Nicolas BAERT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||1||DNF||N/A||12|