It will be a four-way fight for the TCR Europe Series Drivers’ title, as the battle will be decided in tomorrow’s Race 2.
Mikel Azcona is still the leader of the pack, but Dušan Borković, Jean-Karl Vernay and Attila Tassi have managed to keep themselves in contention with some remarkable exploits in today’s Race 1.
Tassi took an authoritative lights-to-flag victory, the second for him in the season, as he sprinted from pole position and bid farewell to the rest of the pack, while Files protected his back.
Borković knew he had to stay ahead of Azcona to keep his hopes alive and overtook him at the start; then put the pressure on Files until the Englishman’s pace faded because of a tyre issue, which promoted the Serbian to second.
Vernay was able to recover from 13th on the grid despite driving the heaviest car of the pack and finished sixth.
As for Azcona, he gave away a couple of places in the final laps in order to avoid the lesser risk; an eighth place in Race 2 will be enough for him to be crowned champion.
The battle for the Teams’ title is even hotter, with Hell Energy Racing with KCMG leading Target Competition by just three points.
The second race will start tomorrow at 15:55 with an all-German front row on the top-ten reverse grid: Peter Terting’s Hyundai on pole and Mike Halder’s Honda alongside.
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Grid – Abreu is dropped from 19th to 29th for having received three reprimands during the season
Start – Tassi sprints from the pole ahead of Files, Borković and Azcona who keeps Michelisz and Sutton at bay
Lap 1 – Miljković’s Cupra stops at the end of the pit straight and the safety car is deployed
Lap 2 – Abreu retires in the pit with technical issues
Lap 4 – the race resumes; Potty drops from 14th to 18th after driving wide at the last turn
Lap 5 – Vernay overtakes Nagy for 7th; Kroes stops after an incident; Comini retires with a broken front splitter
Lap 6 – Paulsen and Berthon make contact while fighting for 13th, the latter pits and retires
Lap 7 – Briché overtakes Halder for 10th; the latter retires with a flat front tyre
Lap 8 – Tassi pulls away, while Files tries to defend the second position from Borković; Azcona keeps third place that would give him the title but is under pressure from Michelisz and Sutton
Lap 9 – Files is in trouble with the front left tyre, he opens the door and drops by six positions altogether; Borković moves up to second ahead of Azcona, Michelisz, Sutton and Vernay
Lap 10 – Michelisz and Sutton overtake Azcona who drops to fifth ahead of Vernay
Lap 11 – Files pits and retires with a flat front tyre
Lap 12 – Tassi wins from Borković, Michelisz, Sutton, Azcona and Vernay