tcr / First victory in the TCR Europe for Vernay
The Frenchman of Leopard Lukoil Racing drove his Audi RS3 LMS to a lights-to-flag victory from pole position in Race1.
The Spa-Francorchamps racing weekend started on the right foot for the Leopard Lukoil Team: on his Audi RS3 LMS run by WRT, Jean-Karl Vernay topped the timesheet of both Free Practice sessions, as he posted the fastest lap and set a new track record for TCR cars, with a lap of 2:30.534, beating the pole position in last year’s TCR International Series.
As expected, the Frenchman continued to top the Qualifying session on Saturday morning and secured pole position for Race1. In a warm afternoon, Jean-Karl Vernay took a maiden win in the TCR Europe 2018. The only other driver who could resist his pace was local hero Potty. Azcona took third to become the new championship leader, 5 points clear of Dušan Borković who finished fourth.
Race 2 took place on Sunday at 14:55, with Danny Kroes starting from pole on the top-ten reverse grid. Unfortunately, Jean-Karl Vernay fell victim of some fierce battling while fighting for victory. The drama occurred in Lap 7: at the Bus Stop, while trying to overtake Briché, the two French drivers made contact with Vernay forced to retire because of a broken suspension.
Briché won the race thanks to a decision by the Race Direction that imposed a time penalty to Richard. Local hero Potty claimed his second podium finish in row while Spain’s Azcona further extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
#69 Jean-Karl VERNAY – 1st
“Everything went according to our plans. We had done part of the job in the morning when we had claimed pole position. I knew everything was up to taking a good start and I managed to do so. Then I focused on not making mistakes, because I had a good pace, but Maxime was putting the pressure on me for the whole race. In the last laps my car began to slow down a bit, but it was too late for him to try to overtake me.”
2018 TCR Europe (GMT +2)
Race distance: 25 Minutes
1 – Vernay / FRA / Leopard Lukoil Team / Audi RS 3 LMS / 2’31.416
2 – Potty / BEL / Comtoyou Racing / VW Golf GTi / +2’31.670
3 – Borković / SRB / Target Competition / Hyundai i30 N / +2’32.064
1 – Vernay / FRA / Leopard Lukoil Team / Audi RS 3 LMS / 2’30.534
2 – Potty / BEL / Comtoyou Racing / VW Golf GTi / +2’30.705
3 – Brichè / FRA / JSB Competition / Peugeot 308 / +2’31.122
1 – Vernay / FRA / Leopard Lukoil Team / Audi RS 3 LMS / 2’328.735
2 – Potty / BEL / Comtoyou Racing / VW Golf GTi / +2’29.302
3 – Brichè / FRA / JSB Competition / Peugeot 308 / +2’29.714
1 – Vernay / FRA / Leopard Lukoil Team / Audi RS 3 LMS / 11 Laps
2 – Potty / BEL / Comtoyou Racing / VW Golf GTi / +0.705
3 – Azcona / ESP / PCR Sport / Cupra TCR / +5.055
1 – Brichè / FRA / JSB Competition / Peugeot 308 / 11 Laps
2 – Richard / SUI /arget Competition / Hyundai i30 N / +0.283
3 – Potty / BEL / Comtoyou Racing / VW Golf GTi / +1.130
NC – Vernay / FRA / Leopard Lukoil Team / Audi RS 3 LMS /
1 – Azcona / 95 points
2 – Borković / 84 p.
3 – Vernay / 56 p.
4 – Nagy / 54 p.
5 – Files / 50 p.
1 – Target Competition / 132 points
2 – PCR Sport / 125 p.
3 – Leopard Lukoil Team / 94 p.
4 – Hell Energy Racing / 94 p.
5 – M1RA / 74 p.
Photo Credit: TCR EUROPE