Wins for Brown and Casalins in TCR Spain’s Portuguese round
01 October 2023
In the second event of TCR Spain, at the Portuguese circuit of Estoril, Lewis Brown and Sergio Casalins were victorious in the two races; they were both at the wheel of Audi RS 3 LMS cars run by Comtoyou Racing.
On his maiden appearance in the Spanish series, Brown started Race 1 from the pole and led from the lights to the flag, rejecting the assaults from Álvaro García in another Comtoyou-run Audi. The second race saw Casalins claiming an authoritative win on his only fourth TCR race, with the young Spaniard resisting the pressure from Brown during the final laps.
Enric Bordás drove his Monlau Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición to finish third in both races and so moved into the lead of the standings, 21 points clear of Casalins.
Erik Zabala (Monlau Motorsport, CUPRA DSG) and Marco Aguilera (Fed. Andalusa, Peugeot 308 RC) shared wins and second places in the TCR Cup.
Race 1 – Brown had beaten Bordás to the pole by 142 thousandths with García third only nine further thousandths behind. The Briton led the field at the start while García jumped ahead of Bordás who was chased by Igor Urien and Rubén Fernández. At the beginning of lap 2, the cars of Victor Fernández and Ernesto Olhagaray stopped on the track after a collision and the safety car was deployed. Racing resumed in lap 4, with Miguel Ángel Romero who passed Sergio Casalins for P6. Up front, García put the pressure on Brown, while Rubén Fernández defended P5 from Romero and Casalins. In lap 6, Amalia Vinyes spun and dropped from eighth to twelfth. In lap 10, Urien went wide at T2, slipped down from fourth to seventh and then retired into the pits. In lap 13, both Romero and Casalins managed to pass Fernández for P4 and P5. Brown held on to the lead until the final lap, when García tried an overtaking move into T3; the two Audi cars made contact, but Brown resisted and went to take the win, with Bordás in third position, while Casalins beat Romero to the line in the final rush for P4.
Race 2 – After eliminating each other in Race 1, Victor Fernández and Olhagaray shared the front row of the grid. At the start it seemed that Fernández had moved too early; he led from Casalins, Vinyes and his brother Rubén. In lap 2, Casalins stole the lead from Victor Fernández, while Rubén Fernández, García and Brown passed Vinyes for P3, P4 and P5. One lap later, García overtook Rubén who tried to strike back, but hit the back of his rival’s car and sent it off onto the gravel. The safety car was called into action and the race restarted in lap 6. Both Brown and Urien advanced to third and fourth, passing Rubén Fernández who then pitted and rejoined one lap later. Meanwhile, Brown passed Victor Fernández for P2 and began to close in on the leader. Soon afterwards, Victor dropped down further as he was passed by Urien, Bordás and Romero. Despite his efforts, Brown couldn’t catch up with Casalins who crossed the line with a six-tenth margin. During the last lap, Bordás overtook Urien to clinch the final spot on the podium, and Vinyes passed Victor Fernández for sixth.
The championship will resume at Jerez de la Frontera on November 11/12.
Estoril – Race 1
1. Lewis Brown (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS II), 13 laps
2. Álvaro García (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS II), 0.557
3. Enric Bordás (Monlau Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición), 2.048
Estoril – Race 2
1. Sergio Casalins (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS II), 14 laps
2. Lewis Brown (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS II), 0.613
3. Enric Bordás (Monlau Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición), 6.961
1. E. Bordás, 147 pts; 2. S. Casalins, 126; 3. Á. García, 110
Picture: TCR Spain
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