BRC Racing’s Norbert Michelisz secure a lights-to-flag win in the opening race of the TCR World Tour era at the Autodromo do Algarve, heading Hyundai team-mate Mikel Azcona home.
Michelisz had earlier put his Elantra on pole in qualifying, and the Hungarian duly maintained his advantage throughout the opening race in Portugal to win by just under a second.
At the start, Michelisz reacted well to a quick change of the lights, as Azcona had to hold his line from a challenge by Comtoyou Racing’s Rob Huff.
Further back, Santiago Urrutia’s race came to an early end when he was hit by Cyan Racing team-mate Yann Ehrlacher at the first corner whilst battling in the lower top ten places.
Urrutia limped back to the pits with front-left damage, after being knocked into contact with Comtoyou’s Tom Coronel in the incident.
Coronel’s half spin dropped him out of the lead of the TCR Europe competitors, handing young team-mate Kobe Pauwels the lead of the class.
The race then entered into a fairly sedate phase, and come the chequered flag there had been little change in the top positions.
Thus Michelisz secured history as the first winner in the TCR World Tour, ahead of Azcona, wit the podium being completed by Huff.
Frédéric Vervisch followed his Comtoyou team-mate home in fourth, ahead of Néstor Girolami in the ALM Motorsport-run Honda Civic Type-R FL5.
Ma Qing Hua was the leading Cyan Racing Lynk & Co driver in sixth, ahead of team-mate Ehrlacher in seventh and Björk in eighth.
John Filippi won the TCR Europe classification as the best-placed non TCR World Tour driver in ninth, whilst the top ten was completed by Pauwels’ Audi.
Coronel recovered to take 11th after his opening lap slide, ahead of Dušan Borković in 12th – despite the Target Competition driver having been elbowed off the track by newcomer Viktor Andersson in the early laps.
Race two gets underway at 11:30 WEST / BST (12:30 CEST) on Sunday.
|1||105||WT||Norbert MICHELISZ||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||12||22:38.708||1:52.446||1|
|2||196||WT||Mikel AZCONA||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||12||0.705||1:52.319||2|
|3||179||WT||Rob HUFF||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||1.710||1:52.372||3|
|4||122||WT||Frédéric VERVISCH||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||4.458||1:52.361||4|
|5||129||WT||Néstor GIROLAMI||ALM Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR||12||4.859||1:52.705||5|
|6||155||WT||MA Qing Hua||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR||12||9.407||1:52.959||6|
|7||168||WT||Yann EHRLACHER||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR||12||13.168||1:53.195||11|
|8||111||WT||Thed BJÖRK||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR||12||14.512||1:53.417||8|
|9||27||EU||John FILIPPI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||17.796||1:53.713||12|
|10||22||EU||Kobe PAUWELS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||22.769||1:53.540||9|
|11||34||EU||Tom CORONEL||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||24.079||1:53.491||7|
|12||62||EU||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||Target Competition||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||12||26.449||1:53.838||14|
|13||11||EU||Viktor DAVIDOVSKI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||26.952||1:53.742||13|
|14||23||EU||Isaac SMITH||Volcano Motorsport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||30.348||1:54.157||18|
|15||19||EU||Felipe FERNÁNDEZ Gil||RC2 Racing Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||31.703||1:54.429||16|
|16||8||EU||Nicola BALDAN||Aggressive Team Italia||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||12||32.965||1:54.385||21|
|17||71||EU||Ben BARGWANNA||Team Clairet Sport – Burson Auto Parts Racing||Peugeot 308 TCR||12||37.128||1:54.466||19|
|18||12||EU||Rubén FERNÁNDEZ Gil||RC2 Racing Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||37.639||1:54.971||20|
|19||39||EU||Lewis BROWN||Volcano Motorsport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||42.432||1:54.158||17|
|20||48||EU||Mikael KARLSSON||Aggressive Team Italia||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||11||+ 1 LAP||1:55.311||22|
|21||10||EU||Viktor ANDERSSON||MA:GP||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||9||+ 3 LAPS||1:53.336||15|
|R||112||WT||Santiago URRUTIA||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR||1||DNF||3:23.809||10|