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Quinta, 03 Maio 2018 12:44 | Actualizado em Domingo, 02 Agosto 2020 16:32

TCR Europe preview
The new series kicks off in France with 26 cars 

The new TCR Europe Series will kick off in style this weekend at Le Castellet’s Circuit Paul Ricard with a strong 26-car field representing seven brands of manufacturers. And also with high quality in terms of drivers who have amassed altogether no fewer than eleven titles in TCR series.
The promoter Paulo Ferreira commented: “We are pleased, because the European series puts itself as the perfect accomplishment of TCR philosophy. In fact, competitors are coming from eight different series and among them there is also a fair amount of TCR champions.”
The line-up is a mix of experienced drivers and up-and-coming youngsters from fifteen countries. The likes of Jean-Karl Vernay (reigning International Series champion and WTCR race winner), Stefano Comini (double champion in the International Series), Josh Files (three TCR titles between Germany and Middle East), Kris Richard (2016 ETCC champion) and Dušan Borković (race winner in the International Series and the ETCC) face the challenge from Attila Tassi (International Series runner-up), Francisco Mora (twice TCR Portugal champion), Francisco Abreu (TCR Ibérico champion), Nicola Baldan (TCR Italy champion), Igor Stefanovski (twice European Hill Climb champion), Julien Briché (winner of several Peugeot and SEAT cups) and many others.
It is worth to point out the half-dozen teen-agers who have jumped to TCR coming from karting and minor formulae: Reece Barr (17), Tassi, Márk Jedlókzky, Danny Kroes, Maxime Potty (all 18) and Cedric Piro (19). On top of this, 14 out of the 26 drivers have not turned 30 yet.
Looking at the cars, Audi, Cupra, Honda, Hyundai, Peugeot and Volkswagen have been joined by the Subaru. In fact the Top Run-built WRX STI has finally completed the homologation process and will be racing in the capable hands of Comini.


Track time at Le Castellet
Saturday, 5 May - 10:00, Qualifying (Q1 20 min. + Q2 10 min.)
Saturday, 5 May - 14:40, Race 1 (23 min. + 1 lap)
Sunday, 6 May - 15:50, Race 2 (23 min. + 1 lap)

All time local - GMT +2



TCR Europe
Vernay, Comini and Mora adds to the field

A trio of TCR champions was the latest addition to the field of the TCR Europe series: Jean-Karl Vernay, Stefano Comini and Francisco Mora.
Vernay, the 2017 champion in the TCR International Series, adds this commitment to his WTCR programme; he wil drive an Audi RS3 LMS run by Leopard Lukoil Team with WRT.
His former teammate and double TCR International Series champion Comini will be at the wheel of the Top Run-built Subaru WRX STI and entered by the newly founded Swiss team Race Republic.
Mora, the winner of two consecutive TCR Portugal titles, has joined M1RA to drive a Hyundai i30 N alongside Dániel Nagy.
On top of this, in the frame of its massive commitment to the TCR category, Pit Lane Competizioni will field four drivers in the opening event at Le Castellet: Giovanni Altoè (Audi RS3 LMS DSG), the reigning TCR Italy champion Nicola Baldan (Hyundai i30 N), Enrico Bettera (Audi RS3 LMS SEQ) and Andrea Larini (Cupra TCR).


Bell Racing Helmets is Official Partner of TCR Europe

Bell Racing Helmets, the world’s leading manufacturer of state-of-the-art head protection, has been named Official Partner of the TCR Europe Series.
As part of the agreement the TCR Europe Series champion will be awarded with a Bell helmet; Bell will also grant a 20% discount on Bell Racing helmets and accessories to the drivers entered in the TCR Europe Series. More specifically, Bell will offer a choice of four different helmets: HP7, HP5 (for drivers requesting an FIA 8860 helmet), GT5 Carbon and RS7 Carbon (for drivers requesting an FIA 8859 helmet).
“We at Bell Racing Helmets are excited to be an Official Partner of such a dynamic international racing championship as the TCR Europe Series. We look forward to lending our expertise and vast experience to the drivers of this ultra-competitive series,” said Mike Barker, Sales Manager, Bell Racing Helmets.
TCR Europe promoter Paulo Ferreira commented: “We are extremely proud that a brand like Bell Racing Helmets, with its long tradition and high reputation in motorsports, has decided to be associated to a brand new racing series like TCR Europe. Not only this partnership puts the emphasis on our focus on safety, but will also turn into a benefit for our competitors.”



TCR Scandinavia preview
Umpredictable season begins in Knutstorp

The second season of TCR Scandinavia kicks off this weekend at Knutstorp with a strong field of 21 cars.
"We look forward to a very competitive season. The field is the toughest in many years and to predict the championship winning team and driver is totally impossible,” said Hans Bååth, Chairman of the Board, STCC AB.
And indeed the official test day that took place at Knutstorp last week showed how close competition will be.
PWR Racing is determined to retain the title won by Robert Dahlgren in 2017; the team placed its three Cupra cars on top of the timesheet with Daniel Haglöff (59.913), Dhalgren (59.945) and TCR rookie Philip Morin (1:00.053).
The Volkswagen Golf GTI cars were immediately behind, with WestCoast Racing's Fredrik Ekblom (1:00.190) and Kristoffersson Motorsport's Johan Kristoffersson (1:00.412) in fourth and fifth position respectively. The four fastest drivers have all been quicker than the previous track record for TCR cars at Knutstorp, with Haglöff and Dahlgren the first to break the 60-second wall.
Andreas Ahlberg of Micke Kågered Racing was sixth fastest in his Golf (1:00.509), but Micke Ohlsson of Brink Motorsport proved that the battle will not be restricted to the Cupra and Volkswagen drivers, setting the seventh fastest lap in his Audi RS3 LMS (1:00.518).
From this year the series will also award the JTCC title to the best driver between 17 and 22 years of age.


WTCR @ Hungaroring
Tarquini keeps the advantage, but Ehrlacher creates a surprise 

Gabriele Tarquini is standing by the predictions that considered him as a main contender for the WTCR title. After the first two events of the FIA World Cup's inaugural season, the Italian driver leads the standings having won three races out of six in his Hyundai i30 N car. But not many would have thought of Yann Ehrlacher as his closest competitor.
And yet, after challenging his uncle Yvan Muller for a podium finish in Marrakech, the 22-year-old French claimed an authoritative victory in the first race at the Hungaroring and climbed to second in the standings. 
Starting fifth in his Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic, Ehrlacher took advantage of the fight for the lead between pole sitter Norbert Michelisz and Esteban Guerrieri. The two of them made contact at Turn 2, opening a gap that Ehrlacher was ready to fill. He managed to keep his own teammate Guerrieri at bay and gave Honda its first WTCR victory. Behind the leading duo, Muller did his best to defend third place from Michelisz, but could not prevent the Hungarian from passing on the penultimate lap.
In Race 2, Rob Huff became the fourth different winner in five races, beating guest driver Dániel Nagy. Huff’s victory was also the maiden one for the Golf GTI in the championship and Volkswagen joined Hyundai, Audi and Honda as a race-winning brand. Muller finished third ahead of Tarquini and Guerrieri.
Michelisz started Race 3 from the pole in front of his cheering fans, but he was pipped by Tarquini at the start. A sudden rain shower prompted the red flag and when action resumed Tarquini led from his BRC Racing teammate until the end. Michelisz finished on the podium for the second time in the weekend, but failed to win any of the three races on his home soil despite starting twice from the pole. Muller completed the podium and a Hyundai 1-2-3; he was followed by Ehrlacher, Benjamin Lessennes who secured a brilliant fifth place and Dániel Nagy who scored in all three races on his WTCR debut.
Tarquini’s point-toll went up to 118, 36 clear of Ehrlacher, with Muller just a further five points adrift.
The third WTCR event will take place at the Nürburgring Nordschleife on May 11 and 12.



TCR Italy @ Imola
Glory for Luigi Ferrara and Alfa Romeo 

The TCR Italy kicked off at Imola with a double victory of Luigi Ferrara in the V-Action Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
The Italian car showed its potential from Qualifying, when Ferrara set the third fastest lap despite missing most of the session after a contact with another car.
However, luck changed and at the start of the first race Nicola Baldan (Hyundai) stalled from the front row and pole sitter Eric Scalvini (Hyundai) took the lead from Ferrara and Marco Pellegrini (Honda). The race was disrupted twice by the safety car, the second time when Pellegrini crashed at the Variante Alta and before it resumed again Scalvini retired with throttle issues. Ferrara inherited the lead for the final lap and Salvatore Tavano (Cupra) took second in his return to racing, beating Enrico Bettera (Audi) in the final sprint.
Race 2 started behind the safety-car due to a shower and with Giovanni Altoè on pole. It was an intense show on a drying track. Honda drivers Jürgen Schmarl and  Lorenzo Nicoli took turns in the lead until the latter served a drive-through because of an infringement during the safety-car period. Andrea Larini (Cupra) took the lead ahead of José Rodrigues (Honda), Schmarl, Ferrara and Bettera. The Alfa was the fastest and most effective car on track and seven minutes from the end, Ferrara overtook Larini who lost also the second place to Bettera. The race was red-flagged in the last lap due to an accident between Gabriele Volpato (Cupra) and Plamen Kralev Audi).
The TCR Italy will resume at Le Castellet on May 11/12.


TCR Germany @ Most
A different winner in every race

Four different race winners in as many different models have confirmed that the ADAC TCR Germany remains one of the most competitive TCR series.
After Harald Proczyk's Opel Astra and Mike Halder's Honda Civic were victorious in the season opener at Oschersleben, the Czech round in Most saw wins from Antti Buri's Audi RS3 LMS and local hero Petr Fulín's Cupra.
In the first race that was disrupted twice by the safety car, pole sitter Halder took the lead at the start but was soon passed by Buri, with Proczyk, Simon Reicher (Audi), Fulín and Luca Engstler (Volkswagen) following the duo. The top six delivered a close battle, but the position did not change and Max Hesse (Audi) was able to join the group on his way to finish seventh and win the Rookie class.
Théo Coicaud (Volkswagen) took a poor start from the pole in Race 2 and Fulín headed into Turn 1 in the lead, keeping Engstler and Michelle Halder (Cupra) at bay. Michelle’s brother Mike was following in fourth, but dropped down after incurring a drive-through for causing a collision. For most of the race the leading trio delivered an entertaining fight, but the most bizarre incident happened in the dying minutes. After briefly snatching the lead, Engstler mistakenly celebrated finishing second one lap too soon by weaving from side to side and was passed by Michelle Halder. She then held Engstler’s Volkswagen at bay for the final lap and claimed second behind Fulín. Since the Czech driver was ineligible to score, Halder took maximum points as well as winning the prize for the Rookie trophy.
The championship classification is still topped by Proczyk with 118 points, ahead of Engstler 110 and Langeveld 100.
The series will race again at Red Bull Ring on 9/10 June.


Pirelli World Challenge @ VIR
Eversley takes the lead in the standings

Ryan Eversley scored his and Honda’s maiden victory in the TCR category at the Virginia International Raceway that hosted the third and fourth rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge.
Eversley drove his Civic FK7 to a lights-to-flag victory in Race 1; for most of the race Mark Wilkins threatened Eversley’s leadership, but his hopes vanished when his Hyundai i30 N retired with a broken halfshaft. With Eversley in command, the drive of the race came from Wilkins’ teammate Michael Lewis. Starting from the back after Qualifying was cut short by a red flag, Lewis carved his way through the field and inherited the second place following Wilkins’ retirement.
The Hyundai men were set for a 1-2 finish in Race 2, with Lewis leading from Wilkins, while Eversley had dropped from third after a contact. However, halfway through the race Lewis retired with a broken halfshaft. Wilkins sailed to his second win of the season and Eversley recovered to finish second. Canada’s Jérimy Daniel completed the podium in both races at the wheel of his Audi RS3 LMS.
These results meant that Eversley took the lead in the standings with 91 points, eight clear of Wilikins; Lewis lies in third position 19 points off the leader and Daniel is fourth one further point adrift.
The next event will be in Lime Rock Park, Connecticut on May 25th/26th.


Super Taikyu @ Sugo
Modulo Racing DOME wins again

The #97 Honda Civic Type R run by Modulo Racing DOME scored a second consecutive victory in the Super Taikyu TCR Class in the 3 Hours of Sugo.
The sister #98 Civic driven by Iida, Hiroki Kato and Takahashi set pole position and throughout the whole race the two Honda cars had a close fight with a bunch of Audis.
Tadao Uematsu, Shinji Nakano and Hiroki Otsu drove the #97 Civic to win with a 15-second margin ahead of the BRP Audi RS3 LMS shared by ‘Hirobon’, Matsumoto, Akiyoshi and Okumura; Imamura, Masanobu Kato and Kokuzawa completed the podium one lap behind in the L&JR Mars Audi.
The series' third round will be the 24 Hours of Fuji 1/3 June.


The TCR events of the week

4 / 5 May - TCR Scandinavia, Rounds 1 & 2 @ Knutstorp, Sweden
4 / 5 May - IMSA Continental Challenge, Round 3 @ Mid Ohio, USA
5 May - Endurance Champions Cup, Round 2 @ Mugello, Italy
4 / 6 May - TCR Europe, Rounds 1 & 2 @ Le Castellet, France
4 / 6 May - TCR Russia, Rounds 3 & 4 @ Smolensk Ring, Russia

Live streaming at and

Saturday: TCR Russia, Race 1 - 11:45 local (10:45 CET)
Saturday: TCR Scandinavia, Race 1 - 13:10 CET
Saturday: TCR Europe, Race 1 - 14:40 CET
Saturday: TCR Scandinavia, Race 2 - 15:30 CET
Sunday: TCR Russia, Race 2 - 11:4 local (10:40 CET)
Sunday: TCR Europe, Race 2 - 15:50 CET

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