Dušan Borković took a lights-to-flag victory in TCR Europe’s Race 1 at Pau in his Target Competition-run Hyundai Elantra N. This was the Serbian driver’s first win in the European series since that at the Hungaroring in July 2018.
Borković had qualified second and when the lights went out, he powered past the poleman Viktor Andersson’s stricken MA:GP Lynk & Co to lead the field. Behind him, Kobe Pauwels was second and Isaac Smith third. After starting from P10, Tom Coronel made up three places to lie seventh ahead of the points leader John Filippi, while Pau legend Eric Cayrolle was in P4 after starting from sixth. Andersson limped back into the pits and retired with a driveshaft failure.
The first half of the race was processional, with Borković able to open up a lead of a second over Pauwels by the end of Lap 6. By Lap 9, the leaders had caught some backmarkers but there were no dramas as Borković picked his way past the CUPRA of Olivier Lopéz and the Audi of Christian Philippon. Pauwels was more cautious as he lapped the pair and so the lead grew to three seconds.
The second half of the race saw a number of battles, as drivers closed up. Among the scraps was Lewis Brown attacking Viktor Davidovski for P5, with Coronel also closing in on the pair. Cayrolle was also catching the third-placed Smith.
On Lap 16, Brown ran wide at Turn 2, which allowed both Coronel and Filippi to pass. Over the final couple of laps, Cayrolle continued his assault on Smith, with the pair making contact on Lap 18. Cayrolle dropped back slightly as a result and spent the remaining two laps defending P4 from Davidovski. Cayrolle crossed the line in fourth, but the Stewards later imposed a five-second penalty for jump start and so he dropped behind Davidovski.
But there was no denying Borković the victory after dominating the race from start to finish. His winning margin over Pauwels was just over three seconds; Smith finished third, while sixth place for Coronel was enough to see the Dutchman take over from Filippi at the top of the standings.
Race 2 is scheduled for tomorrow at 14:20 local time (CEST), with live streaming on tcr-series.tv.
Pau – Race 1
1. Dušan Borković (Target Competition, Hyundai Elantra N), 20 laps
2. Kobe Pauwels (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS), 3.082
3. Isaac Smith (Volcano Motorsport, Audi RS 3 LMS), 5.872
1. T. Coronel, 101 pts; 2. J. Filippi, 98; 3. K. Pauwels, 82
Picture: WSC Group