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Quinta, 31 Janeiro 2019 12:44 | Actualizado em Sexta, 18 Setembro 2020 01:51

IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge @ Daytona
A 1-2 finish for the Honda Civic cars

The second season of the TCR class in the IMSA Challenge began with an exciting four-hour race at Daytona that provided eight different leaders and plenty of overtaking and clashing. Eventually the Honda Civic cars of LA Honda World Racing finished 1-2 with Tom O’Gorman-Shelby Blackstock the winners from Matt Pombo-Mike La Marra. The podium was completed by the Fast MD Racing Audi RS 3 LMS of Nick Galante-James Vance-Jared Salinsky.
Alex Popow was impressive in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta, as he led for the first 30 minutes of the race. After the first pit stop, Lee Carpentier and Michael Johnson moved up to first and second in their Audi cars, but soon after the end of the first hour they came together and crashed. During the second hour there was a close fight between Blackstock and Galante who swapped the lead a few times, but after the third pit stop they both dropped down the order and the lead was taken by Todd Lamb’s Honda that was closely chased by Michael Lewis’ Hyundai, Pombo and Popow. On lap 55, Lewis was hit by Chad Gilsinger’s Honda as they were fighting for fourth place.
The last hour began with the top-four drivers covered by the same second: Lamb, Pombo, Vance and Popow. After a full-course-yellow, Lamb pitted for fuel, Pombo took the lead and Popow overtook Vance for second. The fight for the win was between the Honda cars of Lamb and O’Gorman and Popow’s Alfa. With 35 minutes left the Alfa went back into the first place, but then retired in a cloud of smoke.
Back into the lead with 25 minutes to go, Lamb pitted with a flat front tyre and handed the first place to Vance, but O’Gorman was closing the gap and after another full-course-yellow the Honda cars of O’Gorman and Pombo overtook Vance’s Audi to score a 1-2 finish.
The second round of the IMSA Michelin Challenge will take place at Sebring on 15 March.

1. LA Honda World Racing, Honda Civic Type R (O’ Gorman / Blackstock), 100 laps
2. LA Honda World Racing, Honda Civic Type R (Pombo / La Marra), 1.605
3. Fast MD Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS DSG (Galante / Vance / Salinsky), 5.870
4. Atlanta Speedwerks, Honda Civic Type R (Lamb / Henderson), 2 laps
5. Bryan Herta Autosport, Hyundai Veloster N (Filippi / Gottsacker), 4 laps
6. eEuroparts with Rowe Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS (Nash / McDonough), 9 laps

Championship points
1. O’Gorman-Blackstock 35 pts; 2. Pombo-La Marra 32; 3. Galante-Vance-Salinsky 30

Photos: IMSA-LAT Images



TCR Europe
Hockenheim will host the second event of the season

The second race meeting of the 2019 TCR Europe Series will take place at Hockenheim on May 24/26.
In the German event, TCR Europe will share the bill with the GT Open Series just like in Spa-Francorchamps, Barcelona and Monza.
Series promoter Paulo Ferreira commented: “Hockenheim represents another great addition to the list of glamorous racetracks that forms the TCR Europe series’ calendar. TCR is very popular in Germany and we are confident that our event in Hockenheim will attract a lot of fans; we also invite some of the TCR Germany teams and drivers to join and measure themselves with their fellow colleagues of TCR Europe.”

2019 TCR Europe Series – calendar
27/28 April – Hungaroring
24/26 May – Hockenheim
8/9 June – Spa-Francorchamps
13/14 July – Red Bull Ring
3/4 August – Oschersleben
21/22 September – Barcelona
12/13 October – Monza

Photo: ADAC Motorsport



Münnich Motorsport with Guerrieri and Girolami

The Münnich Motorsport team confirmed its commitment to the WTCR with two Honda Civic Type R FK7 cars.
Esteban Guerrieri has been retained after he was classified third in last year’s championship with two race wins. “I had some incredible high points, including winning at the Nürburgring and in Macau. Having ‘Bebu’ Girolami in the team will be great. We are good friends and have raced against each other for many years. He’s an extremely fast driver and a great team player, which will be important as we mount our challenge for the title,” said Guerrieri who will be joined by his fellow countryman Néstor Girolami.
Girolami, twice champion in the Argentina Súper TC2000, stated: “I spent the Suzuka race weekend last year with the team and it was very clear from the way they do things that the potential is there to fight for the championship. I’m thrilled to have Esteban as a teammate because we have a very good relationship. I will give it my very best this year and cannot wait to begin testing.”

Photo: DPPI


Team Mulsanne confirms Kevin Ceccon

Kevin Ceccon is the first driver named by Team Mulsanne for its campaign in the 2019 WTCR with two Romeo Ferraris-built Alfa Romeo Giulietta cars
The 25-year-old Italian will continue his cooperation with the team after a successful debut in 2018. He joined in the middle of the season and made consistent progress until the weekend at Suzuka, where he claimed pole position, a victory and a second place.
Michela Cerruti, Romeo Ferraris Operations Manager said:
“We are happy to continue our relationship with Kevin. He arrived last year at a very difficult moment, but together we achieved results that many would not expect. I am confident that with Kevin’s growing experience and the technical developments that we have elaborated during the winter, we will be competitive since the very start of the new season.”

Ceccon added:
“I was waiting for this announcement. I was hoping to get a full-year commitment for 2019, after last year’s good results. When I look back at 2018 and what we have achieved, I feel that we can be among the front-runners this year. I am really anxious to start hitting the track again..."

Photo: DPPI


TCR Malaysia @ Sepang
The title is within Luca Engstler’s reach

Luca Engstler staked a serious claim on the inaugural TCR Malaysia title after two third of the season. The young German and his Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N scored full points in the second event at Sepang.
After setting pole position, Engstler won both races and built a margin of 41.5 points over his teammate Kai Jordan, with 55 still on offer in the third and final event that will take place at Sepang again on February 23/24.
Race 1 started on a drying track, but the rain began to fall and the safety car was deployed on lap 5; eventually the red flag was waved for good at the end of lap 7.
Engstler took the lead at the start, while Jordan overtook Paul Ip for second and Martin Ryba moved up from eighth on the grid to fourth. Malaysian rookie Brendan Paul Anthony recovered to fifth after starting from the last spot of the grid. The rain came during lap 4 and the safety car was prompted into action, but as the weather got worse, the race was red-flagged and awarded half points.
The track was still wet when Race 2 got underway, Ryba and Douglas Khoo started well from the front row, but during the first lap Engstler and Jordan moved up to first and second after starting from eighth and sixth respectively. Anthony recovered from 10th on the grid to fourth and then overtook Ryba for third. Engstler built a huge margin that eventually topped the 30 seconds over Jordan; Anthony finished a brilliant third and Khoo stole fourth from Ryba.

Race 1
1. Luca Engstler (Team Engstler, Hyundai i30 N), 7 laps
2. Kai Jordan (Team Engstler, Volkswagen Golf GTI), 6.429
3. Paul Ip (KCMG, Honda Civic Type R FK7), 13.121

Race 2
1. Luca Engstler (Team Engstler, Hyundai i30 N), 11 laps
2. Kai Jordan (Team Engstler, Volkswagen Golf GTI), 31.433
3. B.P. Anthony (Team Engstler, VW Golf GTI), 39.483

Championship points
1. Engstler 96.5; 2. Jordan 55; 3. Ryba 35; 4. Huff 33

Photos: TCR Malaysia-Match Chong


TCR Middle East @ Dubai
Victories for Münnich and Zengő

René Münnich, driving a Honda Civic, dominated the sprint races in the opening round of TCR Middle East at Dubai. Luc Breukers and Zoltán Zengő finished second and third in both races at the wheel of their CUPRA cars and then Zengő won the 6-hour race, sharing the car with Csába Tóth.
Münnich sprinted into the lead at the start of Race 1 and pulled away, increasing his margin over Breukers by two seconds per lap.
Zengő sat on pole position of the reverse grid for Race 2, but during the first lap both Münnich and Breukers overtook him. Münnich pace was even faster than in Race 1 and he won with a margin of 42.5 seconds over Breukers.
The 6 hour race also counted as opening round of the 24H Middle East series. For most of the race the CUPRA driven by Breukers and Yusif Bassil was in the lead, but one hour before the end the Dutch team ran into brake problems and this propelled Zengő and Tóth towards an unexpected win. Münnich took part in the race only to cover the minimum distance that would grant him 10 bonus points for the TCR Middle East series.
The second event of TCR Middle East and 24H Middle East will take place Friday and Saturday at Abu Dhabi, where the two sprint races will be followed by a 4-hour race.

Race 1
1. René Münnich (Münnich Motorsp., Honda Civic), 17 laps
2. Luc Breukers (Red, CUPRA), 37.242
3. Zoltan Zengő (Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA), 54.466

Race 2
1. René Münnich (Münnich Motorsp., Honda Civic), 17 laps
2. Luc Breukers (Red, CUPRA), 37.242
3. Zoltan Zengő (Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA), 54.466

6H Dubai
1. Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA (Zengő-Tóth), 178 laps
2. Red, CUPRA (Breukers-Bassil), 38 laps
3. Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic (Münnich), 93 laps

Championship points
1. Münnich 65 pts; 2. Breukers 50; 3. Zengő 43

Photos: Creventic


TCR Europe
M Racing with Panciatici and Bihel

The M Racing team announced its commitment to the 2019 TCR Europe series with two Hyundai i30 N cars driven by Nelson Panciatici et Natan Bihel.
The team directed by Justine Monnier ran the cars in last year’s WTCR on behalf of YMR. “We are pleased to join the TCR Europe series. Our team’s mission is to form young drivers and bring them to top-level competition, like we did with Yann Ehrlacher and Thomas Laurent. After the WTCR experience in 2018 we have now chosen TCR Europe that is more appropriate for a young driver’s correct approach to the category,” Monnier explained.
Nelson Panciatici, 30-year old son of the former rallyman Jacques, built himself a reputation in sportscars winning two LMP2 titles in the European Le Mans Series. “It is a big change, but I was looking for a new challenge and this opportunity makes me happy. I can’t wait to join the team and begin to discover the car. My goal is to be competitive, even if I know I have to face a very competitive field.”
Bihel is only 19, but has already taken part in three racing seasons from his debut in the 2016 French Supertourisme. “To join this programme is a great opportunity. It’s a bit like going back to the roots of my career in Supertourisme. After a couple of seasons in LMP3 it won’t be easy to discover the front-wheel drive, but I can benefit from the team’s experience and will do my best to be quickly on the pace.”


TCR Benelux
The partnership with TCR Europe is confirmed

Promoters of the TCR Benelux Trophy confirmed their partnership with the TCR Europe Series. Just like last year, in 2019 the calendar of TCR Benelux will be based on selected events of the European series.
The list includes five events in which points will be awarded to teams and drivers holding a racing license issued by the National Sporting Authorities of Belgium, the Netherlands or Luxembourg.
In 2018, Jean-Karl Vernay and Leopard Lukoil Team WRT grabbed the Drivers’ and Teams’ titles respectively.

2019 TCR Benelux Trophy – calendar
27/28 April – Hungaroring
24/26 May – Hockenheim
8/9 June – Spa-Francorchamps
21/22 September – Barcelona
12/13 October – Monza

Photo: TCR-Photo 4


TCR Scandinavia
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky returns with PWR

Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky will stay with PWR Racing for the 2019 TCR Scandinavia. The Swedish lady will join the 2017 champion Robert Dahlgren who has been confirmed as well, in one of the team’s CUPRA cars.
In 2018 Åhlin-Kottulinsky ranked tenth in the Drivers’ championship, claiming one race win at Karlskoga.
“I am very happy to continue with PWR. Last season was probably the best of my career, personally and in terms of results. The atmosphere within the team was very friendly. I am really looking forward to the new season,” she said.
PWR co-owner Daniel Haglöf commented: “We are pleased that Mikaela will continue with us. She’s a key person at PWR Racing and she’s really important for Swedish racing and the interest we are trying to build among young women.”
The team is due to announce its other drivers later.

Photo: Micke Fransson


TCR Australia
GRM to field two Alfa Romeo cars 

Garry Rogers Motorsport is the latest high-profile team to commit to TCR Australia, securing two Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce cars that are currently under construction at Romeo Ferraris’ race shop in Milan.
“We have been looking with interest in the TCR Series from a far, at both the local and international competition, and we have been really impressed,” said team principal Barry Rogers. “We are in motorsport business, and we consider anything where we feel there is value for our business and the sport, and there’s no doubt that TCR competition is a cost-effective way to compete. Myself and head engineer Richard Hollway went to Europe to visit a number of TCR manufacturers, and we were particularly impressed with the Romeo Ferraris team. The way they are in business is very similar to us – family run business, strong ties with the car maker. We raced an Alfa Romeo 155 in the 1995 Australian Super Touring Championship for Steven Richards, so there’s something romantic about us having done this deal with Romeo Ferraris. That was our first year in the championship with Steven Richards and it was a great car.”

Photo: TCR Australia



Entries for the 2019 TCR UK championship have opened, with the organising team having announced several changes for the series’ second season.
Entry fees are significantly lower than in 2018, while there is a new TCR UK Cup class for drivers competing in the true ‘amateur spirit’ of motor racing.
Qualifying and Race formats have also been changed to bring TCR UK into line with other TCR series around the globe; Qualifying will now be the two-stage process seen in most other TCR series, while the durations of the races have been trimmed to twenty-three minutes plus one lap, the same format as used for TCR Europe.

Photo: TCR UK-Matt Sayle


The TCR events of the week

1 / 2 February - TCR Middle East, Rounds 4, 5 & 6 @ Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
2 February - 24H Middle East, Round 2 @ Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


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