Eric Brigliadori grabs TCR Italy’s title… provisionally
22 November 2020
Guest star Mikel Azcona encored in the TCR Italy’s season finale at Imola and claimed his second race win of the weekend. Eric Brigliadori was classified in second position, while Salvatore Tavano recovered from P20 on the grid to fifth under the chequered flag. They finished on equal points on top of the standings, but for the dead heat Brigliadori clinched the title having won three races against Tavano’s one.
At least, this was the provisional verdict on the track. In fact, next week the Sporting Tribunal will hear the appeal lodged by Felice Jelmini against his exclusion from the first race at Misano in August. Jelmini had won that race, but his Hyundai was found not conform in the post-race scrutineering; Brigliadori inherited the victory, while Tavano was promoted to second. Should the tribunal overturn that decision, Brigliadori and Tavano would lose six and two points respectively and so the latter would be champion for a third year running.
Igor Stefanovski started better than Azcona who was on pole, but the Spaniard passed the Macedonian during the first lap. Behind them, Jelmini, Jonathan Giacon, Nicola Baldan, Brigliadori and Marco Pellegrini battled for the positions. In lap 2, Jelmini missed the braking point at Rivazza 1, spun off onto the gravel and retired.
One lap later, Giacon pushed Stefanovski wide and moved into P2; Stefanovski pitted and rejoined. Giacon was under pressure and in lap 5, Brigliadori overtook him for second, while Baldan passed Pellegrini for P4. One more lap and Pellegrini lost the fifth position to Jacopo Guidetti who passed Baldan as well advancing to P4.
After starting from P20, Tavano had recovered and was defending the seventh position from Evgenii Leonov. However, he eventually moved into P5 after Giacon retired from third (in lap 8) and Pellegrini spun off from fifth (in lap 11).
Despite making a mistake at the Acque Minerali bend in lap 12, Azcona managed to retain the lead and won with a margin of only seven tenths from Brigliadori, while Guidetti finished third ahead of Baldan.
1. Mikel Azcona (Scuderia del Girasole, CUPRA Leon Competición), 15 laps
2. Eric Brigliadori (BF Motorsport, Audi RS 3 LMS), 0.763
3. Jacopo Guidetti (MM Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R), 15.325
4. Nicola Baldan (Élite Motorsport, Hyundai i30 N), 20.914
5. Salvatore Tavano (Scuderia del Girasole, CUPRA Leon Competición), 25.962
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