The two Honda Civic cars run by the Boutsen Ginion Racing dominated the inaugural event of the TCR Benelux at Spa-Francorchamps.
After the victory claimed by the pair of Tiago Monteiro and Stéphane Lémeret in Saturday’s 60-minute Qualifying Race, the Japanese machines won three out of the four sprint races. Monteiro-Lémeret lead the standings with 120 points, ahead of the Mondron brothers (70, van de Poele-de Leval (66) and Corthals-Caprasse (58.5).
Race 1 – With the pole sitter Tom Coronel (Bas Koeten Racing SEAT) slowed down by a turbo failure; Vincent Radermecker (Ferry Monster Autosport SEAT) took the lead, but had to serve a drive-through due to jump-start. Monteiro led the whole distance, while Sam Dejonghe (WRT SEAT) won the fight for second ahead of Guillaume Mondron (Delahaye Racing SEAT). The DG Sport Opel Astra of Fred Caprasse retired with broken radiator.
Race 2 – The field is re-packed behind the safety car and takes the rolling start under a pouring rain. Monteiro retains the lead, but Mondron overtakes Dejonghe and then benefits from a small mistake of the Portuguese to take command. The safety car is deployed, following the crash of Didier Van Dalen’s Volkswagen at the Raidillon. When the racing resumes, Mondron manages to keep at bay both Monteiro and a recovering Coronel.
Race 3 – Pierre-Yves Corthals (DG Sport Opel Astra) sits on pole, but Renaud Kuppens in the second Honda of Boutsen Ginion takes a better start ahead of his teammate Lémeret who has replaced Monteiro. The duo in the orange-and-black Honda cars pull away on the wet track, while Corthals recovers overtaking Edouard Mondron, Fréderic Bouvy (Milo Racing VW) and Alexis van de Poele (Delahaye Racing VW) to claim the third position.
Race 4 – As the rain intensifies, the start is given behind the safety car. The weather gets even worse and eventually the race is red-flagged after only three laps, with Kuppens, Lémeret and Corthals filling the podium again in the same order of the previous race.
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