Julien Briché returned to victory in TCR Europe as he claimed his fourth win of the season at the end of a chaotic Race 1.
Besides the incidents that eliminated half-a-dozen competitors – including title contender Luca Engstler – a number of penalties were imposed for grid and start infringements and these significantly affected the final results. Amongst the drivers who were penalised were the current points leader Josh Files, who lost second place, and the Clairet brothers who were very well placed in the race, Teddy fifth and Jimmy seventh.
And this might not be over yet, as Briché himself and Santiago Urrutia, first and third classified, are still being investigated for jump starts.
Amongst those who have no issues were the pole sitter Andreas Bäckman, who finished second behind Briché, the TCR rookie Jack Young who finished fourth and gave the Vuković Motorsport Renault Mégane its best result so far, and Nelson Panciatici who recovered from 13th on the grid to finish fifth.
In the championship’s provisional standings, Briché has recovered 40 points and is now 49 behind Files, while Andreas Bäckman has advanced to third on equal points with Urrutia.
Target Competition has already clinched the Teams’ title because it has a leading margin of 286 points over Team WRT, when 234 are still on offer.
The second race will start tomorrow at 12:30 with Daniel Lloyd and Gilles Magnus sharing the front row of the top-ten reverse grid; live streaming can be found at www.tcr-series.com and www.tcr-series.tv.
Grid – Homola is dropped by five positions because of a penalty he was given for an incident with Potty in the second race at Oschersleben; Kangas, Szabó and Comte start from the back following engine changes
Formation lap – Baus-Coppens pulls up with a technical issue
Start – Briché sprints from P3 to take the lead from Files, A. Bäckman, T. Clairet and Young; at the back of the grid Al-Khelaifi and Leonov collide
Lap 1 – Kangas spins at T9 after making contact with another car; the safety car is deployed to recover the two cars involved in the incident at the start
Lap 5 – Racing resumes, Magnus goes off at the chicane, Panciatici overtakes Baumann for P10; both the Clairet brothers are given drive-through penalties for grid infringements
Lap 6 – Engstler goes wide and then is hit by J. Clairet who is pushed by Panciatici
Lap 7 – L. Filippi and Tenke make contact at the chicane; Engstler retires with broken suspension
Lap 10 – Panciatici overtakes Coronel for P6
Lap 11 – Briché wins from Files, A. Bäckman and Urrutia, but Files is given a 30-second penalty for a grid infringement and drops to 22nd
1. Julien Briché (JSB Compétition, Peugeot 308), 11 laps
2. Andreas Bäckman (Target Competition, Hyundai i30 N), 1.895
3. Santiago Urrutia (Team WRT, Audi RS 3 LMS), 2.708
4. Jack Young (Vuković Motorsport, Renault Mégane RS), 8.402
5. Nelson Panciatici (M Racing, Hyundai i30 N), 9.900
1. Files 258 pts; 2. Briché 209; 3. A. Bäckman 183