Mission accomplished! At the end of a nearly spotless season in which Mikel Azcona asserted himself as a fast and consistent driver, the young Spaniard has grabbed the TCR Europe Series title. An exploit that is even more impressive considering that both, the 22-year-old driver and the PCR Sport team were facing their maiden international season.
Today, Azcona was entirely focused on the title and let the others fight for the positions. Eventually he drove his Cupra safe to the end in eighth place, right behind Jean-Karl Vernay, the only title contender survived who finished runner up in the standings.
The others – Dušan Borković and Attila Tassi – had been eliminated during the first lap in an incident that is currently investigated by the Stewards.
With the title fight being decided by the placing, other drivers had an opportunity to shine.
Series newcomers Mike Halder and Ashley Sutton proved they have a place amongst the top-runners in TCR Europe. Halder, a title contender in TCR Germany, had been hired by the Hell Energy Racing with KCMG to help the team clinching the Teams’ title, and he successfully performed his duty driving his Honda Civic to a lights-to-flag victory that was worth the points needed to clinch the title. Sutton, a former BTCC champion and TCR UK race winner, conquered a well-deserved podium by finishing third, sandwiched between M1RA teammates Dániel Nagy and Norbert Michelisz.
Start – Halder pips pole sitter Terting at the start and leads the field into Turn 1
Lap 1 – Borković and Tassi collide, the Hungarian’s Honda spins off and stops onto the gravel; at the back of the field a collision eliminates Sathienthirakul, Berthon and Gavrilov
Lap 2 – the safety car is deployed; Borković pits and retires; the surviving title contenders are 7th (Azcona) and 8th (Vernay)
Lap 5 – racing resumes; Sutto overtakes Terting for 3rd; Paulsen overtakes Abreu for 10th
Lap 6 – Terting defends fourth place from Michelisz, but the Hungarian manages to go through; Barr overtakes Andreas Bäckman for 12th
Lap 7 – Sutton is chasing second-placed Nagy; Barr overtakes Abreu for 11th
Lap 8 – Vernay and Briché overtake Azcona who drops to ninth
Lap 9 – Navarro goes off onto the gravel
Lap 10 – Briché retires from eighth
Lap 11 – Halder is closely chased by Nagy, Sutton and Michelisz; Terting defends the fifth position from Files and Vernay
Lap 12 – Halder wins from Nagy and Sutton; Azcona finished eighth and grabs the title