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Tom Coronel seals comfortable reverse-grid race win in Pau

Tom Coronel secured another win in TCR Europe, claiming a lights-to-flag victory on the Pau street circuit ahead of Dušan Borković and John Filippi.

At the start, Coronel got his Audi away well to lead from John Filippi nito the first corner, but further back there was drama in the pack.

Eric Cayrolle had started the race in fourth, but at the first corner the 60-year-old local racer went deep and made contact with the Volcano Motorsport Audi of Isaac Smith on the outside line.

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Smith kept on around the outside, but Cayrolle appeared to continue to push the Brit wide, forcing him into the barriers, which in turn took Cayrolle out of the race.

The incident allowed Dušan Borković, who started eighth and made a good start to pass Kobe Pauwels away from the line, the two having almost made contact, to sneak up the inside of Cayrolle and Smith into fourth.

As Cayrolle’s car was left stranded on the circuit, the safety car was required for a lap whilst the Comtoyou Audi was rolled back to a gap in the barriers. The Volcano Audi of Smith limped back into the pits at the end of the opening lap to retire.

Racing resumed on lap four, although there were no passes for the first two laps. Then, going onto lap six, Viktor Davidovski dived down the inside of Filippi into the first corner, cleanly passing his team-mate for second.

The Macedonian racer quickly closed in Coronel’s one-second advantage at the front, but further around the next lap he clipped a kerb at the end-of-lap chicane and picked up a near instant front-left puncture, forcing him to go straight to the pits.

Borković got by Filippi for second on lap 12 when the Corsican driver ran wide through a sequence of corners, but by this stage Coronel was a second a half to the good, and the Target Competition driver couldn’t close down the gap to prevent Coronel recording a second TCR Europe class win of the year.

Filippi held on to third to complete the podium, in a race which saw little action thereafter on the tight and twisty street circuit confines.

Pauwels was fourth in his Comtoyou Audi, ahead of a season-best result for MA:GP’s Viktor Andersson in fifth.

Volcano Motorsport’s Lewis Brown was sixth after a relatively quiet race for the Brit, with Davidovski classified in seventh after a pitstop, only just avoiding being lapped.

The finishers were completed by local entrants Dorian Duthil and Christian Philippon in their first-generation CUPRA and Audi cars respectively, with only nine classified finishers.

Race results

1 34 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 22 32:39.939 1:23.492 1
2 62 Dušan BORKOVIĆ Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR 22 0.566 1:23.637 8
3 27 John FILIPPI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 22 5.132 1:23.805 2
4 22 Kobe PAUWELS Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 22 5.673 1:23.873 7
5 10 Viktor ANDERSSON MA:GP Lynk & Co 03 TCR 22 8.038 1:23.752 9
6 39 Lewis BROWN Volcano Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 22 27.398 1:24.299 5
7 11 Viktor DAVIDOVSKI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 22 1:37.261 1:23.521 3
8 41 Dorian DUTHIL Cap Racing by CDRS CUPRA TCR 22 1:38.145 1:27.067 12
9 17 Christian PHILIPPON Espace Racing with CDRS Audi RS3 LMS TCR 21 + 1 LAP 1:28.507 10
R 66 Olivier LÓPEZ Team CDRS CUPRA TCR 12 DNF 1:29.255 11
R 23 Isaac SMITH Volcano Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 1 DNF N/A 6
R 64 Eric CAYROLLE Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 0 DNF N/A 4
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
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