The TCR Benelux Series lived a very entertaining season-opening event at Spa, with many guest stars. On Saturday, the Delahaye Racing SEAT León of the Mondron brothers took the Qualifying Race, while the Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS won three out of the four Sprint races (two with Stefano Comini, one with Sheldon Van der Linde) and the DG Sport Opel Astra of Mat’o Homola clinched the other victory. Comini-Van der Linde are the first points leaders (105 points) ahead of the Mondron brothers (69) and Vernay-Huff (64).
The Qualifying Race was won by Guillaume and Edouard Mondron, ahead of the Boutsen Ginion Honda Civic cars of Stéphane Lémeret-Tom Coronel and Benjamin Lessennes-Enzo Guibbert. The race was marked by a lively first lap, which saw the poleman Homola withdrawing with electrical problems and a pile-up at the chicane that eliminated Dénis Dupont (Team WRT SEAT) and forced Rob Huff (WRT Volkswagen Golf) to pit for repairs.
Race 1 - Comini, fifth on the grid, took the lead at the end of the first lap; however on lap 5 he was passed by Frédéric Caprasse’s Opel, although the latter knew he had a 5-second penalty for jump start. Comini retook the lead in the penultimate lap and won from Lessennes and Jean-Karl Vernay (WRT VW).
Race 2 - Comini led from lights to flag, beating his former teammate in the TCR International Series, Vernay, with Lessennes finishing third. Kevin Abbring’s Peugeot 308 and 2016 champion Lémeret’s Honda couldn’t take part in the race given damage sustained in Race1 contact.
Race 3 - Homola beat bad luck to take victory with his Opel, taking the lead from the pole at the start. The Slovak, though, had to fight hard in the closing laps to keep at bay van der Linde and Huff, who had lost second place to the South African on lap 5.
Race 4 - Van der Linde gave Comotoyou Racing and Audi their third win of the day. He beat Maxime Potty (WRT VW) who passed teammate Rob Huff for second during the final lap. Homola, who was on pole, did not have a god start and had to stop in the pits on lap 2 with technical issues.
The next rounds of the TCR Benelux Series are scheduled at Zandvoort, in four weeks.
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