Ruben Volt won TCR Europe’s second race of the day at Monza, from tenth on the grid in his ALM Motorsport Honda Civic; this was the Estonian’s maiden win in the series, and the first for the new Honda Civic Type R FL5.
The championship battle will also go to the wire, with Tom Coronel taking third place in the race in his repaired Comtoyou Racing Audi and finishing ahead of his two teammates and title rivals John Filippi and Kobe Pauwels.
Giacomo Ghermandi started pole position on the reversed grid in his Audi and led the way into Turn 1, with Filippi making a great start from sixth on the grid to get up to second ahead of Coronel. Filippi then cut the Roggia chicane, briefly taking the lead from Ghermandi before handing it back, then made a genuine pass on the inside of Ghermandi into the Parabolica, with Coronel following him through to take P2.
Coronel then overtook Filippi at the start of lap 3, while Nicola Baldan was flying up the order, having passed Ghermandi and then getting ahead of Filippi at Lesmo.
While the Audi cars were squabbling up front, Volt had been slicing his way up the order up to fourth place by lap four and was closing on the leading trio.
Volt passed Filippi at Lesmo 2 on lap 4, while Baldan took the lead away from Coronel at the start of the next lap, with Volt then charging past the Dutchman around the Curva Grande and was up to second. Baldan and Volt battled it out for the lead over the next few laps. Volt tried around the outside of Parabolica in vain at the end of lap 6, before passing Baldan at the start of lap 7 when he locked up and cut the chicane, handing the position back to Baldan at Ascari. A lap later Volt took the lead legitimately, driving around the outside of Baldan at Parabolica and went on to claim the win, with Baldan and Coronel completing the podium.
Viktor Andersson managed to pass Filippi with two laps to go to claim fourth, with Filippi finishing ahead of his teammate and Race 1 winner Pauwels in fifth position.
Coronel’s third place gave him a ten-point lead ahead of Pauwels, with Filippi 25 points back heading to the final round at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on October 21/22.
Volt: “I’m buzzing. That was a really good race. I had the speed all the way through the weekend, but to have that much speed it was really incredible. With zero ballast I had to give it everything I have, as with 40kg in Barcelona, it’s going to be a lot harder.”
Baldan: “Another positive race. This time I was able to stay ahead of my team’s other cars, which was the goal I had set to myself for this event. Unfortunately the Honda was much quicker, I did my best to try and keep it behind, but it was impossible.”
Coronel: “I needed this one. I had bad luck this morning when the shock absorber broke, but we repaired it, and we now have a ten-point lead. It was a big fight, Baldan made a really good move at the first corner. My brakes were really bad and then I was hit at the back at some point. I had big brake issues as I was behind the other cars for too long. We’ll go to Barcelona with no compensation weight, where we’ll fight for the championship – as after 22 years in touring car racing, I want to have this one.”
Monza – Race 2
1. Ruben Volt (ALM Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R FL5), 10 laps
2. Nicola Baldan (Comtoyou, Audi RS 3 LMS), 1.964
3. Tom Coronel (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS), 2.900
1. T. Coronel, 396 pts; 2. K. Pauwels, 386; 3. J. Filippi, 371
Picture: TCR Europe