Kris Richard joined the club of 2018 TCR Europe race winners after taking a closely-fought victory in today’s Race 2 at Spa-Francorchamps. The Swiss driver of Target Competition took the lead during the first lap, but then had to work to defend the position, first from Josh Files (who was later stopped by an electrical problem) and then from Julien Briché, who attacked the Hyundai relentlessly at the wheel of the JSB Compétition Peugeot 308. Just as in Race 1, the Frenchman rose to the occasion and was part of some great duels. Local hero Maxime Potty (Comtoyou Volkswagen Golf) visited the podium for a second time this weekend, taking third ahead of a very clever Mikel Azcona (PCR Sport Cupra), who further extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings, as Duśan Borković (Target Competition Hyundai) could finish no higher than 7th. Jean-Karl Vernay (Leopard Lukoil Team Audi) was a victim of some fierce battling in the closing laps when he was fighting for a podium position, while the Honda cars endured a difficult Sunday; both Stefano Comini (before the start) and Josh Files (after the safety car period) were halted by electronic bugs and Attila Tassi was sidelined by a puncture.
Giovanni Altoè encored his yesterday win in the DSG Trophy, while Briché collected the TCR Benelux Trophy.
In the championship standings, Azcona has increased his tally to 95 points, 11 clear of Borković; Vernay lies third with a gap of 39 points, while Dániel Nagy is fourth a further two points adrift.
The series will resume at the Hungaroring in the first weekend of July.
Grid – Comini has some issue and seems like heading towards the pits at the end of the formation lap, but then rejoins the grid
Start – Barr (on pole position) and Richard keep the advantage at the start; Comini from the second row pulls to the side as the engine went into safe mode
Lap 1 – Richard passes Barr before Les Combes, where there is some turmoil in the middle of the field; at the end of the lap, Richards leads from Files, Paulsen, Potty, Azcona, Barr and Briché; Borković loses positions after being pushed by Kroes
Lap 2 – Paulsen loses positions and drops behind Potty, Vernay and Briché; Vernay goes wide at the Bus Stop and is passed by Briché
Lap 3 – Vernay is again in trouble at the Bus Stop but rejoins the track ahead of Briché
Lap 4 – Briché passes Vernay for fourth with a well-timed attack at Les Combes, then they both overtake Potty; the safety car comes out at the end of the lap to allow the recovery of Tassi’s car, which is stranded off-track in Turn 7 after a puncture
Lap 7 – At the restart, Richard keeps the advantage, while Files slows down and pits with an electrical issue; Briché is second ahead of Vernay, Potty, Azcona, Paulsen and Borković; Richard, Briché and Vernay are in a close fight for victory, with Potty immediately behind; at the Bus Stop Vernay tries to overtake Briché, they make contact and Vernay retires with a broken suspension
Lap 8 – Richard and Briché get abreast at Les Combes, the Frenchman passes but there is a contact, which sends the Peugeot straight on at the chicane; Briché rejoins without losing P2
Lap 9 – Richard and Briché keep on fighting at Le Combes, but the Swiss driver retains the lead; Potty is third ahead of Azcona, Paulsen, Nagy and Borković; Cencetti stops right before the finish line after a contact with Møller