Mikel Azcona wins TCR Europe Series Race 1 after a pile-up at the start

Mikel Azcona wins TCR Europe Series Race 1 after a pile-up at the start

20.05.2018: TCR Europe Series Circuit Zandvoort, Netherlands – 19 / 21 May 2018 Dušan Borković retains the lead in the standings

TCR Europe Series
Circuit Zandvoort, Netherlands – 19 / 21 May 2018

Dušan Borković retains the lead in the standings

Mikel Azcona claimed his and PCR Sport’s first victory in the TCR Europe Series at the end of a race that was influenced by a pile up at the start that eliminated three cars and resulted in a safety car period.

Local hero Jaap Van Lagen who was on pole position in the Leopard Lukoil Team Audi RS3 LMS spoiled his chances with a slow start that dropped him down to fifth, while Azcona managed to keep the Hell Energy Racing’s duo of Attila Tassi and Josh Files behind into the first turn and laid down his success on that move.

 When the race resumed after the safety car intervention, the young Spaniard and his Cupra managed to build a gap ahead of Tassi’s Honda, while Van Lagen was able to overtake Dušan Borković’s Hyundai and Files to take third and also victory in the TCR Benelux.

Borković retained the lead in the standings, but Azcona has closed the gap to eight points; Nagy is third, 22 points behind the leader.

Race 2 will start tomorrow at 14:55, with Danny Kroes on pole on the top-ten reverse grid. Live streaming on www.tcr-series.com and www.tcr-series.tv.

Key facts

Grid – Richard has been dropped from seventh to last following an engine change

Start – From the second row, Tassi squeezes among Azcona and van Lagen, but the Spaniard resists and keeps the lead into the Tarzan bend; there is chaos behind as Barr tangles with Nagy, spins and crashes under the grandstand; Stefanovski swerves in avoidance and collides with Briché who hits the pit wall

Lap 1 – The safety car is deployed

Lap 2 – Baus-Coppens pits with a technical issue

Lap 4 – The race resumes with 14 minutes left; Azcona leads from Tassi, Files, Borković and van Lagen; Paulsen overtakes Nagy for sixth; van Lagen overtakes Borković for fourth

Lap 5 – Potty misses the braking point at the Tarzan and stops in the gravel trap; Kroes overtakes Møller for eighth; Mora overtakes Abreu for tenth

Lap 6 – Mora overtakes Møller for ninth

Lap 8 – Van Lagen overtakes Files for third at the Tarzan; Mora overtakes Kroes for eighth

Lap 10 – Cencetti punts his teammate Piro into a spin while fighting for 13th

Lap 11 – Van Lagen is on the tail of Tassi’s car

Lap 12 – Azcona wins and Tassi successfully defends second place from van Lagen; Files, Borković and Paulsen take the positions from fourth to sixth

Quotes after the first race at Zandvoort

Mikel Azcona (winner):
"I am very happy, it has been a great day and yes, my championship starts looking good. First start was lively, but I managed to pass the Audi and then fought with Tassi for a couple of turns. I was on the inside though and could keep the line and the advantage.

At the restart after the safety car period, I could build some gap and it was a pretty uneventful race. It's never easy, especially on a track like this, but did no mistakes and kept a good pace. The car was perfect and I really enjoyed driving on a track with so much history and in front of such a huge crowd."

Attila Tassi (second):
"I had a very good start and fought with Azcona for the lead. He touched me and sent me onto the grass, but he apologized right away after the race, so everything is fine.

My tyres got dirty and spent most of the race trying to preserve them and not to do mistakes. In the final laps, I had to defend from van Lagen, but everything went ok. It's a good result and I am very satisfied with the car."

Jaap van Lagen (third):
"It has been a good and fun race, except for the start, of course. I was too low on the revs and couldn't get the right grip. Unfortunately, I lost some positions, and with the long safety-car period, there was not enough time to catch up.

Still, the pace and the car were good, I had nice fights and two overtakes, and made it to the podium. I hope we can do better tomorrow, but it won't be easy starting from P10."


- Fabio Ravaioli, photos TCR

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/mikel-azcona-tcr-europe-series-race-1-zandvoort---176367.html

20.05.2018 / MaP

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