Franco Girolami hails “amazing car” as he romps to victory at Vallelunga

Franco Girolami hails “amazing car” as he romps to victory at Vallelunga

Franco Girolami has congratulated his new race team and his brand-new CUPRA Leon VZ TCR at Vallelunga, where the returning 2022 champion scored victory from pole, holding back the rival CUPRA of Aurélien Comte to the finish on a drying circuit.


“I’m so happy, and congratulations to Monlau Motorsport and to CUPRA for giving me this amazing car,” said Girolami. “We had an amazing start. I was a little bit afraid because of the damp, but I had good launch and then just tried to understand the track because it was a little bit tricky. It may have looked easy off the track, but inside the car, it was difficult in the esses and in the last corner and Turn 2, but anyway did an amazing job and have taken the points for the championship.”


Comte’s CUPRA closed up on Girolami at the end of the first lap, before the Argentinian was able to pull away and manage the gap to the end.


“On the first lap it looked like he pushed a little bit more than me. Then when I understood the track I started to push, and I could get a second and a half distance and kept it to the race.


“(Starting P10) tomorrow won’t be easy, but we’re prepared for that. We have a good car, we’ll work on the set-up,and let’s see – what’s important is to continue scoring points.”


Finishing on the podium and scoring the rookie classification victory on his TCR Europe debut was Ignacio Montenegro, with the ALM Motorsport driver recovering after a slow launch from second on the grid.


“The most important thing was the start, and we didn’t do a good one,” said Montenegro. “I was trying to be safe and not stall the car, as it was my first time with the new Honda with its new launch controls, but I got a lot of wheelspin at the beginning and Comte and (Nicola) Baldan passed me very easily.


“After that it was a very normal race, I couldn’t have the same pace as Franco (Girolami) at the front, but it’s only our first race though it’s not a very long championship.


“For tomorrow’s reversed grid, we’ll need to improve the car and work on the set-up, we need to have a good meeting with the engineer and team manager and work out from this race what we can do tomorrow.”


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