Julien Briché inherits TCR win as Kris Richard gets penalty

Julien Briché inherits TCR win as Kris Richard gets penalty

10.06.2018: Mikel Azcona increases his leading margin in the standings TCR Europe Series Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – 9 / 10 June 2018 Sunday, June 10th 2018

Mikel Azcona increases his leading margin in the standings



TCR Europe Series
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – 9 / 10 June 2018
Sunday, June 10th 2018



Julien Briché has joined the club of 2018 TCR Europe race winners thanks to a decision of the Stewards that imposed a time penalty to Kris Richard who had been the first under the chequered flag in a closely-fought Race 2 at Spa-Francorchamps.



Investigating on the contact Richard and Briché had had while they were fighting for the lead, the Steward inflicted a penalty of one second to the Swiss that was enough to swap the positions, demoting Richard to second, three tenth behind Briché.



The incident happened at Les Combes during the penultimate lap; Briché tried to overtake Richard at the braking, using the outside line, but as the two cars collided he was forced to cut straight through the chicane, which helped the Swiss to maintain the lead and win with a margin of 0.7 seconds.


The penalty granted Briché, JSB Compétition and the Peugeot 308 their first victory in TCR Europe.



Richard had taken the lead during the first lap, but then had to work hard to defend the position, first from Josh Files (who was later stopped by an electrical problem) and then from Briché, who attacked relentlessly.



Local hero Maxime Potty visited the podium for a second time this weekend, taking third ahead of a very clever Mikel Azcona who further extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings, as Duśan Borković could finish no higher than 7th.


Jean-Karl Vernay was a victim of some fierce battling in the closing laps when he was fighting for a podium position, while the Honda cars endured a difficult Sunday; both Stefano Comini (before the start) and Josh Files (after the safety car period) were halted by electronic bugs and Attila Tassi was sidelined by a puncture.


Giovanni Altoè encored his yesterday’s win in the DSG Challenge, while Briché collected the TCR Benelux Trophy.


In the championship standings, Azcona has increased his tally to 95 points, 11 clear of Borković; Vernay lies third with a gap of 39 points, while Dániel Nagy is fourth a further two points adrift.


The series will resume at the Hungaroring in the first weekend of July.




Key facts




Grid – Comini has some issue and seems like heading towards the pits at the end of the formation lap, but then rejoins the grid


Start – Barr (on pole position) and Richard keep the advantage at the start; Comini from the second row pulls to the side as the engine went into safe mode



Lap 1 – Richard passes Barr before Les Combes, where there is some turmoil in the middle of the field; at the end of the lap, Richards leads from Files, Paulsen, Potty, Azcona, Barr and Briché; Borković loses positions after being pushed by Kroes


Lap 2 – Paulsen loses positions and drops behind Potty, Vernay and Briché; Vernay goes wide at the Bus Stop and is passed by Briché


Lap 3 – Vernay is again in trouble at the Bus Stop but rejoins the track ahead of Briché



Lap 4 – Briché passes Vernay for fourth with a well-timed attack at Les Combes, then they both overtake Potty; the safety car comes out at the end of the lap to allow the recovery of Tassi’s car, which is stranded off-track in Turn 7 after a puncture


Lap 7 – At the restart, Richard keeps the advantage, while Files slows down and pits with an electrical issue; Briché is second ahead of Vernay, Potty, Azcona, Paulsen and Borković; Richard, Briché and Vernay are in a close fight for victory, with Potty immediately behind; at the Bus Stop Vernay tries to overtake Briché, they make contact and Vernay retires with a broken suspension



Lap 8 – Richard and Briché get abreast at Les Combes, the Frenchman passes but there is a contact, which sends the Peugeot straight on at the chicane; Briché rejoins without losing P2


Lap 9 – Richard and Briché keep on fighting at Le Combes, but the Swiss driver retains the lead; Potty is third ahead of Azcona, Paulsen, Nagy and Borković; Cencetti stops right before the finish line after a contact with Møller





2018 TCR Europe Series – calendar



5/6 May – Circuit Paul Ricard, France (International GT Open)
19/21 May – Circuit Zandvoort, Netherlands (Jumbo Racing Days) *
9/10 June – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium (International GT Open) *
7/8 July – Hungaroring, Hungary (International GT Open) *
18/19 August – TT Circuit Assen, Netherlands (Gamma Racing Days) *
22/23 September – Autodromo di Monza, Italy (International GT Open)
20/21 October – Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, Spain (International GT Open) **



*        With TCR Benelux
**      With TCR Benelux and TCR Portugal



 


 

Fabio Ravaioli- photos TCR

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10.06.2018 / MaP

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