John Filippi wins Race 2 in Spa-Francorchamps

John Filippi wins Race 2 in Spa-Francorchamps

John Filippi made a little piece of TCR history when he won Race 2 at Spa-Francorchamps, becoming the first TCR Europe competitor to win a round of the KUMHO TCR World Tour. Tom Coronel and Felipe Fernández completed the TCR Europe podium as they finished third and sixth overall, with KUMHO TCR World Tour's Norbert Michelisz in second overall. 


Filippi’s Comtoyou Audi RS 3 LMS started from pole on the reversed grid and was first to Turn 1 at La Source. Felipe Fernández started alongside Filippi and was still in second place through the hairpin, but he was passed by Michelisz going down the hill towards Eau Rouge and then overtaken by Coronel for third place at Les Combes. Also on the opening lap, there was contact involving Ma Qing Hua, Néstor Girolami and Frédéric Vervisch that saw Vervisch drop to P19 as a result.


On Lap 2, Santiago Urrutia passed Fernández for P4 going into Les Combes and on the following lap the Spanish driver started to come under attack from Coronel’s young teammate Kobe Pauwels. Race 1 winner Yann Ehrlacher had climbed to P7 after passing Rob Huff while Mikel Azcona passed Ma Qing Hua for P10. Ma was then also passed by his Cyan Racing teammate Thed Björk on Lap 4.


By now, there were two separate battles developing inside the top ten, with a three-way scrap between Michelisz, Coronel and Urrutia for P2-4 and a five-way fight for P8-12. On Lap 5, Pauwels pulled onto the grass going down the hill towards Eau Rouge and retired from sixth place while on the same lap, the Honda Civic Type R FL5 of Néstor Girolami passed Rob Huff’s Audi, with Huff later revealing that he’d been struggling with a broken damper throughout the entire race.


On Lap 6, Azcona was alongside Huff going through the hairpin at La Source and although Huff held onto the position, Azcona’s Hyundai would finally pass the Audi for P8 at the same place on the next lap. Vervisch had passed Davidovski but was told by the Race Director to give the position back, while at the end of Lap 6, Urrutia was alongside Coronel going into the Bus Stop but he forced Coronel to cut the final corner and so the Dutch driver held onto third place.


On the final lap, there was contact between Lewis Brown’s Volcano Motorsport Audi and the Lynk & Co 03 of Ma Qing Hua, with both Brown and his teammate Isaac Smith passing Ma for P11 and P12 respectively. The result meant Smith finished as the best Rookie driver and so took maximum points in the category.


Despite pressure from Michelisz throughout almost the entire race, John Filippi held the Hungarian driver at bay to record a lights-to-flag victory by a margin of just over 1.6 seconds. Michelisz later admitted that the slipstream tow he’d received from Filippi had helped him to keep Coronel at bay. Behind the podium places, Cyan Racing Lynk & Co teammates Urrutia and Ehrlacher rounded off the top five.


In the TCR Europe Drivers’ Championship, Coronel still leads but Filippi has closed the gap to 16 points, with Pauwels now 43 points behind in third place. Comtoyou Racing and Comtoyou are still first and second in the Teams’ standings while Pauwels’ DNF means Isaac Smith has retaken the lead in the Rookies’ championship. Coronel, meanwhile, has extended his lead in the Diamond Trophy with another maximum points score.


Race 2 result

1. John Filippi (Comtoyou, Audi RS 3 LMS) 8 laps

2. Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N)  +1.636

3. Tom Coronel (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS) +2.743

4. Santiago Urrutia (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03)  +3.288

5. Yann Ehrlacher (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03)  +3.745


TCR Europe result

1. John Filippi (Comtoyou, Audi RS 3 LMS) 8 laps

2. Tom Coronel (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)  +2.743

3. Felipe Fernández (RC2 Racing Team, Audi RS 3 LMS)  +6.318

4. Lewis Brown (Volcano Motorsport, Audi RS 3 LMS)  +19.117

5. Isaac Smith (Volcano Motorsport, Audi RS 3 LMS)  +19.919


TCR Europe Drivers’ Championship points

1. Tom Coronel 218pts; 2. John Filippi 202pts; 3. Kobe Pauwels 159pts; 4. Dušan Borkovič 135pts; 5. Viktor Davidovski 131pts.


The next TCR Europe event will be at the Hungaroring at Budapest in Hungary over the weekend of June 16th - 18th.


TCR Euro Series
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TCR Euro Series:

Mark James, Press Officer: tel. +44 7973 751660,