Salvatore Tavano stakes a serious claim on the title
16 September 2018
With an authoritative victory in Vallelunga’s Race 2, Salvatore Tavano has staked a serious claim on the TCR Italy champion crown. In fact, his closest competitor in the title fight, Luigi Ferrara, finished second behind him and this meant that Tavano’s leading margin in the standings was stretched to 35.5 points (31.5 considering the drops at the present time) when 43 will be on offer in the final event at Monza, on October 6th and 7th.
Today’s race saw a number of front-runners running into troubles with the front tyres in the second half of the race and the final results rewarded those who had a consistent pace, like Federico Paolino (third) and Giovanni Altoè who won the DSG Trophy finishing an outstanding fourth overall.
Tavano made the difference from the start, when he sprinted from the second spot on the top-eight reverse grid to take the lead from the pole sitter Massimiliano Mugelli. Behind them Nicola Baldan was chased by Eric Scalvini, Enrico Bettera, Ferrara and yesterday’s Race 1 winner César Machado.
Baldan and Ferrara seemed especially determined to attack Mugelli and Bettera, but the first driver who ran into troubles was Scalvini who pitted with a flat front-right.
On lap 4, Ferrara managed to overtook Bettera for fifth and began putting the pressure on the pair of Mugelli and Baldan. On lap 6, Mugelli retired with a broken driveshaft.
The fight between Baldan and Ferrara became red-hot; the latter was also given a warning flag after he repeatedly knocked on Baldan’s rear bumper. On lap 8, Machado, Bettera, the DSG leader Matteo Greco and Kevin Ceccon joined the Baldan-Ferrara duo. On lap 10, both Greco and Bettera went off after making contact, only Greco was able to rejoin, but he lost the lead in the DSG Trophy to Altoè.
On lap 11, Ceccon hit Machado pushing him sideways and moving up to fourth, however, the Ceccon retired with a flat front tyre soon afterwards. On lap 12, Ferrara overtook Baldan for second, immediately before the reigning champion stopped his car alongside the track with a flat front tyre; Machado retired too from fourth.
In the final laps, Ferrara pushed and cut off Tavano’s leading margin by 1.5 seconds per lap, but it was too late and he never got close enough to try an overtaking manoeuvre.
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