The Autódromo Victor Borrat Fabini in El Pinar, Uruguay, is the venue for the first of two consecutive weekends that see the Kumho TCR World Tour and TCR South America racing together.
The two series combine for an impressive entry list of more than 30 cars that will compete in two races of 25 minute plus one lap, on the 3.1-km circuit located some 35 kilometres east of Montevideo.
The only difference compared to the usual format of the event concerns the Qualifying session, with the drivers split in two groups for the 20-minute Q1; the fastest six drivers of each group will then advance to the 10-minute Q2. The World Tour resumes two months after the joint event with TCR Europe at the Hungaroring, where Cyan Racing Lynk & Co teammates Yann Ehrlacher and Thed Björk took one race win apiece. That victory, together with the points scored for the pole position and the sixth position in Race 2, enabled Ehrlacher to oust BRC Hyundai Squadra Corse’s Norbert Michelisz from the top of the standings. The French driver has built a gap of 16 points over his Hungarian rival, while Michelisz’s teammate Mikel Azcona lies in third position, 11 further points adrift.
After that trio, Rob Huff (Audi Sport Team Comtoyou) and Néstor Girolami with the JAS Motorsport-built Honda Civic FL5 are placed fourth and fifth with gaps of 45 and 50 points from the leader. Girolami’s Honda will be run by the Argentina-based Squadra Martino in this event and in the next week’s at La Pedrera.
In TCR South America, Argentina’s youngster Ignacio Montenegro is leading the standings on 256 points, thanks to his four race wins at the wheel of the Squadra Martino Honda Civic FK7. Right behind him are Brazil’s Raphael Reis (W2 Pro GP, CUPRA Leon Competición) and Bernardo Llaver (Toyota Team Argentina, Toyota Corolla GRS), 44 and 48 points behind Montenegro.
Several drivers will represent Uruguay in the event, for the joy of the local fans.
Santiago Urrutia, who is currently placed eighth in the World Tour with his Cyan Racing Lyink & Co has great expectations, while there are six Uruguayans competing in TCR South America. Juan Manuel Casella is the best-placed among them, lying fourth in the standings in his Squadra Martino Honda Civic; Enrique Maglione drives another Civic for the same team, while Frederick Balbi races a Lynk & Co for PMO Motorsport. The group is completed by Gozalo Reilly’s PMO Racing Peugeot 308 and a pair of Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce cars run by Alfa Racing for Michel Bonnín and Carlos Silva.
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