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Quinta, 07 Junho 2018 08:12 | Actualizado em Quarta, 12 Agosto 2020 22:08

TCR Europe
The Belgian squad heads to Spa with ambitions

The TCR Europe Series resumes at Spa-Francorchamps for its third event of the season that also counts as the second event of TCR Benelux.
The event sees the reappearance of two leading actors who were forced to miss the previous race meeting at Zandvoort: Jean-Karl Vernay in the Leopard Lukoil Team Audi RS3 LMS and Stefano Comini who has switched to a new Honda Civic FK7 that will be run by Autodis Racing with THX.
Vernay, who was replaced by Jaap van Lagen in the Netherlands, aims for his first victory in the series on a track that is home for his team and one that he loves; in fact he has already won there twice; in the 2016 and 2017 TCR International Series.
Comini, after appearing at Le Castellet in the Top Run-built Subaru WRX STI, has taken his time to put together a more competitive programme with the new Honda. He too has won at Spa, in last year's TCR International Series.
Thai driver Munkong Sathienthirakul will make his first appearance in TCR Europe at Spa; he will be driving a Cupra TCR run by the experienced Spanish outfit Monlau Competición. He is currently competing in the Super 2000 class of the Thailand Super Series, a category in which he was crowned champion in 2015, but has already driven TCR cars several times, claiming one race victory in the 2015 TCR Thailand series and making a few appearances in the TCR International Series.
Spa will also offer the opportunity to local teams and drivers to shine. Both WRT and THX that run Vernay's Audi and Comini's Honda are eager to win, not to mention the all-Belgian pairing of Maxime Potty and Cometoyou Racing. 18-year-old Potty is from Hamoir, only 40 kilometres away of Francorchamps and knows the track like the back of his hand; and on top of this he comes to Spa from scoring his first points in the series at Zandvoort.
They all have to face competition from the two best drivers so far: Dušan Borković and Mikel Azcona. The Serbian dominated the opening event at Le Castellet, winning both races in the Target Competition Hyundai i30 N, while the young Spaniard claimed his first victory in Zandvoort's Race 1 with the PCR Sport Cupra; they are jointly on top of the standings with 66 points. 


Track time at Spa
Friday, 8 June - 10:45, Free Practice 1 (30 min.)
Friday, 8 June - 16:35, Free Practice 2 (30 min.)
Saturday, 9 June - 10:55, Qualifying (Q1 20 min. + Q2 10 min.)
Saturday, 9 June - 17:20, Race 1 (23 min. + 1 lap)
Sunday, 10 June - 11:20, Race 2 (23 min. + 1 lap)

All time local - GMT +2




TCR Russia @ Nizhniy Novgorod
The classification was reshuffled at NRing

The third event of TCR Russia at Nizhniy Novgorod’s NRing resulted in a reshuffle of the championship standings.
Aleksey Dudukalo and Roman Golikov - first and second before the race meeting - had a black weekend and dropped to eighth and seventh in the classification.
Dmitri Bragin and Ivan Lukashevich shared race victories; while Lukoil Racing’s young recruit celebrated his maiden win in TCR, Bragin became the new leader in the standings, in the running for a third consecutive title.
The first race started without Mikhail Grachev and Dudukalo who had qualified second and third but eliminated each other in a collision during the formation lap. Dudukalo was sidelined for good, while Grachev started from the pit lane and eventually finished 11th.
For the whole race Bragin resisted the assaults of the other LADA Sport drivers, Vladimir Sheshenin and Kirill Ladygin, maintaining a half-a-second gap that prevented the duo from attempting an overtaking manoeuvre.
In Race 2, Lukashevich started well from second on the reverse grid ahead of pole sitter Lev Tolkachev. He created a small gap from Tolkachev, while behind them there was a furious battle for third that involved the LADA Vesta cars of Sheshenin and Ladygin and the Audi cars of Klim Gavrilov, Bragin and Irek Minnakhmetov. Grachev joined the group that delivered thrilling fights with plenty of overtaking manoeuvres and contacts. Gavrilov moved to third and closed in on Tolkachev, but could not find a way to pass him; Grachev climbed to fifth, between his teammates Sheshenin and Ladygin; Bragin settled for seventh and Dudukalo dropped out of the points after pitting twice with a flat tyre.
The fight for the title is wide open: Bragin leads with 87 points from Ladygin (82) and Lukashevich (80); Gavrilov and Sheshenin follow on equal points (77) with Grachev (73) and Tolkachev (70) behind them.
TCR Russia will resume at Kazan Ring on 21/22 July.

Photos: G. Golyshev / E. Sharapova / Lukoil Racing


TCR Asia & TCR Thailand @ Buriram
Team Engstler’s double triumph

Liqui Moly Team Engstler is firmly in control of the TCR Asia series. The German team’s Volkswagen Golf GTI cars have won all four races held so far and its drivers – Mitchell Cheah, Luca Engstler and Diego Moran – occupy the first three spots in the standings.
However, it is quite surprising that the leader is Cheah, the youngest of the trio and a rookie in Touring Cars. The Malaysian youngster has claimed two race wins against one each for Engstler and Moran, and he could have had an even larger advantage without a pit stop to change the front tyres in Buriram’s Race 2 while he was third.
A punctured tyre two laps before the end deprived Engstler of victory in Race 1 at the Chang International Circuit. After having fought for second place, Cheah and Moran finished first and second split by one tenth of a second. Pattarapol Vongprai completed the podium and won the TCR Thailand ahead of Lo Sze Ho (third in TCR Asia). Chariya Nuya and Jakraphan Davee were second and third in TCR Thailand.
The Liqui Moly Team Engstler cars finished 1-2 once again in a lively Race 2 that saw Cheah, Moran and Engstler starting from eighth, ninth and tenth on the reverse grid and elbowing their way up to the front. The early stages saw Nuya leading from fellow Thai competitors Vongprai and Davee. Moran took the lead on lap 4, Engstler moved up to second on lap 6 and Cheah climbed to third on lap 7.
Engstler closed the gap on Moran, but the Ecuadorian was able to keep him at bay until end. Behind them, Cheah pitted on lap 12 and the fight for third overall and first in TCR Thailand was won by Nuya ahead of Vongprai and Davee. Kelvin Wong, seventh, completed the TCR Asia podium.
Cheah remains the leader of the TCR Asia standings with 83 points, but Engstler has reduced his gap to 15 points; Moran has climbed to third a further ten points adrift.
The TCR Thailand classification is led by Vongprai with 83 points, only four clear of Nuya and 16 ahead of Davee.
The two series will race together again at Bangsaen on Juy 14th and 15th.

Photos: TCR Asia / Racing Spirit


TCR UK @ Brands Hatch
Daniel Lloyd's winning streak never ends

Three pole positions and six race wins means that Daniel Lloyd has left only crumbs to the rest of the TCR UK field. After three events out of seven the WestCoast Racing driver has staked a claim on the inaugural TCR UK title.
And yet, competition has always been fierce and Lloyd had to throw himself heart and soul into the battle to prevail; the two races in Brands Hatch were no exception.
Lloyd claimed a first victory after recovering to edge out a fast-starting Ollie Taylor. After contact with Lewis Kent on the opening lap, Lloyd chased the leader until he was able to pass Taylor at Clearways. Afterwards he extend the gap, while Taylor Kent finished in second and third. This was the first podium result for Kent and his Hyundai i30 N.
Lloyd started Race 2 from the fifth row of the reverse grid, but made a strong start and cut through the field, eventually besting a stoic defence from the Cupra of Carl Swift into Graham Hill Bend.
Teammate Jessica Bäckman followed Lloyd through to claim her first podium in the championship, while Howard Fuller emerged on top of a duel for the final spot on the rostrum with Stewart Lines. Swift drove valiantly but was unfortunate to pull off at Surtees in the closing stages with a suspected front-right suspension problem.
Alex Morgan made a one-off appearance in the Wolf-Power Racing Renault Mégane TCR, but the French car was dogged by technical issues in both races.
Lloyd’s tally in the standings went up to 273 points against Taylor’s 174; the Bäckmans follow with Andreas and Jessica split by just three points, 143 to 140.
The TCR UK championship will be back in action at Castle Combe on 14/15 July.

Photos: TCR UK-PSP Images


Super Taikyu @ Fuji
Audi claims maiden victory in the TCR class

The Audi Team DreamDrive won the TCR class in the Fuji 24 hours, third round of the Super Taikyu series; it was the maiden victory in the series for the Audi RS3 LMS car.
The #75 Audi started from the back of the grid, but maintained a consistent pace throughout the whole race and took the lead in the 17th hour; Toshiro Tsukada, Yoshikazu Sobu, Yuji Kiyotaki, Kazuyuki Matsumoto, Yukihiro Yamaji and Tadashi Watanabe took turns at the wheel and built a comfortable margin. At the end of the race their advantage was 22 laps ahead of the #97 Modulo Racing Honda Civic of Uematsu, Nakano, Otsu, Kobayashi and Ishikawa. The Civic had led until the 16th hour before dropping down after losing 25 laps in the pit because of a broken wheel.
The #10 Volkswagen Golf GTI of Racingline Performance (Devesa, Mitsuyama, Endo, Wakisaka) had set the pace in the first half of the race, but retired from the lead in the 11th hour after an incident. Third place went to the BRP Audi #19 (‘Hirobon’, ‘Yossy’, Akiyoshi, Okumura, Yamawaki, Komiya).
In the TCR Class standings, the #97 Honda retains the lead with 87 points; the Team DreamDrive Audi cars #45 and #75 lie second and third, with 53 and 52 points.
The Super Taikyu will race again at Autopolis on 14/15 July.

Photo: Super Taikyu


José Rodrigues joins for his home event

José Rodrigues will be the second guest driver in the FIA WTCR event at Vila Real, Portugal, alongside his fellow countryman Edgar Florindo. Rodrigues is no stranger to the street track, where he won a TCR Portugal race in 2016.
“Since I was a child, it was a dream to race in an FIA world-level event so I'm really proud. It is the result of many years of efforts and also the passion of those who have always supported me,” said Rodrigues who will be driving the same Honda Civic FK2 TCR car run by Target Competition that he uses in this year’s TCR Italy.

Photo: ACI Sport-Photo 4


TCR Germany
Proczyk defends his lead on home track

The ADAC TCR Germany's third event takes places this weekend in Austria, at the Red Bull Ring, where the local fans will cheer for Harald Proczyk.
Born in Knittelfeld, less than ten kilometres from the track, Proczyk is currently leading the championship in his HP Racing International Opel Astra with 118 points.
His closest competitors are Luca Engstler (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTI) with 110 pts, Niels Langeveld (Racing One Audi RS3 LMS) with 100 and Mike Halder (Fugel Motorsport Honda Civic) with 82.
Another driver to watch is Proczyk's fellow countryman Simon Reicher (YACO Racing Audi RS3 LMS) who lies fifth in the standings and will try to benefit from racing on home soil to close the gap from the leaders.

Photo: ADAC Motorsport


The TCR events of the week

8 / 10 June - TCR Europe, Rounds 5 & 6 @ Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
8 / 10 June - TCR Germany, Rounds 5 & 6 @ Red Bull Ring, Austria
9 / 10 June - Campeonato España Resistencia, Round 3 @ Navarra, Spain

Live streaming at and

Saturday: TCR Germany, Race 1 - 11:55 (CET)
Saturday: TCR Europe & TCR Benelux, Race 1 - 17:20 (CET)
Sunday: TCR Europe & TCR Benelux, Race 2 - 11:20 (CET)
Sunday: TCR Germany, Race 2 - 14:45 (CET)


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