César Machado converted his pole position to a lights-to-flag victory, the maiden one for him in TCR Italy.
At Vallelunga, the Portuguese driver and his Target Competition Honda Civic FK2, took command at the start and never looked back. For the whole race he was chased by the V-Action Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta of Luigi Ferrara and the BRC Racing Hyundai i30 N of Eric Scalvini who eventually filled the other podium positions.
The second place helped Ferrara to cut 11 points off Salvatore Tavano’s leading margin in the standings. However, Tavano still has an advantage of 29.5 points and by finishing seventh in Race 1 he will start tomorrow’s Race 2 from the front row.
Machado took a perfect start from the pole, while Kevin Ceccon – second on the grid in the Team Mulsanne Giulietta – dropped behind Ferrara and Scalvini.
The safety car was deployed twice, once from lap 3 to 5 to recover Gunter Benninger’s Cupra stranded at the Cimini bend and then again from lap 7 to 10 when Marco Pellegrini’s Hyundai lost a front wheel and stopped along the track.
The race resumed with only four minutes left on the clock. With the first three positions frozen, attention shifted on the fight for fourth between Ceccon and Nicola Baldan. On the last lap Enrico Bettera benefited from the situation and overtook Baldan to finish fifth behind Ceccon.
Giovanni Altoè’s Pit Lane Competizioni Audi RS3 LMS was classified tenth and won the DSG Trophy.
Jürgen Schmarl did not take the start, following and engine issue in Friday’s Practice.
Race 2 will start tomorrow at 11:25 CET with the MM Motorsport Honda Civic of Massimiliano Mugello on pole position of the top-eight reverse grid; live streaming at www.tcr-series.tv.
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