Tom Coronel gave The Netherlands victory in the Touring Car aspect of the second-ever FIA Motorsport Games at Circuit Paul Ricard in France, with an authoritative main race victory.
The Dutchman ended up in the prime position in part due to unfortunate luck for team-mate and 2019 winner Gilles Magnus, who suffered from a driveshaft failure whilst leading the Main Race.
Comtoyou Racing’s Magnus had put his Audi in pole position in Saturday’s qualifying session, the Belgian being a tenth of a second faster than team-mate Coronel.
That gave him the best starting position for Sunday’s first encounter – a 25-minute qualifying race.
Magnus was ultimately untroubled in the first stage of the action, pulling over a second clear on the opening lap and going on to win at a canter by over six seconds from Dutch rival Coronel.
Even Coronel was relatively untroubled, although ALM Motorsport’s Jack Young was usually within a couple of seconds of his Audi.
In the end though, Young – representing Ireland at the event due to holding dual nationality – was given a five-second time penalty for track limits abuses, officially dropping him further behind Coronel but ultimately not costing him a position as he completed the podium in his Honda.
Teddy Clairet was fourth in his Peugeot, but the French driver only gained that place due to the demise of Sweden’s Andreas Bäckman, who ran in a comfortable fourth for over half the race until a driveshaft failed on his Audi, and a penalty for Isidro Callejas.
Callejas had passed Clairet for fourth on lap ten, only to be given a five-second penalty for contact in the move, dropping the Spaniard to sixth.
Clairet had to defend hard in the latter stages from Argentina’s Ignacio Montengero, who was ultimately only just over a second behind at the finish in the second ALM-run Honda.
Callejas was the top CUPRA in sixth, ahead of Lativa’s Valters Zviedris, who had earlier carried out a robust pass on Hong Kong’s Andy Yan, which was allowed to stand, leaving Yan to bring home his KCMG-run Honda in eighth.
Swiss-Brazilian Gabriel Lusquiños brought his CUPRA home in ninth, whilst new TCR UK champion Chris Smiley completed the top ten in his Honda.
Qualifying race result
|1||16||Gilles MAGNUS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||13||29:11.370||2:13.334||1|
|2||133||Tom CORONEL||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||13||6.212||2:13.351||2|
|3||62||Jack YOUNG||ALM Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||13||13.738||2:13.413||3|
|4||20||Teddy CLAIRET||Teddy Clairet||Peugeot 308 TCR||13||16.050||2:14.013||7|
|5||29||Ignacio MONTENEGRO||ALM Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||13||17.762||2:14.316||6|
|6||26||Isidro CALLEJAS||MOTORSPORT TEAM SPAIN ES||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||13||19.855||2:14.383||5|
|7||21||Valters ZVIEDRIS||Team Latvia||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||13||20.657||2:14.743||8|
|8||3||Andy YAN Cheuk Wai||KCMG||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||13||22.869||2:14.998||11|
|9||2||Gabriel LUSQUIÑOS||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||13||24.111||2:14.883||9|
|10||22||Chris SMILEY||Christopher Smiley||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||13||30.570||2:15.113||15|
|11||101||Sergio LÓPEZ||Auto Club RC2 Valles||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||13||38.447||2:14.942||12|
|12||18||Aaron CAMERON||Aaron Cameron||Peugeot 308 TCR||13||40.601||2:16.171||18|
|13||23||Didrik ESBJUG||Esbjug Motorsport & Engineering||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||13||41.946||2:16.229||16|
|14||33||Giacomo GHERMANDI||Lema Racing||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||13||45.101||2:15.805||14|
|R||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||8||DNF||2:13.921||4|
|R||17||Travis HILL||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||3||DNF||2:17.332||13|
|R||30||Pavlo CHABANOV||Volcano Motorsport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||1||DNF||N/A||17|
|R||77||Raphael REIS||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||0||DNF||N/A||10|
With Magnus having eased to victory in the first race, the 23-year-old had been favourite to repeat that feat in the afternoon’s race.
The Belgian made another good start to lead on the opening lap against a racier-looking Coronel, before disaster struck heading onto the second lap.
Magnus became the third Audi driver, after Bäckman and Travis Hill in race one, to suffer from a driveshaft failure, eliminating him from the race and handing Coronel the lead.
Thereafter, Coronel was untroubled at the head of the field, the Dutchman going on to win by just under five seconds and claim the Touring Car class title of the 2022 FIA Motorsport Games.
Ireland’s entry of Young had looked set to take second, but after clattering past France’s Clairet on lap seven he was handed a five-second time penalty, which dropped him to third.
Young had earlier endured a poor opening lap from third on the grid, which had lowered him to fifth behind Clairet and Montenegro, but he fought back and got by Montenegro on lap four before then attacking Clairet in the move which saw him penalised.
Callejas, meanwhile, had ended the opening lap in sixth but after Magnus’ demise he then gained a place past Montenegro on lap five to assume fourth.
He then opportunistically took a place when Young barged into Clairet, before finally securing second when the Honda driver was penalised after the race.
Argentina’s Montenegro just missed out on the podium and was fourth, ahead of Latvia’s Zviedris in fifth.
The recovering Bäckman hauled his Audi from 15th on the grid to seventh by the chequered flag, but that became sixth due to a track limits time penalty for Hong Kong’s Yan, ultimately seventh, and the UK’s Smiley in eighth.
Brazil’s Raphale Reis, who had failed to even take the start in the opening race, had looked set for ninth but he suffered from a front-right puncture on the penultimate lap as a legacy of late-race contact with Venezuelan Sergio López.
Main race result
|1||133||Tom CORONEL||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||15||33:49.063||2:14.196||2|
|2||26||Isidro CALLEJAS||MOTORSPORT TEAM SPAIN ES||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||15||4.967||2:14.225||6|
|3||62||Jack YOUNG||ALM Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||15||6.188||2:14.339||3|
|4||29||Ignacio MONTENEGRO||ALM Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||15||10.920||2:14.344||5|
|5||21||Valters ZVIEDRIS||Team Latvia||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||15||14.303||2:14.412||7|
|6||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||15||16.725||2:14.539||15|
|7||3||Andy YAN Cheuk Wai||KCMG||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||15||25.370||2:14.409||8|
|8||22||Chris SMILEY||Christopher Smiley||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||15||33.731||2:15.277||10|
|9||17||Travis HILL||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||15||34.374||2:16.023||17|
|10||101||Sergio LÓPEZ||Auto Club RC2 Valles||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||15||35.584||2:16.158||11|
|11||18||Aaron CAMERON||Aaron Cameron||Peugeot 308 TCR||15||36.298||2:15.096||12|
|12||2||Gabriel LUSQUIÑOS||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||15||37.290||2:14.833||9|
|13||23||Didrik ESBJUG||Esbjug Motorsport & Engineering||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||15||45.587||2:16.087||13|
|14||30||Pavlo CHABANOV||Volcano Motorsport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||15||1:38.142||2:19.561||18|
|15||77||Raphael REIS||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||13||+ 2 LAPS||2:15.676||16|
|R||20||Teddy CLAIRET||Teddy Clairet||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||DNF||2:14.268||4|
|R||33||Giacomo GHERMANDI||Lema Racing||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||9||DNF||2:16.196||14|
|R||16||Gilles MAGNUS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||1||DNF||N/A||1|