Franco Girolami believes he lost to ‘the best driver in TCR Europe’ after Mikel Azcona won the opening race at the Nürburgring, with Girolami having led all bar the final lap.
Girolami assumed the lead of the race at the start when pole-sitter Isidiro Callejas made a poor getaway, but at the same time his title rival Mikel Azcona was able to jump from fifth up to second.
Although Girolami could keep the CUPRA driver at bay for ten laps, he lost out at Turn 4 on the final tour, and had to settle for second.
Indeed, Girolami dropped a second and a half back on the final lap, with second seeing him lose even more points to Azcona in the championship fight.
Despite missing out on a second win in the series, the PSS Racing driver praised Azcona’s performance, admitting that he feels the Spaniard is one of the top touring car drivers in the world at present.
“First of all, I want to congratulate Mikel Azcona and his team,” said Girolami. “He did a very good race.
“I’m happy, but not so much; I lost the race on the very last lap, but I’m happy for the team, for the result, for the points, for the championship.
“We lost to the best driver in TCR Europe and maybe in the top five in the world, so I know I can improve.
“When you lose a race, you know that there is room for you to improve. Azcona had a very good car from the middle of the race until the finish.
“I didn’t see him on the last lap; he attacked very hard, and he was able to overtake me. Because of this, I know which way I have to improve.”