Viktor Davidovski earns maiden TCR Europe win at Circuit Paul Ricard

Viktor Davidovski scored his first-ever victory in the TCR Europe series at Circuit Paul Ricard, claiming a lights-to-flag win for Comtoyou Racing in the reverse-grid race.

Davidovski had qualified tenth on Saturday, which gave him pole position for the partially-reversed grid second race.

The Macedonian driver moved into a comfortable lead at the start, with Volcano Motorsport’s Klim Gavrilov assuming second after getting a better start than Brutal Fish Racing’s Pepe Oriola.

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Davidovski extended his lead over Gavrilov over the first four laps of the race, creating a margin of just over 1.1 seconds, before the Russian closed him down to around half a second later in the race.

However, Gavrilov was unable to get close enough to Davidovski to mount a challenge, and the Audi driver won the race – his first out of 48 starts in the European series.

For Gavrilov, second was his second-ever podium result in the series, after he had won in the season finale of the 2021 season.

Oriola completed the podium, but only after the hard-charging Tom Coronel had allowed him through at the final corner.

Earlier in the final lap, Coronel attempted to pass Oriola at the chicane on the back straight, but the two made contact and Coronel had to cut the corner.

The race one winner ultimately handed the position back – and also fourth to team-mate Franco Girolami, although there was no contact between the team-mates two laps earlier when Coronel completed the pass at the beginning of the lap.

Thus, Coronel was classified in fifth, meaning that Girolami has slightly extended his championship lead to 13 points over his team-mate.

Sébastien Loeb Racing’s John Filippi was sixth in his CUPRA – finishing the race where he started, although that result was aided by the demise of Josh Files and a pass on the Volcano CUPRA of Isidro Callejas at the mid-stage of the race.

Callejas took the chequered flag in seventh, ahead of the best Hyundai of Target Competition’s Felice Jelmini in eighth.

Indeed, Hyundai cars completed the top ten, with Janík Motorsport’s Jáchym Galáš and Target’s Nicola Baldan in ninth and tenth respectively.

Files had been running in sixth for the first two laps, but the 2019 champion had to then pit due to smoke emanating from the front-left corner of his car.

He rejoined the race on the lead lap, but only finished in 17th after his lengthy stop.

After an engine change penalty between races one and two, Halder Motorsport duo Jack Young and Mike Halder had to start from the very back in race two.

Progress was limited for the Honda drivers, with Young only able to move up to 13th, whilst Halder himself retired after seven laps.

Martin Ryba stopped after two laps, having been on the receiving end of contact from Giacomo Ghermandi early on, for which the latter was given a drive-through penalty.

The only other driver not to make it to the end was Janík Motorsport’s Mat’o Homola, who pulled his Hyundai off to the side of the road after eight laps.

The next round of TCR Europe takes place at Spa-Francorchamps on 18 – 19 June.

Race result

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 110 Viktor DAVIDOVSKI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 10 22:32.610 2:13.926 1
2 14 Klim GAVRILOV Volcano Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 10 0.502 2:14.172 3
3 74 Pepe ORIOLA Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 10 2.407 2:14.329 2
4 72 Franco GIROLAMI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 10 3.229 2:13.946 5
5 33 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 10 3.383 2:14.006 9
6 27 John FILIPPI Sébastien Loeb Racing CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 10 4.613 2:14.071 6
7 26 Isidro CALLEJAS Volcano Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 10 9.331 2:14.716 4
8 44 Felice JELMINI Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR 10 9.504 2:14.574 8
9 24 Jáchym GALÁŠ Janík Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N TCR 10 13.014 2:14.627 12
10 8 Nicola BALDAN Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR 10 15.240 2:15.065 11
11 81 Stéphane VENTAJA Team Clairet Sport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 10 15.846 2:15.149 15
12 16 Evgenii LEONOV Volcano Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 10 16.828 2:14.839 13
13 62 Jack YOUNG Halder Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 10 17.835 2:15.142 19
14 66 Gilles COLOMBANI Team Clairet Sport CUPRA TCR 10 34.940 2:16.163 18
15 53 Michelle HALDER Halder Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 10 35.308 2:16.480 16
16 3 Giacomo GHERMANDI Lema Racing CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 10 46.429 2:15.992 14
17 99 Josh FILES Target Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N TCR 10 1:04.905 2:14.444 7
18 70 Mat’o HOMOLA Janík Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N TCR 8 + 2 LAPS 2:14.488 10
R 7 Mike HALDER Halder Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 7 DNF 2:15.294 20
R 17 Martin RYBA Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 2 DNF 2:16.542 17
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