First TCR Europe victory for Klim Gavrilov in Barcelona Race 2
10 October 2021
After Mikel Azcona won Saturday’s Race 1 in Barcelona to become the 2021 TCR Europe champion, in Race 2 it was the turn of his new Volcano Motorsport teammate Klim Gavrilov to take his maiden victory, becoming the eighth different winner from the fourteen races this season. Gavrilov defended his lead from Jack Young for much of the race, but a drive-through penalty meant it was Young’s colleague Isidro Callejas who eventually finished second ahead of the 2020 champion Mehdi Bennani, who occupied the final step on the podium.
Gavrilov started from pole on the reversed grid and was first to Turn 1 but Young made a better start from P3 than Callejas from P2 and so it was the Briton who was behind Gavrilov, with Callejas third and Bennani fourth. Behind those four, Teddy Clairet had made up three places and was in fifth ahead of Niels Langeveld and Sami Taoufik.
Felice Jelmini, started from the back of the grid after a penalty for causing a collision in Race 1. Starting just ahead of the Italian was Franco Girolami, with the Argentine driver having made it to P12 by the end of the opening lap. That lap also saw contact between Evgenii Leonov and Viktor Davidovski.
While the battle for the lead between Gavrilov and Young raged, a great four-way fight for positions from third to sixth was also developing, with Taoufik passing Teddy Clairet for P5 and starting to close up on Bennani who was battling with Callejas for third place.
Young received a warning for repeated track limit infringements and then was handed a drive-through for further track limit breaches. He served his penalty after the penultimate lap and ended the race in fifteenth place.
Young’s penalty elevated Callejas into second place and the Spanish teenager delivered the drive of the race. Despite close attention from Bennani throughout the entire race, Callejas held his nerve and finished a brilliant second, pipping the Moroccan driver by less than three-tenths. Taoufik was fourth and the two Clairet brothers were fifth and sixth, with Teddy narrowly beating Jimmy.
But there was no denying Gavrilov the victory. The young Russian had elected to switch from the Audi RS 3 LMS in which he’d contested the first six events of the season to the Volcano Motorsport team and their CUPRA Leon Competición and the move had clearly paid off.
Barcelona – Race 2
1. Klim Gavrilov (Volcano Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición), 12 laps
2. Isidro Callejas (Brutal Fish Racing Team, Honda Civic Type R Fk7), 8.758
3. Mehdi Bennani (Sébastien Loeb Racing, Hyundai Elantra N), 9.031
4. Sami Taoufik (Sébastien Loeb Racing, Hyundai Elantra N), 9.407
5. Teddy Clairet (Team Clairet Sport, Peugeot 308), 9.641
1. M. Azcona 432 pts; 2. F. Girolami 344; 3. N. Langeveld 286
Picture: TCR Europe
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