Björk and Pauwels are victorious in Hungaroring Race 2

Björk and Pauwels are victorious in Hungaroring Race 2

Thed Björk took his first victory in the KUMHO TCR World Tour when the Cyan Racing Lynk & Co driver won Race 2 at the Hungaroring, the eighth round of the series. In TCR Europe, the maximum 40 points went to Comtoyou Racing’s Kobe Pauwels for the second time this weekend with the TCR Europe podium a repeat of the top three in yesterday’s Race 1.


Björk made a better start from second on the grid than pole-sitter Dušan Borković and it was the Lynk & Co 03 that led going into the first turn. The Audi Sport Team Comtoyou RS 3 LMS of Frédéric Vervisch then went around the outside of Borković’s Target Competition Hyundai through Turn 1 to move into second place, but coming out of the corner there was contact between Santiago Urrutia and Borković that sent the Serbian driver into Norbert Michelisz, who spun and collided with Viktor Davidovski and Levente Losonczy. While Borković dropped to P18 and continued, both Michelisz and Losonczy limped around to the pits. Davidovski wasn’t so lucky and the wrecked Audi was stranded on track, which prompted the Safety Car to be deployed until the car and the debris could be cleared.


Racing resumed on Lap 5, with Michelisz having visited the pits and rejoining for one lap during the Safety Car period, but the damage to the left rear of the car still wasn’t repaired and so the local hero had to pit again after just one lap. He was able to rejoin again and eventually finished the race in last place.


After the restart, Rob Huff passed Mikel Azcona for fourth place on Lap 5 and then grabbed third from Urrutia on the next lap. Urrutia, however, had been given a drive-through penalty for causing the incident on the opening lap and duly served his penalty at the end of Lap 6. By then, Huff had moved up into second position after a well-timed move on his teammate Vervisch. Borković, meanwhile, was now in fourteenth place after passing Mikael Karlsson. Urrutia would subsequently receive a second drive-through for another incident later in the race, which was converted to a forty second time penalty.


Just as in Saturday’s race, the leading TCR Europe driver was Kobe Pauwels in seventh place overall, but behind the young Belgian driver a battle was raging for P8, with Kevin Ceccon attacking Viktor Andersson on Lap 8 with Tom Coronel close behind the pair. On Lap 9, Coronel passed Ceccon for P9 while Andersson was given a five-second penalty for repeatedly infringing track limits.


Another battle was developing for the final overall podium place, with Vervisch now coming under attack from Mikel Azcona but Néstor Girolami and Race 1 winner Yann Ehrlacher were also close behind. That four-way scrap would last until the very end of the race, with slight contacts between Azcona and Vervisch and Girolami and Azcona on Lap 12. Mikael Karlsson and John Filippi were fighting for P14 overall and P6 in TCR Europe with Andersson having dropped to fifth thanks to his penalty.  


Coronel allowed Ma Qing Hua to pass for P9 overall on the final lap as there was no benefit in fighting with the KUMHO TCR World Tour competitor, but there were no further changes in position. Björk therefore took his maiden victory in the World Tour, giving Cyan Racing Lynk & Co its second win of the weekend. Huff and Vervisch were second and third for Audi Sport Team Comtoyou.


Pauwels continued his impressive Rookie TCR Europe season by once again taking the maximum 40 points for the win ahead of his Comtoyou Racing teammate Coronel while Kevin Ceccon again finished on the podium in his first TCR Europe event for Aggressive Team Italia. Behind those three, Borković recovered from the Lap 1 incident to finish fourth ahead of Andersson.


In the TCR Europe Drivers’ Championship, Coronel has increased his lead over John Filippi to 44 points with Pauwels now having closed to within just 6 points of Filippi. Borković is still fourth, but Davidovski’s DNF means that sixth-placed Lewis Brown is now only 14 points behind the Macedonian driver.


Thed Björk (race winner): “You know it feels so good to have a victory in this Kumho TCR World Tour, everybody else has been picking them off and now I’ve got one, so it feels fantastic. You know, in the TCR world victory is difficult, but it was a good start and good pace from me, so I’m really happy. It was a tough race behind me, a lot of things going off so I’m looking forward to going and watching it. I just met Dusan this year, I haven’t raced him much, but I know he’s a really tough competitor. My plan was to get a good start and get the position, he’s a good driver so he knows how to behave, we both wanted the first corner but that was the winning strategy for me.”


Race 2 result

1. Thed Björk (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03)  15 laps

2. Rob Huff (Audi Sport Team Comtoyou, Audi RS 3 LMS)  +1.536

3. Frédéric Vervisch (Audi Sport Team Comtoyou, Audi RS 3 LMS) +7.683

4. Mikel Azcona (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N)  +7.959

5. Néstor Girolami (ALM Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R FL5)  +8.560


TCR Europe result

1. Kobe Pauwels (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS) 15 laps

2. Tom Coronel (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)  +5.078

3. Kevin Ceccon (Aggressive Team Italia, Hyundai Elantra N)  +7.927

4. Dušan Borković (Target Competition, Hyundai Elantra N)  +8.473

5. Viktor Andersson (MA:GP, Lynk & Co 03)  +9.065


TCR Europe Drivers’ Championship points

1. Tom Coronel 293pts; 2. John Filippi 249pts; 3. Kobe Pauwels 243pts; 4. Dušan Borkovič 190pts; 5. Viktor Davidovski 159pts.


The next TCR Europe event will be at the Circuit Paul Ricard at Le Castellet in France over the weekend of July 21st – 23rd.


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