Mikel Azcona grabs Nürburgring race one win with late move on title rival Franco Girolami

Mikel Azcona continued his remarkable winning streak in the TCR Europe series after a last lap move on title rival Franco Girolami saw him take his fourth win of the season.

A fine start from Azcona saw the Spaniard find himself in second by the early stages of the opening lap and he soon caught up to the back of long-time race leader Girolami, who had managed to get ahead of pole sitter Isidro Callejas off the start line.

The leading two drivers made contact several times throughout the 11 laps on Saturday afternoon, but both drivers continued without damage to continue their fine battle in Germany.

- Advertisement -

The later stages of the race saw Girolami, who seemingly was gradually struggling more and more with less grip compared to championship leader Azcona, forced to defend through the opening complex of corners as each lap was completed.

Azcona at one point was physically ahead of his rival after the pair made contact on the pit straight, but a fine late breaking move into T1 saw Girolami retake the lead just seconds later.

However on the final lap Girolami decided to take a different line through turns two and three and this enabled Azcona to dive up the inside at T4 and the Spaniard ended the race 1.4 seconds ahead of his rival after taking the win.

Behind the leading duo was Niels Langeveld, who couldn’t quite match the pace of the two drivers ahead of him despite his best efforts.

The Dutchman was comfortably ahead of fourth placed Teddy Clairet however, with the Team Clairet Sport driver ending race one of the weekend in fourth and ahead of Tom Coronel.

Isidro Callejas, who had started the race from pole, couldn’t make the most of his opportunity at the front of the field and struggled for pace across the 11 laps aboard the Brutal Fish Racing Honda and crossed the line in seventh.

Dušan Borković claimed eighth in race one, with the second of the Sébastien Loeb Racing Hyundai’s of Sami Taoufik finishing ninth. Mat’o Homola completed the top 10 in race one of the weekend.

Reigning champion Mehdi Bennani again struggled after missing out on Q2 on Saturday morning and could only end race one in 11th, with Jáchym Galáš finishing ahead of Felice Jelmini and the pair took 12th and 13th respecitlvy.

Nicolas Baert was another driver to again end race one further down the order than he would be hoping for in 14th, while Jimmy Clairet, who started the opening race of the weekend from the back of the field following an engine change, recovered to end race one in the points in 15th.

Martin Ryba held off Brutal Fish teammate and race two pole sitter Jack Young for 16th, with Viktor Davidosvski, Gilles Colombani and TCR Europe debutant Łukasz Stolarczyk completing the field.

The only retirement from race one was Sylvain Pussier, with the Team Clairet Sport CUPRA driver being forced to head for the pitlane in the late stages of the race.

Race two of the weekend is set to take place on Sunday at 12:50 CEST (11:50 BST).

Race results

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 96 Mikel AZCONA Volcano Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 11 23:45.032 2:08.234 5
2 72 Franco GIROLAMI PSS Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 11 1.460 2:08.364 2
3 10 Niels LANGEVELD Sébastien Loeb Racing Hyundai Elantra N TCR 11 1.967 2:08.123 3
4 20 Teddy CLAIRET Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308 TCR 11 10.351 2:08.830 4
5 32 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 11 12.039 2:09.379 6
6 14 Klim GAVRILOV VRC-Team Audi RS3 LMS TCR 11 13.191 2:09.257 7
7 26 Isidro CALLEJAS Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 11 14.356 2:09.201 1
8 162 Dušan BORKOVIĆ Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 11 14.864 2:09.591 11
9 25 Sami TAOUFIK Sébastien Loeb Racing Hyundai Elantra N TCR 11 15.708 2:09.337 15
10 70 Mat’o HOMOLA Janík Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 16.074 2:09.553 14
11 250 Mehdi BENNANI Sébastien Loeb Racing Hyundai Elantra N TCR 11 23.471 2:09.820 13
12 24 Jáchym GALÁŠ Janík Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 28.251 2:10.322 8
13 44 Felice JELMINI Sébastien Loeb Racing Hyundai Elantra N TCR 11 28.787 2:10.078 16
14 8 Nicolas BAERT Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 11 30.512 2:10.260 12
15 21 Jimmy CLAIRET Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308 TCR 11 30.947 2:10.620 21
16 17 Martin RYBA Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 11 31.802 2:10.718 17
17 62 Jack YOUNG Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 11 33.122 2:10.705 10
18 110 Viktor DAVIDOVSKI PSS Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 11 34.099 2:11.027 9
19 66 Gilles COLOMBANI Team Clairet Sport CUPRA TCR 11 46.511 2:11.550 19
20 53 Lukas STOLARCZYK BTC Maszyny Audi RS3 LMS TCR 11 1:01.931 2:13.101 20
R 77 Sylvain PUSSIER Team Clairet Sport CUPRA TCR 7 DNF 2:11.842 18
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected

7,273FansLike
6,607FollowersFollow

Must Read

- Advertisement -

Related News

- Advertisement -