Barcelona, Spain – 19 / 21 October 2018
RACE 1 REPORT
wins and the title fight goes down to the wire
Azcona, Borković, Vernay and Tassi in a four-way battle
It will be a four-way
fight for the TCR Europe Series Drivers’ title, as the battle will be
decided in tomorrow’s Race 2.
Mikel Azcona is still the leader of the pack, but Dušan Borković,
Jean-Karl Vernay and Attila Tassi have managed to keep themselves in
contention with some remarkable exploits in today’s Race 1.
Tassi took an authoritative lights-to-flag victory, the second for him in
the season, as he sprinted from pole position and bid farewell to the
rest of the pack, while Files protected his back.
Borković knew he had to stay ahead of Azcona to keep his hopes alive and
overtook him at the start; then put the pressure on Files until the
Englishman’s pace faded because of a tyre issue, which promoted the
Serbian to second.
Vernay was able to recover from 13th on the grid despite driving the
heaviest car of the pack and finished sixth; he also won the TCR Benelux
As for Azcona, he gave away a couple of places in the final laps in order
to avoid the lesser risk; an eighth place in Race 2 will be enough for
him to be crowned champion.
The battle for the Teams’ title is even hotter, with Hell Energy Racing
with KCMG leading Target Competition by just three points.
The second race will start tomorrow at 15:55 with an all-German front row
on the top-ten reverse grid: Peter Terting’s Hyundai on pole and Mike
Halder’s Honda alongside.
Live streaming at www.tcr-series.com and www.tcr-series.tv.
Grid – Abreu is dropped from 19th to 29th for having received three
reprimands during the season
Start – Tassi sprints from the pole ahead of Files, Borković and Azcona
who keeps Michelisz and Sutton at bay
Lap 1 – Miljković’s Cupra stops at the end of the pit straight and the
safety car is deployed
Lap 2 – Abreu retires in the pit with technical issues
Lap 4 – the race resumes; Potty drops from 14th to 18th after driving
wide at the last turn
Lap 5 – Vernay overtakes Nagy for 7th; Kroes stops after an incident;
Comini retires with a broken front splitter
Lap 6 – Paulsen and Berthon make contact while fighting for 13th, the
latter pits and retires
Lap 7 – Briché overtakes Halder for 10th; the latter retires with a flat
Lap 8 – Tassi pulls away, while Files tries to defend the second position
from Borković; Azcona keeps third place that would give him the title but
is under pressure from Michelisz and Sutton
Lap 9 – Files is in trouble with the front left tyre, he opens the door
and drops by six positions altogether; Borković moves up to second ahead
of Azcona, Michelisz, Sutton and Vernay
Lap 10 – Michelisz and Sutton overtake Azcona who drops to fifth ahead of
Lap 11 – Files pits and retires with a flat front tyre
Lap 12 – Tassi wins from Borković, Michelisz, Sutton, Azcona and Vernay
Driver quotes after the first race
Attila Tassi (winner): "It has been a perfect day
for me, for sure! The car was simply perfect since qualifying and it's
nice to be able to reward the team for all their hard work. We really
made a lot of progress throughout the season and now it pays off.
Clearly, it would have been nice to be at this stage of competitiveness earlier
in the season, but it's good to finish so strong. Tomorrow, we still have
a job to finish and we will see..."
Dusan Borković (second): "The result is not too bad,
but it was not an easy race. I lost a lot of time in the
initial laps behind the Honda cars, which I understand given the
championship situation, and my tyres got destroyed in the fight with
Files. In the final laps, I even thought I had a slow puncture in one of
the rear tyres, but then there was a strange noise coming from the back
and there was a lot of oversteer, so there must be something mechanical,
we need to check. I was lucky to finish. Tomorrow, we will see, the
objective is to keep at least the runner-up position."
(third): "It was
an interesting race, especially at the beginning were I got hit a couple
of times, notably during the safety-car period. I think the guy behind me
did not notice the board... All in all, I am very satisfied and confident
for tomorrow. The team is doing a good job and it is always a pleasure to
drive for M1RA !"
In Qualifying Tassi and Files made a Honda front row for Race 1
The Hell Energy Racing
with KCMG duo of Attila Tassi and Josh Files monopolised the front row
for this afternoon’s Race 1, the penultimate round of the TCR Europe
Series at Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya.
Tassi set the fastest lap of 1:53.861 on his second attempt in Q2 and
demoted to second his teammate Files who had clocked a provisional
fastest lap of 1:53.902 in his first run. The gap between them was just
In the battle for the European crown, current points leader Mikel Azcona
moved another small step closer to the title as he qualified in third
position and scored three points against the two points awarded to Dušan
Borković for the fourth place. Azcona was not able to repeat his Q1
exploit and settled in third with a lap of 1:54.167, followed by Borković
(1:54.186), while Norbert Michelisz (1:54.198) and Ashley Sutton
(1:54.367) filled the third row of the grid for Race 1.
The third title contender, Jean-Karl Vernay failed to make the cut for Q2
and ranked 13th; the Frenchman was kicked out of the top-twelve by Mike
Halder and dropped behind Reece Barr by just 45 thousandths. The second Audi
car of Berthon was eliminated as well after sitting in the pits for most
of the time due to a broken turbo pipe.
Peter Terting and Halder qualified tenth and ninth respectively and will
share the front row of the reverse grid for tomorrow’s Race 2.
Grid penalty for Kris Richard in Race 2
Target Competition’s Kris
Richard had his fastest Qualifying time disallowed by the Stewards
because of a track limit infringement between turns 1 and 2.
The Swiss had qualified in seventh position with a lap of 1:54.385 that
was under investigation and finally deleted; his second best lap in Q2 of
1:54.530, placed him tenth in the final classification.
However, in order to avoid that the penalty would turn into an advantage,
placing him on pole position on the reverse grid for Race 2, the Stewards
handed him a drop of ten positions.
Consequently, Richard will start Race 1 from tenth and Race 2 from 11th.
2018 TCR Europe
Series – calendar
5/6 May – Circuit Paul Ricard, France (International GT
19/21 May – Circuit Zandvoort, Netherlands (Jumbo Racing Days) *
9/10 June – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium (International GT Open)
7/8 July – Hungaroring, Hungary (International GT Open) *
18/19 August – TT Circuit Assen, Netherlands (Gamma Racing Days) *
22/23 September – Autodromo di Monza, Italy (International GT Open)
20/21 October – Circuit de Barcelona
Catalunya, Spain (International GT Open) *
* With TCR Benelux
results, points and HD pictures at www.europe.tcr-series.com