Santiago Urrutia and Pepe Oriola win action-packed races in Uruguay

Santiago Urrutia and Pepe Oriola were the victors after two action-packed TCR South America races at Rivera in Uruguay, as Oriola extended his championship lead in the series.

Race one

Pole-sitter Urrutia held his advantage from Oriola when the lights went out, with third-placed Rodrigo Aramendia just holding onto his place ahead of Cyro Fontes.

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Behind them, Raphael Reis was tapped out of fifth by Fabricio Larratea’s Alfa Romeo, dropping him four places.

Urrutia’s PMO Motorsport team-mate Pablo Otero enjoyed a strong start to get up to sixth after the first sequence of turns, whilst the recovering Reis moved up to eighth by the end of the opening lap, passing the Hyundai Elantra of Enrique Maglione at the final corner.

Larratea took fourth from Fontes on the second lap, but on the following tour he dropped back after running wide, also allowing Otero’s Lynk & Co to claim fifth.

Series newcomer Aramendia soon became a cork-in-the-bottle in third, holding up a five-car train behind him.

Fontes claimed third on lap four and quickly broke free, whilst the holdup allowed Ayrton Chorne, this weekend racing an FK2 model Honda Civic, to pass Otero for sixth, as Reis joined the train to try to recover from his earlier contact.

Reis took Otero for seventh at the end of the lap, and attempted to then pass both Aramendia and Chorne, who had just passed Aramendia, at Turn 1 on lap five.

The resulting contact dropped both drivers several places, whilst also costing Otero, who was baulked on the outside line as he took avoiding action.

The fierce battles allowed Rodrigo Baptista, who had started from the back of the grid due to a clutch failure in practice, to leap from ninth to fifth on lap five alone, although by this stage the leading drivers were breaking free from the action, as the now sixth-placed Aramendia continued to hold up a six-car train.

Both Aramendia’s team-mate Enrique Maglione and Chorne got past on lap six, quickly followed by Reis, Otero and Gonzalo Reilly before the end of the lap, leaving Aramendia in 11th.

Chorne then dropped three places on lap seven, with Otero back in the mix and battling past Reis for seventh, quickly followed by Maglione for sixth.

On lap eight Chorne made contact separately with both Maglione and Reis, although emerged in seventh, with all continuing to run.

Aramendia eventually pitted on lap nine for an inspection of his car, and on the following lap contact between Chorne and Reis spun the former and dropped him two places to ninth, with Reis sporting significant front-right bodywork damage.

The safety car was then required on lap 11 when Fontes’ Honda ground to a halt, remaining out for three laps before racing resumed on lap 15.

At this stage, Urrutia got a comfortable restart from Oriola, with Baptista in third ahead of Larratea and Otero.

Otero was soon up to fourth when Larratea made a mistake a few corners in, but a lap later Reilly crashed out his Honda and caused a double waved yellow flag at Turn 5 for the rest of the race.

Baptista lost third heading onto the final lap of the race, with the Cobra Racing Audi driver finishing in fifth after losing out to both Otero and Reis.

Urrutia ultimately claimed a popular home win on his début in the series, with Oriola extending his championship lead with second and Otero making it two Lynk & Co drivers on the podium.

Race two

Due to the damage sustained in race one, Reilly, Chorne and Fontes all failed to take the start in race two, leaving Oriola and Reis as the only Honda representatives on the grid.

Rodrigo Baptista started on the reverse grid pole, but it was Otero who beat him into the first corner, whilst Oriola was immediately up to fourth, although in reality only gaining two places due to the non-starters.

Casagrande ran wide from third towards the end of the first lap, allowing Oriola a run on him that yielded third for the Spaniard before the end of the first lap.

Baptista then made a mistake on lap two which allowed Oriola into second, with Urrutia quickly following through.

For a lap Oriola ran between the two Lynk & Cos, before the W2 Racing driver found a gap and passed Otero for the lead on lap four, followed by Urrutia moving into second at the same corner.

Oriola pulled out a slight advantage over Urrutia over the following laps, until lap 12 when the safety car was called due to Reis stopping on track.

After a one lap interlude, racing resumed, but Urrutia immediately had a power steering problem and slowed from second, promoting Otero to second.

Little changed until the final lap when Baptista, who had been running in fourth, jumped both Larratea and Otero to claim second, with Larratea’s Alfa Romeo completing the podium.

Victory for Oriola has extended his championship lead, with the Spaniard now holding 124 points ahead of Baptista (99) and Reis (80).

The next TCR South America race takes place at the El Pinar circuit, also in Uruguay, on 2 – 3 October.

Race 1 results

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 96 Santiago URRUTIA PMO Motorsport Lynk & Co 03 TCR 18 26:30.422 1:19.317 1
2 74 Pepe ORIOLA W2 Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 18 0.650 1:19.215 2
3 30 Pablo OTERO PMO Motorsport Lynk & Co 03 TCR 18 6.940 1:20.405 9
4 77 Raphael REIS W2 Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 18 8.045 1:20.086 6
5 13 Rodrigo BAPTISTA Cobra Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 16.110 1:20.144 13
6 111 Fabricio LARRATEA PropCar Racing Team Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 18 18.700 1:20.914 8
7 25 Ayrton CHORNE Squadra Martino Honda Civic Type-R FK2 TCR 18 18.765 1:20.468 5
8 10 Adalberto BAPTISTA Cobra Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 20.251 1:21.678 10
9 16 Fabio CASAGRANDE PropCar Racing Team Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 18 20.570 1:20.870 12
10 15 Enrique MAGLIONE Scuderia CJ Hyundai Elantra N TCR 17 + 1 LAP 1:21.026 11
11 27 Rodrigo ARAMENDIA Scuderia CJ Hyundai Elantra N TCR 16 + 2 LAPS 1:21.272 3
12 155 Gonzalo REILLY Squadra Martino Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 15 + 3 LAPS 1:21.408 7
R 52 Cyro FONTES Squadra Martino Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 10 DNF 1:20.312 4
NS 47 Rodrigo PFLUCKER Perú Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR DNS N/A

Race 2 results

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 74 Pepe ORIOLA W2 Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 18 25:42.038 1:18.855 9
2 13 Rodrigo BAPTISTA Cobra Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 2.121 1:19.243 13
3 111 Fabricio LARRATEA PropCar Racing Team Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 18 3.182 1:20.108 3
4 30 Pablo OTERO PMO Motorsport Lynk & Co 03 TCR 18 4.224 1:19.897 2
5 27 Rodrigo ARAMENDIA Scuderia CJ Hyundai Elantra N TCR 18 9.904 1:20.027 8
6 15 Enrique MAGLIONE Scuderia CJ Hyundai Elantra N TCR 18 22.205 1:20.921 11
7 10 Adalberto BAPTISTA Cobra Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 52.212 1:21.611 1
8 16 Fabio CASAGRANDE PropCar Racing Team Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 16 + 2 LAPS 1:21.520 12
9 77 Raphael REIS W2 Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 16 + 2 LAPS 1:27.742 5
10 96 Santiago URRUTIA PMO Motorsport Lynk & Co 03 TCR 13 + 5 LAPS 1:19.084 10
NS 155 Gonzalo REILLY Squadra Martino Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR DNS N/A 4
NS 25 Ayrton CHORNE Squadra Martino Honda Civic Type-R FK2 TCR DNS N/A 6
NS 52 Cyro FONTES Squadra Martino Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR DNS N/A 7
NS 47 Rodrigo PFLUCKER Perú Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR DNS N/A
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