Franco Girolami secures reverse grid race win at the Norisring

Comtoyou Racing’s Franco Girolami dominated the reversed-grid second TCR Europe race at the Norisring, comfortably winning ahead of Volcano Motorsport’s Klim Gavrilov.

Girolami started the race from third on the grid, but immediately moved up to second on the opening lap when he got a better start than Halder Motorsport’s Jack Young.

Gavrilov held the lead for the opening laps, aided by a safety car intervention which was needed from laps two to seven due to an accident at the first corner.

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Comtoyou Racing’s Viktor Davidovski had made contact with Sébastien Loeb Racing’s John Filippi, spinning the CUPRA driver out of the top ten and also collecting Mat’o Homola’s Hyundai in the process.

Further around the lap, Evgenii Leonov’s CUPRA was spun into the barriers by Michelle Halder, whilst Giacomo Ghermandi stopped on the exit of the final corner with the front-right tyre off his car, necessitating recovery of the vehicle.

Racing resumed on lap eight and it took Girolami only two laps to find a way past Gavrilov, after which time the Argentine sprinted into a comfortable lead of almost six seconds, as Gavrilov struggled for pace.

Victory for Girolami – his second of the season – gives him an even bigger championship lead, with his main title rival heading into the event, Tom Coronel, being absent due to clashing commitments.

Gavrilov was able to hold on for second for the rest of the race, despite intense pressure from Target Competition’s Josh Files for the entire second half of the race.

For Files, third marked his second consecutive podium finish, lifting the Brit up to second overall in the drivers’ championship.

Davidovski claimed fourth, the Audi driver having sneaked the position on the run to the chequered flag on the final lap, edging out Volcano’s Isidro Callejas by less than two tenths of a second.

Ten laps earlier, Davidovski had been fighting with Young for sixth, outbraking himself several times into the Turn 1 hairpin before finally making the move stick on lap 15.

Callejas was fifth ahead of Northern Irishman Young, whilst race one winner Mike Halder came home in seventh.

Jáchym Galáš had been running in seventh but made a mistake on the last lap, running into the back of Young whilst fighting for sixth, meaning the Janík Motorsport driver could only limp home in eighth.

Mat’o Homola finished behind his team-mate in ninth, with the recovering Filippi completing the top ten – the CUPRA driver had made up five places over the course of the race following the contact from Davidovski on the opening lap.

Target’s Felice Jelmini failed to finish after the Italian was elbowed into the barriers exiting Turn 1 on the second lap after the restart, Callejas pushing him wide.

Girolami has extended his points tally to 275 points ahead of Files (203), Callejas (197), Gavrilov (195) and Coronel (174).

Race result

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 72 Franco GIROLAMI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 26 26 LAPS 54.821 3
2 14 Klim GAVRILOV Volcano Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 26 4.238 55.314 1
3 99 Josh FILES Target Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N TCR 26 4.880 55.236 7
4 110 Viktor DAVIDOVSKI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 26 6.492 54.907 8
5 26 Isidro CALLEJAS Volcano Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 26 6.631 55.244 5
6 62 Jack YOUNG Halder Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 26 8.588 55.462 2
7 7 Mike HALDER Halder Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 26 9.340 55.366 10
8 24 Jáchym GALÁŠ Janík Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N TCR 26 10.075 55.398 14
9 70 Mat’o HOMOLA Janík Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N TCR 26 10.806 55.452 6
10 27 John FILIPPI Sébastien Loeb Racing – Bardahl Team CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 26 10.923 55.426 4
11 8 Nicola BALDAN Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR 26 13.714 55.468 15
12 74 Pepe ORIOLA Aggressive Team Italia Asd Hyundai Elantra N TCR 26 19.469 55.623 18
13 53 Michelle HALDER Halder Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 26 19.708 55.534 19
14 39 Stian PAULSEN Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 26 20.306 55.281 16
15 34 Patrick SING RaceSing Hyundai i30 N TCR 26 21.601 55.658 17
16 16 Evgenii LEONOV Volcano Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 26 23.167 55.587 12
17 12 Rubén FERNÁNDEZ Gil RC2 Junior Team Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 26 27.588 55.495 13
18 111 Marco BUTTI Élite Motorsport by Comtoyou Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 26 30.729 54.819 11
19 37 Sergio LÓPEZ RC2 Junior Team CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 25 + 1 LAP 55.383 20
R 44 Felice JELMINI Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR 8 DNF 56.578 9
R 3 Giacomo GHERMANDI Lema Racing CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 0 DNF N/A 21
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