Michelle Halder keeps all the boys at bay in TCR Europe
13 September 2020
Michelle Halder made history, becoming the first female race winner in TCR Europe. The German girl made a perfect start in Zolder’s Race 2 and never looked back, leaving all the boys (and also the other girl, Jessica Bäckman) behind as she was able to keep a stunning and consistent pace until the end.
Daniel Lloyd, who sat on pole position, couldn’t do anything else than follow her and settle in a second place that meant for him to retain the leadership in the standings, nine points clear of Mike Halder. Dániel Nagy finished third, for the first time on the podium in the current season.
At the start, Michelle from P2 on the grid pipped the pole sitter Lloyd and led the field; behind them Julien Briché and Andreas Bäckman collided and went off at Turn 2. A few hundred metres further, Martin Ryba was punted into a spin as he was negotiating the chicane.
Nagy defended P3 from Mike Halder, while Mat’o Homola was chased by Nicolas Baert who finally managed to pass him in lap 3. One lap later, Pepe Oriola overtook Sami Taoufik for P8 and the two of them quickly closed the gap to Homola and began putting the pressure on him.
Oriola passed Homola in lap 12; and during the final lap the latter was involved in a tough battle with Taoufik, Teddy Clairet and John Filippi. Homola managed to retain P8 from Teddy and Filippi, while Taoufik made a mistake during the final lap and dropped to 12th.
Michelle kept a stunning pace and consistently stretched his leading margin over Lloyd who was even warned for trespassing the track limits. Eventually she took the chequered flag nearly two seconds before the Briton, while Nagy completed the podium ahead of Mike Halder.
The TCR Europe series will return in two week-time at Monza for rounds 5 and 6.
1. Michelle Halder (Profi Car Team Halder, Honda Civic Type R), 14 laps
2. Daniel Lloyd (Brutal Fish Racing, Honda Civic Type R), 1.953
3. Dániel Nagy (BRC Racing Team, Hyundai i30 N), 5.475
4. Mike Halder (Profi Car Team Halder, Honda Civic Type R), 5.792
5. Mehdi Bennani (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS), 6.663
1. Daniel Lloyd 129 pts; 2. Mike Halder 120; 3. Mehdi Bennani 100
Picture: TCR Europe
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