As it was expected following his dominating performance in Practice and Qualifying, Jean-Karl Vernay won the first of the TCR Europe races at Monza. The Frenchman was forced to chase Mikel Azcona during the first five laps, after the young Spaniard had taken a better start.
However after he managed to pass Azcona, Vernay had no further problems in controlling the race and claimed his second win of the season; as for his rival, he was quite happy to settle in a second position that helped him to stretch his leading margin in the standings to ten points over Dušan Borković who finished fifth behind Josh Files and Maxime Potty.
The victory also relaunched Vernay’s hopes in the title fight, in fact the Frenchman has moved up to third, 24 points behind the leader and ten over Dániel Nagy who retired after an incident on the opening lap.
As usual, Touring Car racing at Monza provides a lot of contacts and clashes. This race wasn’t an exception and a few incidents are under investigations: Giovanardi-Møller, Potty-Borković, Richard-Abreu and Barberini-Sapag.
Race 2 will start tomorrow at 12:10, with Francisco Abreu and Benjamin Lessennessharing the front row of the top-ten reverse grid.
Live streaming at www.tcr-series.comand www.tcr-series.tv.
Start – Azcona sprints to the inside of Vernay and takes the lead from Tassi, Vernay, Files and Potty
Lap 1 – Vernay overtakes Tassi for second; Files overtakes Tassi for third; Tavano goes off at the first chicane; Nagy drives wide at Lesmo 2 and retires; Lessennes crashes at the Parabolica
Lap 2 – the safety car is deployed
Lap 4 – the race resumes; Møller overtakes Baldan for 8th; Terting overtakes Baldan for 9th; Paulsen overtakes Giovanardi for 11th; Abreu overtakes Giovanardi and Baldan in one move at the Parabolica
Lap 5 – Vernay overtakes Azcona for the lead at T1; Abreu cuts the first chicane after clashing with Giovanardi; Potty overtakes Tassi for fourth; Paulsen overtakes Møller for 9th
Lap 6 – Borković overtakes Tassi for fifth; Barberini and Sapag make contact and stop in the gravel
Lap 7 – the safety car is deployed once again
Lap 9 – racing resumes with less than four minutes to go; Abreu and Giovanardi clash door-to-door at T1; Comini, Terting and Paulsen fight for 7th
Lap 10 – Terting goes straight at T1 and loses 9th to Paulsen, but the latter goes wide at Lesmo; Giovanardi benefits from the situation and overtakes Møller for 8th; Richard and Abreu make contact at the first chicane
Lap 11 – Vernay wins from Azcona, Files, Potty, Borković, Tassi and Comini