Néstor Girolami secured his and the new Honda Civic’s first victory in the TCR World Tour in race two at La Pedrera in Argentina, with Toyota’s Bernardo Llaver claiming the top honours in TCR South America.
Girolami had started the reverse-grid race from pole position and secured a lights-to-flag win in a dry race, with the Argentine never really pressed too hard for victory.
Cyan Racing’s Ma Qing Hua was second, the Chinese racer gaining one place at the start, before the safety car came out at the end of the opening lap.
The race had to be neutralised for two laps whilst stricken cars were cleared – Frederick Balbi had gone too hard into the turn 4/5 chicane and hit Juan Manuel Casella’s Honda. Balbi’s PMO Motorsport Lynk & Co was too damaged to continue, whilst Casella continued at the back of the field.
At the same time, Yann Ehrlacher had gone too heavy into the chicane and drove straight into the tyre stack on the inside of the corner, although the Cyan Racing driver was able to continue.
Also retiring at the end of the opening lap were Paladini Racing’s Fabián Yannantuoni, who was hit by Cyan’s Thed Björk, and Squadra Martino’s Enrique Maglione, who had to retire to the pits with an issue.
Racing resumed on lap four and Girolami eased into an early advantage over the Comtoyou Racing Audi of Rob Huff, the race one podium finisher having made a superb start to gain four places on the opening lap before dispatching the leading TCR South America car of Pedro Carodso at the restart.
Huff held off Ma until lap 11, when the Lynk & Co driver forcefully took second at the hairpin. Whilst unable to fight back, Huff completed the podium in third for the second time this weekend.
BRC Racing’s Norbert Michelisz was the leading Hyundai driver in fourth – although disaster almost took the Hungarian out on the final lap.
Having been tenth behind the safety car, by lap seven Yann Ehrlacher was on the tail of title rival Michelisz. The Frenchman followed Michelisz for most of the rest of the race, until making a move on the final lap which ended in contact, with Ehrlacher’s over-ambitious pass seeing him hit the wall hard, dropping him out of the race.
That meant his team-mate Santiago Urrutia took fifth, ahead of Comtoyou’s Frédéric Vervisch in sixth.
Björk recovered to take seventh, having dropped to 12th after his difficult opening lap, ahead of the leading TCR South America car of Toyota Team Argentina’s Llaver in eighth.
The top ten was completed by Scuderia Chiarelli’s Cardoso and W2 Pro GP’s Raphael Reis.
Michelisz was the sole BRC Hyundai finisher – race one winner Mikel Azcona retired from the race after five laps when he pulled into the pits with an issue on his Elantra N.
|1||129||WT||Néstor GIROLAMI||Squadra Martino Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR||17||33:29.098||1|
|2||155||WT||MA Qing Hua||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR||17||0.758||5|
|3||179||WT||Rob HUFF||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||17||5.290||7|
|4||105||WT||Norbert MICHELISZ||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||17||7.866||9|
|5||112||WT||Santiago URRUTIA||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR||17||12.905||6|
|6||122||WT||Frédéric VERVISCH||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||17||16.276||3|
|7||111||WT||Thed BJÖRK||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR||17||23.575||4|
|8||17||SA||Bernardo LLAVER||Toyota Team Argentina||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||17||24.746||12|
|9||43||SA||Pedro CARDOSO||Scuderia Chiarelli||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||17||25.085||2|
|10||77||SA||Raphael REIS||W2 Pro GP||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||17||32.097||25|
|11||28||SA||Galid OSMAN||W2 Pro GP||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||17||34.265||17|
|12||86||SA||Esteban GUERRIERI||Bratton Tito Bessone Team||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||17||39.833||19|
|13||33||SA||José Manuel SAPAG||Toyota Team Argentina||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||17||52.821||18|
|14||60||SA||Juan Manuel CASELLA||Squadra Martino||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||17||58.282||21|
|15||23||SA||Ignacio MONTENEGRO||Squadra Martino||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||17||1:49.596||16|
|16||10||SA||Adalberto BAPTISTA||Cobra Racing Team||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||17||2:12.682||24|
|R||168||WT||Yann EHRLACHER||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR||16||DNF||10|
|R||2||SA||Juan Ángel ROSSO||Paladini Racing||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||10||DNF||14|
|R||70||SA||Diego NUNES||Cobra Racing Team||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||7||DNF||15|
|R||34||SA||Fabio CASAGRANDE||Squadra Martino||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||5||DNF||23|
|R||196||WT||Mikel AZCONA||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||5||DNF||8|
|R||22||SA||Matías MILLA||PMO Motorsport||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||2||DNF||13|
|R||15||SA||Enrique MAGLIONE||Squadra Martino||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||1||DNF||22|
|R||5||SA||Fabián YANNANTUONI||Paladini Racing||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||1||DNF||11|
|R||24||SA||Frederick BALBI||PMO Motorsport||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||0||DNF||20|