Cutillas passes Mike Halder into the last turn to win Race 2
19 September 2021
Alejandro Cutillas claimed an amazing victory in TCR Spain’s Race 2 in Valencia, overtaking Mike Halder into the last turn and scoring his and Peugeot’s maiden victory in the championship.
The 22-year-old SMC Motorsport driver started the race from the pole position well with his Peugeot 308, but Michelle Halder was faster than him and took the lead. Cutillas immediately repassed her, but then made a mistake, going wide into a turn and offering Mike Halder – who had started from P6 – the opportunity to overtake him.
Behind the leading pair there was a close fight for P3 between Michelle Halder, Fernando Navarrete, Alba Cano and Sergio López. Navarrete quickly passed Michelle Halder and moved into the third position.
In lap 3, López passed Cano for P5, but she retook the position in lap 5 and then she started fighting with Michelle Halder. The two ladies swapped positions several times, while López had to serve two drive-through penalties for track limit infringements.
Up front, Cutillas managed to close in on Mike Halder whose advantage was reduced to 0.6 seconds. Then, during the final lap, the German driver was in trouble with a flat front tyre and Cutillas found the gap to pass him into the last turn. Navarrete completed the podium and Cano beat Michelle Halder for P4 under the flag, but she was later demoted to fifth by a 7-second penalty for track limits. As for López, he went off onto the gravel trap during the penultimate lap.
After the race, the Stewards investigated on Cutillas’ winning overtaking move that had been completed while the yellow flag was waved where López had gone off. However, the telemetry proved that Halder’s pace had been significantly reduced by the flat tyre and no action was taken.
Races 3 will start at 13:55 (CEST); live streaming at www.tcr-series.com.
Valencia – Race 2
1. Alejandro Cutillas (SMC Motorsport, Peugeot 308), 13 laps
2. Mike Halder (Halder Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R FK7), 2.219
3. Fernando Navarrete (SMC Motorsport, Peugeot 308), 9.410
4. Michelle Halder (Halder Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R FK7), 12.391
5. Alba Cano (Monlau Competición, CUPRA Leon Competición), 20.166
1. Mk. Halder 450 pts; 2. A. Cutillas 321; 3. F. Navarrete 311
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