Before the second race, Julien Briché was excluded from Race 1 – in which he had been fourth – because his car was underweight. Instead of losing heart he hit the track with the will of making up from the disappointment and claimed a glorious victory for JSB Compétition and Peugeot Sport.
Lap after lap, while weather and track conditions changed from wet to dry and wet again, Briché engaged his competitors in a series of battles and won them all. He overtook Santiago Urrutia, Dušan Borković and finally the local hero Dániel Nagy.
Behind the experienced Frenchman, Comotoyou Racing’s 19-year-old Belgian Gilles Magnus, on his maiden Touring Car appearance, stole second from Nagy and found himself on top of the standings after the TCR Europe Series’ opening event. Though he is on equal points with another Touring Car rookie, Nelson Panciatici of M Racing.
Only three points behind the Magnus-Panciatici pair there is a trio formed by Race 1 winner Mat’o Homola, Nagy and Borković.
Two other drivers deserve to be mentioned as they both completed great recoveries: Josh Files and Luca Engstler. Files started from the pits, as the front left wishbone bearing needed to be changed, and climbed to the eight position; Engstler started 37th, after he missed Qualifying due to his crash in Practice, and finished 12th. Milovan Vesnić won the TCR Eastern Europe race after Martin Ryba spun off.
TCR Europe will resume at Hockenheim for round 3 and 4, on May 24/26.
1. Julien Briché (JSB Compétition, Peugeot 308), 11 laps
2. Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS), 1.634
3. Dániel Nagy (M1RA Motorsport, Hyundai i30 N), 5.822
4. Dušan Borković (Target Competition, Hyundai i30 N), 7.167
5. Nelson Panciatici (M Racing, Hyundai i30 N), 7.583
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