Kilim Gavrilov claimed a lights-to-flag win in the final reverse-grid TCR Europe race of the season in Barcelona, as the Volcano Motorsport driver eased to his first victory in the series.
Gavrilov had qualified in tenth on Saturday, giving the Russian racer the pole position for Sunday’s partially reversed grid race.
Racing a CUPRA for the first time this weekend, Gavrilov made a strong start to lead into the first corner, as behind him the Brutal Fish Racing team-mates Jack Young and Isidro Callejas swapped positions, with Young claiming second on the outside line into the first corner.
Young then held second for most of the race, but the Northern Irishman was handed a drive-through penalty just three laps from the end for exceeding track limits, dropping him down the order.
In any case, Young was unable to close in on and challenge Gavrilov for the win, although both drivers had broken free of the third place battle.
Callejas had run in third for most of the race, defending stoically against the Sébastien Loeb Racing Hyundai of Mehdi Bennani.
That became second when Young served his penalty, whilst Bennani completed the podium after being unable to find a way past the young Spaniard.
Sami Taoufik followed his team-mate and Moroccan compatriot home in fourth, having jumped two places at the start and then passing team-mate Niels Langeveld into Turn 1 on the third lap, followed by Teddy Clairet at the same place two laps later.
Teddy Clairet was the leading Peugeot driver in fifth, directly ahead of his brother Jimmy Clairet in sixth, the latter having picked off Langeveld on lap four with the help of slight contact on the exit of Turn 2, which caused the Hyundai driver to slide and lose momentum.
Langeveld brought his Hyundai home in seventh, ahead of the PSS Racing Honda of Franco Girolami in eighth, the erstwhile title contender having fought his way through the field from the back of the pack, most of his work being done on the opening lap when he gained eight places.
The top ten was completed by the Janík Motorsport Hyundai i30 N cars of Jáchym Galáš and Mat’o Homola, who had gradually worked their way up the order, each driver gaining four places in the race and benefitting from penalties for those ahead.
Comtoyou Racing’s Nicolas Baert was 11th, outside the points after the Audi driver was hit by Viktor Davidovski whilst running in tenth.
Baert was the sole Audi representative in the race after both Tom Coronel and Dušan Borković failed to take the start, the former due to commuting to Most to race in the FIA World Touring Car Cup and the latter due to a combination of engine issues and personal reasons, as Borković flew to be with his expectant wife.
SLR’s Felice Jelmini was 12th, having battled hard with Volcano Motorsport’s Evgenii Leonov.
In fact, both Leonov and Brutal Fish’s Martin Ryba were handed drive-through penalties for contact early in the race, resulting in Leonov finishing down in 18th whilst Ryba later retired. The result effectively cost Ryba a chance of the Diamon class title.
Team Clairet CUPRA drivers Gilles Colombani and Sylvain Pussier were 13th and 14th, the former with his best result of the season, whilst Young completed the points in 15th after his penalty.
New champion Mikel Azcona was absent from the grid after flying to the Czech Republic, like Coronel, to race in WTCR.
|1||14||Klim GAVRILOV||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||12||23:32.264||1:56.376||1|
|2||26||Isidro CALLEJAS||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||12||8.758||1:57.079||2|
|3||250||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||12||9.031||1:57.055||4|
|4||25||Sami TAOUFIK||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||12||9.407||1:56.246||9|
|5||20||Teddy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||12||9.641||1:57.133||8|
|6||21||Jimmy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||12||10.106||1:56.836||11|
|7||10||Niels LANGEVELD||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||12||11.061||1:57.028||5|
|8||72||Franco GIROLAMI||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||12||11.833||1:57.203||20|
|9||24||Jáchym GALÁŠ||Janík Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||12||17.339||1:57.427||13|
|10||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||Janík Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||12||19.235||1:57.026||14|
|11||8||Nicolas BAERT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||12||24.015||1:57.722||7|
|12||44||Felice JELMINI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||12||24.740||1:57.420||21|
|13||66||Gilles COLOMBANI||Team Clairet Sport||CUPRA TCR||12||26.719||1:58.095||19|
|14||77||Sylvain PUSSIER||Team Clairet Sport||CUPRA TCR||12||27.907||1:58.338||16|
|15||62||Jack YOUNG||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||12||28.137||1:56.498||3|
|16||101||Sergio LÓPEZ||RC2 Junior Team||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||12||29.430||1:57.468||12|
|17||19||Felipe FERNÁNDEZ Gil||RC2 Junior Team||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||12||33.903||1:58.472||17|
|18||16||Evgenii LEONOV||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||12||50.026||1:58.198||10|
|19||3||Giacomo GHERMANDI||Lema Racing||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||12||55.800||1:58.913||18|
|20||110||Viktor DAVIDOVSKI||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||11||+ 1 LAP||1:56.574||15|
|R||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||8||DNF||1:58.096||6|
|NS||96||Mikel AZCONA||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|
|NS||32||Tom CORONEL||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|
|NS||162||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|