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Quarta, 24 Outubro 2018 16:48 | Actualizado em Quinta, 06 Agosto 2020 13:07

TCR Europe @ Barcelona
Azcona is crowned European champion

The TCR Europe Series ended in Barcelona with the coronation of Mikel Azcona as the Drivers’ champion. Considering that the young Spaniard had arrived at his home event with a comfortable margin in the standings, it was not a surprise to see him clinch the title.
However, before the beginning of the season, Azcona would hardly have been considered as a serious pretender to the European crown. In fact, both he and his PCR Sport team were facing their first international campaign.
And yet, although he only rarely emerged as the fastest of the pack, Azcona focused on consistency, which was a crucial factor in a series that produced nine different winners from 14 races. He only claimed a single race win and started once from pole position, but scored in all the races but one and finished ten times in the top-five.
A fifth place in Barcelona’s Race 1 pushed him closer to the title, 23 points over Dušan Borković with 25 still on offer, while Jean-Karl Vernay and Attila Tassi were level one further point adrift. Totally focused on securing the championship, Azcona settled for eighth position in Race 2.
Race victories went to the Hell Energy Racing with KCMG Honda Civic cars, with Tassi and TCR Germany’s guest star Mike Halder, which clinched the Teams’ title ahead of Target Competition.
In Race 2, the hopes of Borković and Tassi vanished in a first lap collision, while Vernay was trying to recover from 13th at the start. Eventually Azcona let the French go through in seventh position while he drove his Cupra safely to the finish in eighth place. This meant that Vernay finished as runner-up in the Drivers’ championship, 22 points behind Azcona, while Borković and Tassi were classified third and fourth with gaps of 27 and 28.

Photos: TCR-Photo 4



The night of the TCR Europe awards



Suzuka hosts the penultimate event

The WTCR resumes for its penultimate race weekend of the season at Suzuka's 5.8km GP circuit with an unusual event format.
Two Qualifying session will be held on Friday to establish the grids for the three races; these will take place on Saturday (Race 1) and Sunday (Races 2 and 3).
Gabriele Tarquini is still the leader of the standings with 241 points, followed by fellow Hyundai colleagues Thed Björk and Yvan Muller who are level at 234.
With 174 points still on offer in the two final events, no less than 13 drivers, at the wheel of six different models, have mathematical chances of grabbing the title.
The Japanese round will also mark Tiago Monteiro's return to racing, 14 months after the crash ocurred during a test at Barcelona in September 2017. The Portuguese driver will be at the wheel of a Honda Civic run by Boutsen Ginion Racing.

Track time at Suzuka

Friday, 26 Oct - 09:10 (02:10 CET), Practice 1 (30 min.)
Friday, 26 Oct - 11.25 (04:25 CET), Practice 2 (30 min.)
Friday, 26 Oct - 13:00 (06:00 CET), Qualifying 1 (30 min.)
Friday, 26 Oct - 15:30 (08:30 CET), Qual 2 (Q1 + Q2 + Q3)
Saturday, 27 Oct - 14:05 (07:05 CET), Race 1 (9 laps)
Sunday, 28 Oct - 11:03 (03:05 CET), Race 2 (9 laps)
Sunday, 28 Oct - 12:30 (04:30 CET), Race 3 (11 laps)

Local time GMT +9

Photos: DPPI


Ferrara replaces Giovanardi

Luigi Ferrara will replace Fabrizio Giovanardi at the wheel of one of Team Mulsanne's Alfa Romeo Giulietta cars for the two final events of the WTCR at Suzuka and Macau.
Ferrara has recently finished runner up in TCR Italy with five race wins in the V-Action Racing Giulietta; he will team up with Kevin Ceccon.
"This is a dream come true that gives me the opportunity to go on with the work done together with Romeo Ferraris in the two latest years," a delighted Ferrara commented.
Giovanardi and the team parted in a friendly way.
"I took this challenge with the aim of winning, but we were not able to achieve the results we were hoping for. However, I thank the team and I'm proud for having scored the first points for Alfa Romeo in WTCR," said the driver.
Operations Manager Michela Cerruti echoed: "We respect Fabrizio's decision and are grateful to him, because he was instrumental in developing and setting up the car."

Photo: Photo 4


TCR Benelux
And the winner is... Jean-Karl Vernay!

Jean-Karl Vernay has clinched the TCR Benelux Trophy in the Leopard Lukoil Team Audi RS3 LMS. The Frenchman had arrived in Barcelona with a two-point gap behind Comtoyou Racing’s Maxime Potty, but was able to overturn the situation with victories in both the Spanish races.
"A title is a title! We were unlucky this season, but we never gave up. I dedicate this crown to my team and all the partners that supported me like never before," Vernay said.
Potty finished as runner-up in his Volkswagen Golf GTI, 17 points behind Vernay, and Julien Briché completed the Trophy's podium in the JSB Compétition Peugeot 308.

Photo: TCR-Photo 4


VLN @ Nürburgring
Gülden and Hammel finish the season in style

The Mathilda Racing pair of Andreas Gülden and Heiko Hammel concluded the VLN in style with another TCR class victory, the fourth for the team during the current season.
In the 4-hour 43. DMV Müsterlandpokal, Gülden and Hammel completed 26 laps at the wheel of their Cupra and were classified 26th overall out of the 158 starters.
The Møller Bil Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS shared by the Norwegian trio of Håkon Schjærin, Atle Gulbrandsen and Kenneth Østvold was classified second, on the same lap of the winners, but nearly three minutes behind. The podium was completed by the FEV Racing Cupra of Benedikt Gentgen, Lukas Thiele and Martin Pischinger.

Photo: Mathilda Racing


Geely is the first Chinese brand to commit to TCR

Chinese automobile manufacturer Geely was the latest brand to develop a TCR racing car, the Lynk & Co 03 TCR that was unveiled at Fuji Raceway in Japan.
"This is a first and important step for the newly formed Geely Group Motorsport. We will offer the all-new and agile Lynk & Co 03 model as a race car to customer teams in international and national series throughout the world in strong competition against other global automotive brands," said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Geely Group Motorsport.
Development of the Lynk & Co 03 TCR, that is based on the all-new Lynk & Co 03 road car, started in early 2018 by Geely Group Motorsport.
Cyan Racing, winner of the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship, is the first customer team that has committed to run the Lynk & Co 03 TCR. The Swedish outfit will take delivery of the first cars in 2019 with the aim of competing in the WTCR. The first driver named by Cyan Racing was the 2017 WTCC champion Thed Björk who is currently racing in WTCR for the M Racing-YMR team and pulled the cover off the TCR car at Fuji.




The other races of the upcoming weekend


Both TCR Portugal and TCR Thailand will award the 2018 titles in the upcoming weekend.
The Portuguese series will race at Portimão's Autódromo Algarve; the event is nearly a formality for Pedro Salvador. The Speedy Motorsport's driver has won five races out of the six held so far in his Cupra, amassing a leading margin in the standings of 49 points when 54 are still at stake. The only drivers who are, theoretically, still in contention for the title are the pair of Francisco Abreu-Rafael Lobato (Sports & You Peugeot 308) and Francisco Carvalho (Veloso Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS).
Buriram's Chang International Circuit hosts the final event of TCR Thailand. The title fight is wide open with Pattrapol Vongprai (Vattana Motorsport Honda Civic FK2) and Jakraphan Davee (Alphafactory Racing Team SEAT León DSG) split by a single point. Chariya Nuya (Billionaire Boy Racing Honda Civic FK2) retains his chances as he lies third, 17 points behind the leader.

The California 8 Hours is a brand new endurance race that takes place at Monterey's Laguna Seca Raceway and is promoted jointly by the Pirelli World Challenge and the SRO Motorsport Group.
Three teams have entred in the TCR class amidst a group of GTs. The Bryan Herta Autosport runs two Hyundai i30 N cars, one for PWC regulars Mark Wilkins-Michael Lewis-Mason Filippi and the second driven by Bryan Herta himself who shares it with his son Colton and George Kurtz. The class is completed by the M1GT Racing's Audi RS3 LMS of Walter Bowlin, Jérimy Daniel and Lars Viljoen.

For the first time a TCR class appears in the NGK United Arab Emirates Touring Car Championship that kicks off Friday at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit.
Only one car has been entered in the class for this opening event, the Mouhritsa Racing Cupra driven by Greece's Kostas Papantonis who had taken part in the TCR Middle East Series earlier in the year.


The TCR events of the week

26 October - NGK UAETCC, Rounds 1 & 2 @ Abu Dhabi, UAE
26 / 28 October - WTCR, Rounds 25, 26 & 27 @ Suzuka, Japan
26 / 28 October - TCR Thailand, Rounds 7 & 8 @ Buriram, Thailand
26 / 28 October - California 8 Hours @ Laguna Seca, USA
27 / 28 October - TCR Portugal, Rounds 7 & 8 @ Portimão, Portugal

Live streaming at and

Saturday: TCR Thailand, Race 1 - 13:40 local (08:40 CET)
Sunday: TCR Thailand, Race 2 - 14:30 local (08:30 CET)


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