John Filippi won the final round of the 2020 TCR Europe season at Jarama as Mehdi Bennani secured the championship title.
Bennani – who finished second – was again able to benefit from a retirement from championship rival Mike Halder, who crashed out of the race on lap five, enabling the Moroccan driver to take a first TCR Europe title win.
The pair had been split by just eight points coming into the final round of the season, although Halder needed a drastic turn in fortune to take the championship win after starting the race down in 18th.
The German’s title pursuit lasted only five laps after he went off the road into a tyre wall, forcing the safety car to be called and as a result this meant Bennani claimed the title.
Bennani also wins the championship despite not winning a race throughout the 2020 season aboard the ComToYou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS, with the Belgian squad also having taken the Team’s championship after the first race of the day.
Filippi’s first win of the season also means the Frenchman moves into second in the Drivers Standings, albeit 28 points behind winner Bennani, while Halder fell behind Nicolas Baert following another no score.
Race two saw much wetter conditions compared to the opening race this morning, and this provided action throughout the field.
As Filippi controlled his lead he gained on lap one for the whole of the 17 laps, behind saw a close battle between Daniel Nagy, Julien Briché, Mikel Azcona and Nicola Baert.
Nagy had started the final race of the year from pole, but was soon left behind by Filippi and found himself in a battle with the drivers behind.
He’d gradually fall further behind as his tyres became more worn and eventually crashed out of the race on lap fifteen after falling down the order.
Julien Briché and race one winner Mikel Azcona fought throughout the second half of the race for the final spot on the podium.
A fine defensive drive saw Briché hold off the WTCR regular and he held onto third place.
Despite a fine start to the race that saw him again move up through the field quickly, Azcona struggled with grip in the later stages and had to settle for fourth ahead of Nicolas Baret.
The Belgian would also make the most of Halder’s incident and this meant he moved up to third in the Drivers Standings.
Andreas Bäckman, who had been fighting with both Briché and Azcona before being overtaken by both drivers ended the race sixth, with Tom Coronel, series debutant Franco Griolami, Teddy Clairet and Viktor Davidovski completing the top ten.
|1||27||John FILIPPI||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||31:22.683||1:44.201||1|
|2||250||Mehdi BENNANI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||17||1.341||1:43.616||6|
|3||24||Julien BRICHÉ||JSB Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||17||2.735||1:44.031||5|
|4||96||Mikel AZCONA||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||17||3.162||1:43.411||10|
|5||8||Nicolas BAERT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||17||5.670||1:43.847||3|
|6||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||6.725||1:44.377||4|
|7||31||Tom CORONEL||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||17||7.305||1:44.142||14|
|8||72||Franco GIROLAMI||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||17||9.387||1:44.425||12|
|9||20||Teddy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||17||11.373||1:44.864||8|
|10||10||Viktor DAVIDOVSKI||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||17||11.894||1:44.277||15|
|11||21||Jimmy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||17||12.368||1:44.876||24|
|12||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||13.118||1:44.832||7|
|13||123||Daniel LLOYD||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||17||14.089||1:44.834||21|
|14||33||José Manuel SAPAG||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||14.805||1:44.626||19|
|15||199||Fernando NAVARRETE||SMC Junior Motorsport||Peugeot 308 TCR||17||35.980||1:44.591||17|
|16||16||Evgenii LEONOV||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||17||43.948||1:45.068||20|
|17||53||Michelle HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||17||57.614||1:48.396||16|
|18||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||17||57.811||1:46.670||23|
|19||26||Jessica BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||+ 1 LAP||1:46.542||9|
|20||99||Dániel NAGY||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||14||+ 3 LAPS||1:44.838||2|
|R||13||Enrique HERNANDO||SMC Junior Motorsport||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||DNF||1:46.724||22|
|R||7||Mike HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||4||DNF||1:45.614||18|
|R||25||Sami TAOUFIK||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||4||DNF||1:45.725||11|
|NS||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||–||DNS||N/A||13|