Girolami scores debut podium with Civic Type R TCR
The Honda Civic Type R TCR claimed a podium finish at Mugello as TCR Italy kicked off with category debutant Franco Girolami playing a starring role in the weekend’s activities.
Girolami, whose brother Nestor races the JAS Motorsport-built Civic in the FIA WTCR, was the fastest driver in qualifying, but lost his pole-position time for exceeding track limits and instead started fourth.
The MM Motorsport driver retired from a podium position due to a puncture, but made up for it 24 hours later as he snatched second spot at the final corner of Race Two.
Team-mate Max Mugelli scored a best finish of 12th during the weekend while privateer Federico Paolino was 18th in Race Two in his older FK2-based Civic Type R TCR.
In the USA, the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge resumed after a six-month break at the legendary Sebring circuit in Florida.
Mike Lamarra and Mat Pombo were the highest-placed Civic crew for the LAP Motorsports-run LA Honda World team, the duo running a consistent pace despite the Balance of Performance (BoP) not favouring the car this time.
They finished 10th, keeping their heads well despite a 70-minute red-flag period due to the presence of lightning in the area, and a subsequent rainshower.
Dakota Dickerson – substituting for Taylor Hagler in the sister car – made a strong debut to climb from 10th to sixth in the most slippery of the conditions, but with co-driver Ryan Eversley suffering a puncture for a second straight race, they finished 12th.
Last year’s Sebring winner Shelby Blackstock retired the team’s third car with a power-steering issue possibly related to a practice crash from which he and Chris Miller recovered strongly.
Main: Franco Girolami, MM Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Italy, Mugello, Italy (credit: MM Motorsport); Lower: 1 Federico Paolini, Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Italy, Mugello, Italy (credit: TCR Italy/ACI); 2 Mike Lamarra/Mat Pombo, LA Honda World (LAP Motorsports) Honda Civic Type R TCR, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Sebring, USA (credit: Halston Pitman); 3 Dakota Dickerson/Ryan Eversley, LA Honda World (LAP Motorsports) Honda Civic Type R TCR, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Sebring, USA (credit: Halston Pitman); 4 Shelby Blackstock/Chris Miller, LA Honda World (LAP Motorsports) Honda Civic Type R TCR, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Sebring, USA (credit: Halston Pitman).About JAS Motorsport
Founded in 1995, JAS Motorsport is one of the world's leading touring car teams and constructors. Initially fielding Alfa Romeos in the ITC, JAS became a technical partner of Honda in 1998 and has been at the forefront of its activities with touring cars and rallying ever since. In 2012, JAS was chosen to develop, in partnership with Honda R&D, the Civic WTCC, with which it claimed the Manufacturers' world title a year later. JAS designed and built the Civic Type R TCR, which has claimed 31 major titles so far (17 with the current model), and is also responsible for the build of the NSX GT3 Evo race car.