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Aurélien Comte leads home another CUPRA 1-2 in Vallelunga

SP Compétition’s Aurélien Comte headed home Franco Girolami in the second TCR Europe race at Vallelunga, giving the Spanish marque another 1-2 in Italy.

Dušan Borković had the reverse-grid pole position, but the GOAT Racing driver was again slow away from the line in his Honda, dropping to fourth as team-mate Felipe Fernández took the lead, with ALM Motorsport’s Levente Losonczy in second.

Further back, Monlau Motorsport’s Girolami moved from tenth on the grid up to fifth by the end of the opening tour,

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Comte got by Losonczy at Turn 10 before the end of the opening lap, and was a second behind Fernández at the end of the lap. The Frenchman overtook the Spaniard for the lead into Turn 7 on the third lap.

Behind him, Borković was pressing to regain lost ground and tapped Losonczy into the Esses, resulting in both Hondas going wide and opening the door to Girolami to assume third.

Borković’s car was hobbled, however, and the Serbian driver limped around to the pits at the end of the next lap.

On lap four, there was again contact between two Honda drivers, albeit from different teams, as Rubén Fernández and Ruben Volt made contact at Turn 4 in the battle for ninth.

Both drivers were out of the race on the spot, requiring a safety car intervention to recover the Civics.

That allowed Borković to continue in the race, but he could only circulate at the back a long way off the pace, eventually finishing two laps down.

Racing resumed a handful of laps later, and the main focus of attention was on the battle for fourth, where MA:GP’s Viktor Andersson was holding of Comtoyou Racing’s Nicola Baldan.

But at the front, Comte had enough of a margin over Girolami, who passed Felipe Fernández five laps from the end, to enjoy an untroubled run to victory – his first in the series.

Girolami was second and holds the championship lead with 85 points after the opening round by virtue of his better qualifying performance, with Comte five points behind in second.

Felipe Fernández held on to take the final podium position as the leading Honda driver.

Ultimately, Andersson would prevail to finish fourth in his Lynk & Co, ahead of Baldan in fifth, who had briefly let ALM’s Ignacio Montenegro into the position before regaining it.

Argentine Montenegro was sixth, ahead of a best result for Giovanni Scamardi in seventh.

The top ten was completed by Losonczy’s Honda, Davidovski’s CUPRA and Borković’s Honda, two laps down. Losonczy had been hit by Davidovski a few laps from the end, which allowed Scamardi to take the place from them.

The next round takes place at Circuit Zolder in Belgium on 17 – 19 May.

Race results

1 7 Aurélien COMTE SP Compétition CUPRA Leon VZ TCR 17 31:44.805 8
2 72 Franco GIROLAMI Monlau Motorsport CUPRA Leon VZ TCR 17 1.627 10
3 19 Felipe FERNÁNDEZ Gil GOAT Racing Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR 17 3.966 2
4 10 Viktor ANDERSSON MA:GP Lynk & Co 03 TCR 17 10.235 5
5 8 Nicola BALDAN Baldan Group by Comtoyou Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 17 11.709 7
6 23 Ignacio MONTENEGRO ALM Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR 17 14.424 9
7 34 Giovanni SCAMARDI SP Compétition CUPRA Leon VZ TCR 17 17.177 11
8 64 Levente LOSONCZY ALM Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR 17 18.612 4
9 110 Viktor DAVIDOVSKI Monlau Motorsport CUPRA Leon VZ TCR 17 18.950 3
10 62 Dušan BORKOVIĆ GOAT Racing Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR 15 + 2 LAPS 1
R 27 Ruben VOLT ALM Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR DNF 12
R 11 Rubén FERNÁNDEZ GIL GOAT Racing Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR DNF 6
NS 21 Eric GENÉ Casanovas Monlau Motorsport CUPRA Leon VZ TCR DNS
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