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Quinta, 11 Outubro 2018 17:42 | Actualizado em Domingo, 09 Agosto 2020 12:04

WTCR @ Wuhan
Eight drivers have real chances to become champion

One week after the Hyundai cars of MRacing-YMR dominated at Ningbo the first of WTCR's two events in China, Audi showed a clear supremacy at Wuhan’s street circuit where Leopard Lukoil teammates Jean-Karl Vernay and Gordon Shedden shared pole positions and victories in Race 1 and Race 3 respectively. Comtoyu Racing's Frédéric Vervisch and Denis Dupont completed an all-Audi podium in the third race. Only Mehdi Bennani and his Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI were able to disrupt Audi’s domination, with victory in Race 2.
These results made the battle for the title even closer, with eight drivers having real chances to become champion. Gabriele Tarquini has kept the leadership with 241 points despite he didn't score in Wuhan, but his margin has been reduced to seven points over the pair of his Hyundai colleagues Björk and Muller. Pepe Oriola, Vernay, Esteban Guerrieri and Vervisch had closed their gaps from the leader to 34, 36, 42 and 49 points respectively, while Norbert Michelisz has dropped from fourth to seventh, 46 points behind his own teammate.
Vernay converted his pole into a lights-to-flag victory in Race 1 with Oriola and Shedden joining him on the podium. The French took the lead at the start from Oriola, while Dupont and Nathanaël Berthon – third and fourth – collided. After a safety car period Vernay pulled away, Oriola was safe in second place, while Ehrlacher defended third from Shedden and Vervisch. Eventually Shedden stole third from Ehrlacher who was then dropped to 18th by a penalty for jump-start.
In Race 2, Bennani scored his maiden victory, beating Aurélien Comte at the last turn. The Moroccan led from the start, but during the two final laps was under pressure from Comte and Berthon. A few hundredths metres from the end Comte hit a tyre stack, pushed the rival’s car and went through. However, he was wide at the last turn and handed the first position back to Bennani, but managed to keep second ahead of Berthon.
Shedden became the thirteenth different winner in the season with victory in Race 3, as he survived the attacks from Dupont and then defended from a determined Vervisch. There was plenty of drama at the start: Dupont tried to dive inside of Shedden who was leading and hit him, the Scot was able to stay at the front, while Guerrieri cut the chicane moving up to second ahead of Dupont and Vervisch. A pile up eliminated Vernay, Comte, Huff and Mat’o Homola; during the safety car period, following an order from Race Control, Guerrieri dropped to fourth behind Dupont and Vervisch, while Vernay lost his sixth place following a drive-through for causing the incident. On lap 10 Dupont hit a stack of tyres and pushed it into the side of Shedden’s car; Vervisch moved up to second, while the safety car was deployed again. Positions did not change, but there were a couple of thrilling battles: one for the lead between Shedden and Vervisch and one for fourth with Guerrieri keeping Berthon at bay. Nothing changed and Shedden won from Vervisch, Dupont, Guerrieri and Berthon.
The WTCR will now move to Suzuka, Japan, for the penultimate event of the season on October 27/28.

Photos: DPPI



TCR Asia & TCR China @ Shanghai
Luca Engstler grabs TCR Asia title

TCR Asia’s season finale took place at the Shanghai International Circuit where the series TCR China for two sprint races that were dominated by the Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTI cars.
Luca Engstler claimed a double win and secured the title. In both races Engstler led from lights to flag and was followed by his teammates Mitchell Cheah and Diego Moran who completed the podiums and were classified second and third in the championship as well.
TCR China ran two events on consecutive weekends, racing at Shanghai one week after Ningbo. The title fight is becoming hotter as just two points split the leading MacPro Racing Honda Civic of Henry Ho and Eurico De Jesus from the TeamWork Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTI of Alex Hui and Sunny Wong. The latter pair has won all the four 60-minute races held so far, while the Honda has claimed seven victories out of the eight sprint races. However, De Jesus was stripped of second place in Shanghai Race 2, as his car was not in compliance with the ride height, and this cost the MacPro Racing duo 12 points.
The next and final event of TCR China will be at Shanghai’s Tianma Circuit on 27/28 October.

Photos: TCR Asia / TCR China


TCR Russia @ Fort Grozny
Dmitry Bragin wraps up the title

Driving two sensible races in the TCR Russia finale at Fort Grozny, Dmitry Bragin wrapped up his third consecutive title by finishing sixth in Race 1; he then was second in Race 2.
In Race 1, LADA Sport Rosneft took a dominant 1-2-3, though Vladimir Sheshenin was later demoted from third to fourth for blocking Anton Badoev. Mikhail Grachev took the lead followed by the sister car of Kirill Ladygin, Badoev’s Cupra and the third LADA Vesta of Sheshenin. Bragin was fifth, ahead of the Lukoil Racing duo of Ivan Lukashevich and Aleksey Dudukalo. Sheshenin overtook Badoev and completed the LADA trio at the front, Bragin followed him and moved up to fourth. The LADA cars pulled away, while Bragin rejected Badoev’s assaults; Lukashevich overtook Dudukalo and joined the Bragin-Badoev fight. Nothing changed until the last lap, when Bragin, knowing he had secured the title, let Badoev and Lukashevich through; then Grachev handed victory to Ladygin who could still finish second in the championship.
Dudukalo took a lights-to-flag win in the Race 2, while Bragin kept Lukashevich and Sheshenin at bay to retain second place. Lukashevich and Sheshenin made contact and spun; the former rejoined in seventh while the LADA driver pitted. This promoted Grachev to third and Roman Golikov to fourth, but the latter Golikov served a drive-through for jump-start and dropped at the back.
With Dudukalo in a comfortable lead, Bragin rejected Grachev’s assaults; Grachev was then joined by Badoev, Ladygin and Lukashevich in the fight for third. Two laps from the end Ladygin overtook Badoev for fourth and then the latter lost also fifth to Lukashevich.
Dudukalo finished as runner up to Bragin in the points, while Ladygin was classified third, beating Lukashevich by the number of victories (3-1), as they were equal on points.

Photos: Vitaly Blinushov / Grigory Golyshev


TCR Italy @ Monza
Ferrara wins the races and Tavano grabs the title

Luigi Ferrara and his V-Action Alfa Romeo Giulietta concluded the 2018 season of TCR Italy in style with a double victory at Monza. However, this was not enough to prevent Salvatore Tavano from being crowned champion after Saturday’s Race 1, in which the SEAT Motorsport Italia driver was rewarded with a fifth place that mathematically secured the title for him. In the final standings, Tavano’s winning margin over Ferrara was of just 2.5 points.
In Race 1, the Cupra of poleman Igor Stefanovski was beaten by Eric Scalvini’s Hyundai i30 N with Tavano retaining the second place. Ferrara started from fourth and was elevated to third when Stefanovski went straight on at the Roggia. There was then contact between Stefanovski and Tavano, which allowed Ferrara to move up into second and Enrico Bettera into fourth. Bettera’s Audi then passed Tavano for third, which is where Bettera would finish. Two battles then developed – the first between Scalvini and Ferrara for the lead and the second a three-way scrap involving the Cupra cars of Stefanovski, Tavano and Andrea Larini. Ferrara snatched the lead on lap 4 but Scalvini stayed with him for several laps until his challenge faded. Tavano continued to fight with Larini and Stefanovski, aware that fifth place would mean he would clinch the title.
At the start of Race 2, Stefanovski took the lead over Matteo Greco; they were followed by Scalvini, Bettera and Ferrara. Bettera climbed to second and took the lead, but Stefanovski retook command with a daring overtaking manoeuvre at the first chicane which resulted in a contact. The Stewards imposed a drive-through on the Macedonian who dropped to tenth; Ferrara inherited the lead and won with a comfortable margin over Lorenzo Nicoli’s Honda and Greco.

Photos: ACI Sport-Photo 4


CER @ Jarama
Winning debut for the Peugeot 308

Enrique Hernando and Gonzalo de Andres drove the SMC Junior Motorsport Peugeot 308 to a victorious debut in the Campeonato de España Resistencia. The series’ fourth race meeting took place at Jarama, where the TCR cars competed against the GTs in two one-hour races.
Hernando and Gonzalo scored a double victory in the TCR class, finishing an outstanding third overall in Race 2.
In the first race they were followed by the Baporo Motorsport Cupra DSG of Joan Vinyes and Jaime Font, while the podium was completed by the PCR Sport Cupra DSG driven by the father-and-son pair of Ferrán and Fernando Monje.
The SMC Junior team had a tougher life in Race 2 as they were closely chased by the RC2 Junior Team SEAT León of David Cebrián-Max Llobet and the Baporo Cupra of Vinyes-Font; eventually Hernando-de Andres won by a slim three-second margin over Cebrián-Llobet who preceded Vinyes-Font by another three seconds.
Cebrián-Llobet lead from Vinyes-Font in the championship standings by one point, ahead of the CER’s finale that will be held at Barcelona’s Circuit Catalunya on November 10/11.

Photo: Trazando Fino


VLN @ Nürburgring
Mathilda Racing returns to victory 

Nürburgring specialist Mathilda Racing returned to TCR class victory on the Nordschleife in the eighth round of the VLN, the 50. ADAC Barbarossapreis.
The Cupra driven by Andreas Gülden and Heiko Hammel completed 26 laps in the four-hour race and finished 23rd overall, beatinh by four minutes the Lubner Motorsport Opel Astra that Thomas Jäger and Thorsten Wolter shared with TCR Germany’s lady Jasmin Preisig.
The podium was completed by the FEV Racing Cupra of Benedikt Gentgen and Martin Pischinger that had set pole position on the wet track and finished the race one lap behind the class winners.
The ninth and final round of the series – the 43. DMV Müsterlandpokal – will take place on October 20.  

Photo: VLN Media


TCR UK preview
Donington Park hosts the title decider

The TCR UK championship heads to Donington Park for the seventh and final race weekend of the season. The National Circuit will play host to rounds 13 and 14 of the series in which Daniel Lloyd and Oliver Taylor will face each other for becoming the series’ first champion. WestCoast Racing’s Lloyd has a 31-point margin ahead of Pyro Motorsport’s Taylor, with a possible 91 on offer.
Behind the leading duo, Lloyd’s teammate Andreas Bäckman still has a mathematical chance of finishing the season as runner-up, while his sister Jessica is just six points ahead of Lewis Kent in the battle for fourth place.
Returning to the championship for the final race weekend are Sean Walkinshaw, Carl Swift, Josh Price and Alex Morgan; the latter makes his second appearance of the season in the Vuković Motorsport Renault Mégane as part of the car’s development programme.

Photo: TCR UK/Matt Sayle


TCR Europe
Petr Fulín joins for Barcelona finale

The reigning FIA European Touring Car champion Petr Fulín will join TCR Europe Series’ finale at Barcelona.
The Czech driver will be at the wheel of a Cupra run by his own team Fullin Race Academy.
After being a regular competitor in the FIA European Touring Car Cup, clinching three titles in 2013, 2014 and 2017 and finishing twice runner up in 2015 and 2016, Fulín elected not to run a full programme during the current season.
He rather made occasional appearances in different series that turned to be very successful as he won one round of TCR Germany on his home race track at Most and then fought for a podium position in the WTCR’s Race 3 at the Slovakia Ring, before finishing a brilliant fifth.

Photo: ADAC Motorsport


The other races of the upcoming weekend


A record field of 19 TCR cars is due to take part in the 12H Spa, fifth and final round of the 24H TCE Series Europe that takes place on Friday and Saturday. The race will start Saturday at 9:30 to finish at 21.30 and will see the final shootout for conquering the European crown between the leading Red SEAT León DSG #303 and the NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Cupra DSG #175. The two teams are separated by just two points in the standings.
It will be an all-Dutch confrontation, with the father and son pair of Ivo and Rik Breukers sharing driving duties in the #303, while the #175 will be driven by Gijs Bessem and Harry Hilders. As they focus on the title, several other teams have both the ambition and the potential to win the 12-hour race. The Cupra run jointly by LMS and Bas Koeten for last year’s winning trio of Buri-Kangas-Laaksonen, the Sweden-based Letsrup Racing’s Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Bonk Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS, just to mention a few.

Compass Racing will not give any team orders to its two pairs that will fight for the TCR title in the IMSA Continental Challenge's finale at Road Atlanta.
Tom Long and Britt Casey jr. are leading the standings in the Audi #77, with a margin of just two points over Rodrigo Sales and Kuno Wittmer in the #74. The team's third car, #75 of Pierre Kleinubing and Roy Block is currently third on equal point with Lee Carpentier-Kieron O'Rourke in the eEuroparts Racing Audi #10.
“It’s a dream come true to head into the final round with all three of our TCR cars having been so competitive all year,” said Team Principal Karl Thomson. "In a situation like this, we firmly believe that there aren’t any 'team orders' with the exception of the golden rule of not taking each other out."


The TCR events of the week

12 / 13 October - IMSA Continental Challenge, Round 10 @ Road Atlanta, USA
12 / 14 October - 24H TCE Series, Round 6 @ Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
13 / 14 October - TCR UK, Rounds 13 & 14 @ Donington Park, UK

Live streaming at and

Sunday: TCR UK, Race 1 - 13:15 local time (14:15 CET)
Sunday: TCR UK, Race 2 - 16:10 local time (17:10 CET)


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