Ignacio Montenegro wins the TCR Spain pre-season series

Ignacio Montenegro wins the TCR Spain pre-season series

18 February 2024

Ignacio Montenegro won the 2023 TCR Spain pre-season series title by just nine points over Eric Gené, with victory in Race 2 keeping the ALM Motorsport Honda driver ahead of the young Spanish racer, who took his second consecutive pole position as well as his first career victory in Race 1 at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

Race 1 – Just like last week at Jerez, Gené was on pole, having beaten Montenegro by 31 thousandths. At the start, Montenegro stalled while Gené led the field from Sergio Casalins, Álvaro García, Rubén Fernández, Felipe Fernández and Sandro Pelatti, with Montenegro in seventh. During the first lap, García passed Casalins for second, while Montenegro began to recover. The young Argentine passed Pelatti for sixth and Felipe Fernández for fifth in lap 3; one lap later Montenegro moved into fourth ahead of Rubén Fernández. Later, Montenegro overtook Casalins for P3, while Felipe Fernández passed his brother Rubén for P5, and Marco Aguilera passed Pelatti for P7. Between laps 7 and 9 there was a skirmish for the eighth position between Pelatti and Miguel Ángel Romero; eventually Romero retired into the pit, while Pelatti stopped along the track. During the final part of the race, Montenegro passed García for second in lap 10 and began to close the gap to the leader. Gené had built a margin of 4.3 seconds that shrank lap after lap, however he crossed the finishing line 1.2 seconds ahead of Montenegro, with García completing the podium. 

A few drivers were given time penalties for track-limit infringements, among them was Rubén Fernández who got twenty seconds and dropped from P6 to P7.

Race 2 – Víctor Fernández and Pelatti shared the front row of the top-ten reversed grid. Fernández had a slow start and was passed by Pelatti off the line, while it was the fourth-placed Rubén Fernández who made the best start, diving down the inside to take the lead into Turn 1 ahead of Pelatti. Points leader Montenegro was already up to third by the end of the first lap from eighth on the grid and then passed Pelatti for second at Turn 4 at the start of the second lap before the safety car was called when Casalins’ Audi was in the gravel at Turn 2. When the race resumed, Montenegro passed race leader Rubén Fernández at the end of the lap and began to build a lead, while title rival Gené was still fighting his way through the order. Gené overtook García on lap five for P4, before passing Felipe Fernández for P3 a lap later, but he was now stuck behind second-placed Rubén Fernández for five more laps while Montenegro built a lead. Gené finally made his move on lap 11, forcing his way past Rubén at Turn 2, with Rubén’s brother Felipe and of García also getting past at Turn 4, dropping him to fifth. Gené couldn’t do anything about Montenegro’s lead however, with the Argentine going on to win his third race out of four and securing the title by nine points.

TCR Spain’s regular season will kick off at Jarama, 10/12 April.


Valencia – Race 1

1. Eric Gené (Monlau Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición), 16 laps

2. Ignacio Montenegro (ALM Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R FL5), 1.216

3. Álvaro García (ALM Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R FK7), 4.700


Valencia – Race 2

1. Ignacio Montenegro (ALM Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R FL5), 15 laps

2. Eric Gené (Monlau Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición), 2.909

3. Felipe Fernández (Auto Club R2 Vallés, Audi RS 3 LMS), 4.877


Championship points

1. I. Montenegro, 169 pts.; 2. E. Gené, 160; 3. Á. García, 127 


Picture: TCR Spain


10 Philpot Lane, First Floor
London EC3M 8AA - United Kingdom

WSC Operative Office: tel +41 91 9100590, fax +41 91 9100599, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Fabio Ravaioli, Director of Communications:
tel. +41 79 5501290, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

© 2021 WSC Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Credits: Rebster Ltd.

Privacy Policy

Cookie Policy

Don't have an account yet? Register Now!

Sign in to your account