Reis and Foresti wins TCR South America enduro at Interlagos

Reis and Foresti wins TCR South America enduro at Interlagos

14 April 2024

The new CUPRA Leon VZ run by W2 Pro GP and driven by Raphael Reis and Lucas Foresti emerged victorious in the opening event of TCR South America and TCR Brasil at Interlagos. The 80-minute race was split in two parts of 40 minutes each, split by a twenty-minute neutralization. Foresti took the lead halfway-through the first part and Reis led for the whole part two, resisting the pressure from Pedro Cardoso’s PMO Racing Peugeot 308.  

W2 Pro GP’s drivers Guilherme Salas (1:43.846) and Reis (1:43.692) in their CUPRA Leon cars had topped the two Qualifying sessions for the guest and regular drivers respectively. However, the aggregate results gave the pole position to the Squadra Martino Honda Civic Type R FL5 shared by Juan Manuel Casella and Ignacio Montenegro, with the CUPRA of Reis and Foresti alongside. The second row was filled by the third W2 Pro GP CUPRA that Galid Osman shared with Felipe Lapenna and the Squadra Martino Civic FK7 of Rodrigo Baptista and Diego Nunes.

Casella led the field at the rolling start from Foresti, Lapenna and Baptista; in lap 2, Celso Neto in his Peugeot passed Baptista for P4 and three laps later Baptista pitted with a flat front tyre. Casella built a small gap, but after ten minutes Foresti, Lapenna and Neto closed on him; in lap 8 Foresti moved into the lead and began to pull away. Casella defended the second place, but in lap 19 he was passed by both Lapenna and Neto. Once he got rid of Casella, Lapenna closed in on Foresti.

These were the positions in which they finished the first part of the race after forty minutes, when the cars lined up behind the safety and entered the pit lane for a twenty-minute neutralization to refuel and change driver. Foresti had a seven-tenths lead over Lapenna, with Neto third, nearly three seconds behind.

The safety car left the pits with all the cars behind in the positions they had finished the first part. Reis kept the lead at the restart from Osman, but the latter was soon passed by Cardoso who had replaced Neto. Two laps later, Osman lost third place to Montenegro. Behind them, ‘Cacá’ Bueno was on a charge in the second Peugeot that his codriver Werner Neugebauer had raised to eighth after starting last; Bueno passed the Paladini Toyota cars of Enrique Bordás and Facundo Marques, moving up to fifth.

With 15 minutes to go, Cardoso was close behind the leader Reis, while Montenegro defended P3 from Osman and Bueno. In lap 38, Osman muscled his way past Montenegro as their cars clashed. Seven minutes before the end, Bueno completed a daring move to pass Montenegro for P4 just before Rafael Suzuki’s Lynk&Co hit the barriers, which prompted the safety car on the track. When racing resumed with five minutes to go, a pile up involved Osman, Montenegro, Marques and Bueno. During the last lap, Bordás’ Toyota stopped losing the fourth place, while Reis took the chequered flag seven tenths ahead of Cardoso. Salas benefitted from the misfortunes of the other competitors to finish third in the CUPRA he shared with Guilherme Reischl, while the Cobra Racing Toyota of Nicolas Costa and Thiago Viavacqua was classified fourth, while Casella and Montenegro were excluded because the young Argentine had caused the pile up after the safety car intervention.

The two series will race together again at Cascavel on May 26, with TCR Brasil also running in two separate races on the 25th.  


Interlagos – Race

1. Raphael Reis-Lucas Foresti (W2 Pro GP, CUPRA Leon VZ), 46 laps

2. Pedro Cardoso-Celso Neto (PMO Racing, Peugeot 308), 0.763

3. Guilherme Reischl-Guilherme Salas (W2 Pro GP, CUPRA Leon Competición), 8.229


Championship points

1. R. Reis/L. Foresti, 47 pts; 2. P. Cardoso/C. Neto, 36; 3. G. Reischl/G. Salas, 30


Picture: TCR South America/Rafael Gagliano


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