Target Competition’s Dušan Borković saw off seven Audis to claim victory in the opening TCR Europe race on the streets of Pau, after pole-sitter Viktor Andersson encountered issues at the start.
At the start, MA:GP’s pole-sitter Andersson made such a poor start he went from the front to the rear of the pack before the first corner.
The Swede then pitted at the end of the first lap, with mechanics checking under the bonnet of his Lynk & Co 03 for an issue, which ultimately turned out to be a failed driveshaft.
That left Borković, who had started alongside on the front row, to sprint into a lead he wouldn’t lose, in a sedate opening race in the historic French city.
The Serbian went on to record his first TCR race win since 2020, and his first TCR Europe win since 2018, by over three seconds from seven Audi cars.
First of the Ingolstadt marque’s racers was Comtoyou Racing’s Kobe Pauwels, the young Belgian having assumed second at the start.
Volcano Motorsport’s Isaac Smith completed the podium, the Brit claiming a rostrum result in only his second event in the series.
Local entrant Eric Cayrolle was fourth, having jumped ahead of the second Volcano Audi of Lewis Brown at the start, to keep the podium finishers honest, despite being almost three times as old as Smith ahead.
Comtoyou’s Viktor Davidovski was fifth, although the Macedonian racer had come under some late-race pressure from Lewis Brown, until the Brit made a mistake four laps from the end.
Brown had run in sixth, but on lap 16 he ran wide at the first corner, losing over 20 seconds and dropping two places.
That promoted Comtoyou duo Tom Coronel and John Filippi up to sixth and seventh respectively, with Brown finishing in eighth.
Julien Nougaret was the only other driver to finish on the lead lap, although the French touring car regular, who is only a guest entry this weekend, was considerably off the pace in his ageing CUPRA.
Christian Philippon completed the top ten, but like 11th-placed Olivier López, was two laps down after lapping nine seconds a lap slower than the leaders.
Race two is scheduled to get underway at 14:20 CEST (13:20 BST) on Sunday.
|1||62||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||Target Competition||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||20||28:04.694||1:22.971||2|
|2||22||Kobe PAUWELS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||20||3.082||1:23.197||3|
|3||23||Isaac SMITH||Volcano Motorsport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||20||5.872||1:23.297||4|
|4||64||Eric CAYROLLE||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||20||7.252||1:23.343||6|
|5||11||Viktor DAVIDOVSKI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||20||8.483||1:23.266||7|
|6||34||Tom CORONEL||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||20||23.349||1:23.472||10|
|7||27||John FILIPPI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||20||26.882||1:24.158||8|
|8||39||Lewis BROWN||Volcano Motorsport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||20||35.729||1:23.434||5|
|9||40||Julien NOUGARET||Cap Racing by CDRS||CUPRA TCR||20||1:09.665||1:26.070||9|
|10||17||Christian PHILIPPON||Espace Racing with CDRS||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||18||+ 2 LAPS||1:31.127||11|
|11||66||Olivier LÓPEZ||Team CDRS||CUPRA TCR||18||+ 2 LAPS||1:31.505||12|
|R||10||Viktor ANDERSSON||MA:GP||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||1||DNF||N/A||1|
|NS||8||Nicola BALDAN||Aggressive Team Italia||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|
|NS||49||Michel LEAL||Team Leal Compétition||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|