Mikel Azcona led from start to finish in the opening TCR Europe race at Jarama, as Mehdi Bennani made the most of Mike Halder crashing out to take the championship lead.
2018 champion Azcona continued his winning return to the series with his third successive victory, but Bennani now leads the championship with one race left after Mike Halder collided with Franco Girolami on lap nine.
The German driver had a 19 point lead going to the race, but locked up while running ninth at the hairpin at turn two and couldn’t stop the car in time to avoid the PSS Racing Honda Civic ahead on the damp track.
With Halder scoring zero points, it now means Bennani – who took fourth in race one – has an eight point advantage over the German driver going into race two.
The championship fight is now effectively between the pair, although Nicolas Baert, who finished eighth and John Filippi, who could only manage 11th, are both still mathematically in the running for the title.
A dramatic race saw two safety car periods, firstly after Jessica Bäckman slammed into the side of Pepe Oriola on the opening lap at the turn nine hairpin, before the collision involving Halder and Girolami brought it out for a second time on lap nine.
Behind dominant race winner Azcona was Teddy Clairet, with Mat’o Homola completing the podium – both drivers simply couldn’t match the pace of the CUPRA driver ahead.
With Bennani taking a large number of points in his pursuit of the title in fourth, fifth in race one went to Julien Briché in the JSB Competition Peugeot.
The Frenchman had been battling with the Target Competition Hyundai of Andreas Bäckman and managed to get ahead of him late on.
The top 10 in the opening race of the day was completed by Daniel Nagy, Baert in the ComToYou Racing Audi, Daniel Lloyd and Sami Taoufik.
Lloyd had started the race in 23rd and despite his best efforts with a fine drive through the field, is no longer in contention for the championship that he led during the early stages of the season.
With one round remaining and 40 points still up for grabs, Mehdi Bennani will start the second race of the day in seventh, while Mike Halder will start race two in 14th.
The final round of the 2020 TCR Europe season takes place later today at 14:10 CEST (13:10 BST).
|1||96||Mikel AZCONA||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||17||17 LAPS||1:39.010||1|
|2||20||Teddy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||17||6.618||1:40.317||2|
|3||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||8.009||1:40.300||3|
|4||250||Mehdi BENNANI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||17||9.671||1:40.325||4|
|5||24||Julien BRICHÉ||JSB Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||17||11.066||1:40.364||5|
|6||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||14.281||1:41.091||6|
|7||99||Dániel NAGY||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||15.436||1:41.158||9|
|8||8||Nicolas BAERT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||17||15.776||1:41.025||7|
|9||123||Daniel LLOYD||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||17||16.408||1:40.954||23|
|10||25||Sami TAOUFIK||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||17||17.119||1:40.807||11|
|11||27||John FILIPPI||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||17.599||1:40.914||10|
|12||21||Jimmy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||17||18.271||1:41.049||24|
|13||13||Enrique HERNANDO||SMC Junior Motorsport||Peugeot 308 TCR||17||23.874||1:42.186||22|
|14||31||Tom CORONEL||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||17||24.008||1:41.773||16|
|15||33||José Manuel SAPAG||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||24.601||1:41.743||15|
|16||199||Fernando NAVARRETE||SMC Junior Motorsport||Peugeot 308 TCR||17||25.374||1:41.906||20|
|17||16||Evgenii LEONOV||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||17||25.699||1:41.682||17|
|18||10||Viktor DAVIDOVSKI||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||17||27.002||1:41.975||18|
|19||53||Michelle HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||17||29.316||1:42.001||19|
|R||72||Franco GIROLAMI||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||8||DNF||1:42.582||12|
|R||7||Mike HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||8||DNF||1:42.183||14|
|R||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||0||DNF||N/A||13|
|R||26||Jessica BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||0||DNF||N/A||8|
|R||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||0||DNF||N/A||21|