Franco Girolami takes the win in Vallelunga for the new CUPRA

Franco Girolami takes the win in Vallelunga for the new CUPRA

Franco Girolami converted pole position to victory in the first race of the weekend at the Vallelunga circuit in the new CUPRA Leon VZ TCR, leading a 1-2 for the Spanish brand with Aurélien Comte finishing second in his SP Compétition run car.


Girolami got away well off the line, while Ignacio Montenegro bogged down from second place in his ALM Motorsport Honda Civic and dropped behind the fast-starting CUPRA of Comte as well as the Audi RS 3 LMS of Nicola Baldan.


Dusan Borkovic also didn’t get away well in his GOAT Racing Honda Civic, stalling from tenth place and dropping to the back of the pack.


The drama was all behind the top four in the first few laps, with Ruben Fernández leading an aggressive group of cars behind him. Fernández was threatened by the Monlau Motorsport CUPRA of Viktor Davidovski until lap five, when the Macedonian fell behind the chasing pair of ALM Hondas of Levente Losonczy and Ruben Volt.


At the end of the lap, Losonczy then ran wide at the final corner while he was under pressure from his own team-mate, and fell back to eventually finish the race in tenth.


Volt then closing on Fernández’s Honda, and tried to lunge down the inside at Turn 7 on lap eight but made contact, with Fernández dropping down the order.


Volt was given a five-second penalty for the incident, but the Estonian was able to pull enough of a gap on the next car of Felipe Fernández to nullify the penalty.


Up front, Baldan then abused the track limits too many times for the stewards liking and he was also served with a five-second penalty and fell behind the Honda of Montenegro at the finish.


Girolami went on to claim the win by 1.5 seconds ahead of Comte, with Montenegro classified third, almost eight seconds behind.


Girolami now leads the standings on 50 points, ten points clear of Comte going into Race 2 tomorrow which starts at 15:15 CEST.

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