Nicola Baldan (Pit Lane Competizioni SEAT León) won both the Monza races, while Eric Scalvini (MM Racing Honda Civic Type-R) was forced to settle with one fifth and one second, but maintained the leadership in the standings. However Baldan has managed to close the gap to eight points only. Once again Kevin Giacon’s Opel Astra was impressive for its speed, but was stopped by tyre failures in both races.
Race 1 meant the second seasonal win for Baldan who benefitted from some favourable circumstances. First, the drive-through imposed to the series leader Scalvini for a collision with another driver, then the retirement of Kevin Giacon, who had led with authority the race up to the 10th lap (out of 14). The Tecnodom Sport Opel Astra driver suffered the blow of a front tire at the end of the straight, losing a race he had completely under control. Second behind Baldan was Plamen Kralev, the Bulgarian driver of the Audi RS3 LMS of Kraf Racing. He finished ahead of Massimiliano Mugelli (Pit Lane Competizioni Audi RS3 LMS), later penalized with 10 seconds for a contact with Simon Reicher. Massimiliano Gagliano, with the MC Corse Volkswagen Golf, inherited third and the podium, ahead of Reicher and Andrea Argenti, with Mugelli eventually classified in sixth. A blown tire also stopped the race of Enrico Bettera, who had been fighting in the group right behind the podium positions.
Race 2 – Baldan repeated that victory in the second race, after making a far better start than the man who shared the front row, Kevin Giacon. After lap 1, Baldan led from Scalvini and Kralev, with Giacon having slipped to fifth behind Mugelli. Giacon soon passed Mugelli for fourth place, then improved to third when he passed Kralev on lap 6. The race was starting to become a procession as far as the top four were concerned, but there was a great three-way fight going on between Mugelli, Reicher and Gagliano which was resolved in spectacular fashion on lap 10 when Gagliano moved from 7th to 5th in one smooth move while the two others were fighting. Giacon’s overtaking moves came to nothing when he was forced to pull up on lap 12 with a puncture, while Gagliano moved into the podium positions when he forced Kralev to run wide on lap 13 and so took 3rd place. On the last lap, Reicher also passed Kralev and so the 25-minute race finished with victory for Baldan by 1.2 seconds over Scalvini, with Gaglaino third and Reicher fourth ahead of Kralev.
The TCR Italy will resume on July 15 and 16 at Mugello.
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