Jean-Karl Vernay et Leopard Lukoil Team sont les nouveaux champions du TCR Benelux!

Jean-Karl Vernay et Leopard Lukoil Team sont les nouveaux champions du TCR Benelux!

21.10.2018: Des écarts minimalistes, des courses indécises et une méteo radieuse. La recette d'une finale à succès sur le circuit de Catalunya était complète pour le TCR Benelux 2018. Et au bout du compte, deux très beaux champions, Jean-Karl Vernay et Leopard Lukoil

Des écarts minimalistes, des courses indécises et une méteo radieuse. La recette d'une finale à succès sur le circuit de Catalunya était complète pour le TCR Benelux 2018. Et au bout du compte, deux très beaux champions, Jean-Karl Vernay et Leopard Lukoil Team, ont émergé pour décrocher la timbale!



Course 1: Jay Kay inverse la vapeur


Jean-Karl Vernay (Audi RS3 LMS #69 Leopard Lukoil Team) est arrivé à Barcelone avec un retard de deux petits points sur Maxime Potty (Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR #88 Comtoyou Racing). Motivé comme jamais, le Français assurait le spectacle lors de la Course 1 en faisant fi de sa mauvaise qualification pour rapidement se hisser en tête du TCR Benelux.



Rien n'allait arrêter le Tricolore qui faisait coup double en reprenant les rênes du championnat grâce à ce nouveau succès. Maxime Potty n'a de son côté pu faire mieux qu'une 3ème place. Malgré des soucis électriques, Julien Briché (Peugeot 308TCR #4 JSB Compétition) finissait 2ème.



Très belle 4ème place pour Marie-Baus Coppens (Cupra León TCR #21 JSB Compétition). C'en était en revanche fini des espoirs de titre de Danny Kroes (Cupra León TCR #38 PCR Sport) et de Stefano Comini (Honda Civic Type R TCR #42 Autodis Racing by THX), tous les deux contraints à l'abandon.



Course 2: Jeu, set et match pour Vernay



Le pilote à l'Audi RS3 turquoise et rouge n'allait pas demander son reste en Course 2. Clôturant sa saison par une dernière victoire au prix d'une nouvelle remontada, Jean-Karl Vernay s'adjugeait avec maestria la couronne 2018 du TCR Benelux!



Moins de douze mois après son titre en TCR International, l'ancien espoir de la monoplace ajoute un nouveau titre à son palmarès."Un titre reste un titre", sourit Jean-Karl. "Nous n'avons pas été gâtés cette saison par rapport à nos rivaux mais nous n'avons jamais abandonné. Je dédie cette couronne à mon équipe et mes partenaires qui m'ont soutenu comme jamais." Peu verni ce week-end, Stefano Comini décrochait le premier accessit lors de cette joute dominicale.



Maxime Potty aura tout donné pour vaincre Vernay mais cela n'aura pas suffi. Retardé par une incursion dans un bac à graviers, le pilote du Comtoyou Racing échouait, comme samedi, sur la plus petite marche du podium.



 "Même si je suis déçu d'avoir loupé le titre, il y a plein de points positifs à retirer de cette saison", concède l'ancien kartman. "J'ai montré ma valeur face à des pilotes plus capés que moi. Rendez-vous en 2019 pour la revanche !"




Marie Baus-Coppens termine une nouvelle fois à la 4ème place. Malgré un abandon à l'entame du dernier tour suite à un radiateur percé, Julien Briché termine 3ème du championnat."J'aurais espéré finir mieux classé au championnat mais c'est ainsi. Ma satisfaction est que la Peugeot 308TCR marchait vraiment bien", indique le patron-pilote de JSB Compétition.



Teams: Jamais deux sans trois pour Leopard Lukoil

Leopard Lukoil Team était presqu'assuré du titre chez les teams en débarquant en Catalogne. Seul Comtoyou Racing pouvait encore l'inquiéter. Grâce à la victoire de Vernay en Course 1, l'équipe sous pavillon luxembourgeois, derrière laquelle se cachent les Belges de WRT, décrochait la couronne chez les équipes. "En trois saisons de TCR Benelux, c'est notre 3ème titre chez les Teams", sourit Vincent Vosse, Team Principal de WRT.



"Nous nous engageons dans chaque championnat pour viser le titre et nous avons encore prouvé ce qui faisait notre force en nous battant à 200% jusqu'à la dernière course. Jean-Karl est un beau champion pour le TCR Benelux et pour nous, c'est toujours un plaisir de supporter cette compétition nationale et les efforts déployés autour d'elle pour qu'elle offre le meilleur spectacle possible."



Le rideau est désormais tombé sur cette nouvelle saison du TCR Benelux. Rendez-vous dans quelques mois pour le coup d'envoi du millésime 2019 qui s'annonce d'ores et déjà passionnant.

 

 

 

- TCR Benelux aussi photos

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21.10.2018 / MaP

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