Dušan Borković encored his yesterday’s win thank to a perfect overtaking manoeuvre on Jean-Karl Vernay during the final lap of the second race at Le Castellet.
An intermittent rain began to fall just while the cars – all on slicks – reached the starting grid and intensified during the first laps, which resulted in a number of drivers spinning or running wide. In these tricky conditions two drivers were in a league of their own: Vernay and Stefano Comini. The Frenchman performed an impeccable drive and took the lead during the first lap; as for Comini he put in a great show at the wheel of his Subaru, elbowing his way through the field from 25th on the grid to fifth.
Proceedings were disrupted when Igor Stefanovski crashed heavily, prompting first the safety car and then the red flag.
Before action resumed, a few drivers, including Josh Files and Kris Richard elected to change to rain tyres; the bet didn’t pay off as the rain stopped and the racing lines began to dry. Vernay tried his best to maintain the lead, but couldn’t prevent Borković from passing on the final lap. Dániel Nagy finished on the podium once again, third, inches ahead of Francisco Mora. Comini dropped to tenth with the consolation of the last spot into the points behind a group of survivors who filled the places between fifth and ninth: Mikel Azcona (third yesterday), Attila Tassi, Jens Reno Møller (who started from pole), Danny Kroes and Loris Cencetti.
With two victories in the opening event, Borković has already built a gap in the standings, scoring 55 points against Nagy’s 36, Azcona’s 29 and Vernay’s 26.
The TCR Europe Series’s second event will be held at Circuit Zandvoort, Netherlands, on 19/21 May.
Start – Møller makes a perfect start and retains the lead, with Files taking third from Richard to the outside of Turn 1
Lap 1 – Mora runs wide and Vernay passes him and Files; Paulsen goes off the track limits, as does Richard in the tricky conditions; Vernay seizes the lead from Møller.
Lap 2 – A spin from Files drops him back to P13; Mora half-spins at Turn 1 and Møller loses three positions in quick succession; Borković moves through the action into second
Lap 3 – The safety car is deployed after Stefanovski crashes into tyre barrier
Lap 4 – The race is red flagged with the top ten: Vernay, Borković, Nagy, Azcona, Møller, Comini, Potty, Mora, Richard and Tassi
Lap 5 – After a 20 minute delay, Vernay makes a textbook restart and keeps the lead, but is forced on the defensive by Borković; Comini and Møller run wide debating 7th
Lap 6 – Piro stops out on circuit; Paulsen is also forced to pit; Nagy and Azcona apply the pressure on Borković
Lap 7 – Barr and Baldan make contact and retire into the pits; Azcona runs and falls to 5th behind Mora.
Lap 8 – The top five cars are now split by just 1.7 seconds and running together
Lap 9 – In a dramatic final lap Borković takes the lead from Vernay, with Nagy, Mora, Azcona, Tassi, Møller, Kroes, Cencetti and Comini rounding out the top ten