Mikel Azcona was delighted to claim victory in the first TCR Europe race at the Nürburgring, allowing the Spaniard to extend his championship lead over rival Franco Girolami.
Azcona had qualified his CUPRA in fifth for the first race in Germany, but the Spaniard was up to second after the first sequence of corners, having got the jump on Teddy Clairet, Niels Langeveld and pole-sitter Isidro Callejas.
That left Azcona chasing down early race leader Girolami, who is his main rival in the title race.
Azcona was quickly onto the back of the PSS Racing driver, but despite several laps of trying he couldn’t find a way past as the leading Argentine drove a heavily defensive race.
Finally, on the last lap Girolami’s defence broke, with Azcona getting past around the outside at Turn 3, giving him the inside line for Turn 4.
Azcona knows the significance of claiming his fourth win of the season, which hands him a huge 32 point championship lead, knowing that will only increase because Girolami has to drop two scores which Azcona does not.
“I feel really, really happy,” said Azcona. “We have extended the championship lead, which is the best news.
“It was a tough race; congratulations to Girolami, he also drove a very good race.
“From the beginning, I tried to analyse him; I saw a couple of corners where he was struggling a little bit more than me. I tried to pass him three times, but he did some really good moves.
“Towards the end, he was struggling with the tyres and I took the opportunity and went full attack.”
Azcona insisted the fights were fair, despite the duo making contact on the start/finish straight at one stage.
“It was very fair, we try to respect each other. We had two small contacts, but we know each other and we know that it wasn’t on purpose.
“They were very clean moves and I’m very happy with the race.
“Now we keep pushing for the championship.”