Coronel wins single race epic TCR Europe shines in Germany

September 05, 2022

 Written by: Chris Hosie

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The 2022 TCR Europe Series made another trip the German heartland for the fifth event of the 2022 season. However, before we get into that lets have a look back on the last German outing for the TCR title contenders at the Norisring.

After the drama of Spa, the TCR Europe series arrived in Germany for another stint supporting the DTM and DTM Trophy. Both races saw major incidents and congestion at the hairpin. But afterwards the racing was fast and relentless. Mike Halder took victory in Race 1. While Argentina’s Franco Girolami took the winners honours in Race 2. Marco Butti was the winning Rookie driver and Josh Files got a second in the first race and a third in Race 2.

Now on to the Nürburgring, the next stop of the 2022 season. The cars of the TCR Europe, DTM and DTM Trophy would be using the shorter layout of the Grand Prix circuit. The weekend would consist of the standard formula. Two short, sharp races with one held on each of the two-day event. At least that was the plan. Heavy fog caused the cancellation of both qualifying and Race 1 on Saturday causing the organisers to take a unique decision. Move Race 1 to Sunday and drop Race 2 from the program. Meaning that for the 19 starters it would be a Sunday afternoon sprint for glory on this iconic German circuit.

The race would be over 17 laps and would start under the gentle glow of a setting August sun. the top 10 runners would start as follows:

Tom Coronel would get Pole Position with Nicola Baldan alongside him in second. Jack Young and Franco Girolami would be on row two with Jackym Galas and Felice Jelmini on row three. Pepe Oriola and Kiim Gavrilov would be on row four. Mato Homola and Josh Files completing the top 10.

After a gentle warm up lap the cars got underway and it was drama at the start. Coronel and Baldan got terrific starts and battled down to the start of Turn 1 with Baldan playing it safe and allowing the dutchman to take the lead. Girolami and Young were battling for third and that allowed the Elantra of Oriola to get involved as the midfield went three wide into the first few corners. The battle between young and Giro got more complicated when four Hyundais got involved in turn three. Then, young was forced off at turn four. Loosing several places as a result. After the field navigated the hairpin, there was more drama. Gavrilov got hit by another car and suffered right rear suspension damage. His race was over an all within 500 yards. As the cars got the chicane, at the end of the lap, several cars took to cutting it as everyone tried to find their own piece of real estate.

As the second lap commenced, a driver on the charge was Isidro Callejas. He was up in to the top 5 and was engaged in a titanic battle with Oriola for fourth. The two swapping the position at least 3 times over the next two laps. Allowing the Hyundais of Jelmini, Files and Galas to get involved In this battle. At the front, Coronel was extending his lead of the race ahead of Baldan and the third placed Audi of Girolami.

On lap 3 Michelle Halder retired with mechanical issues at turn 3. While, over in the hairpin, Callejas was pushed off the track by the Elantra of Oriola. The fight for fourth reaching its boiling point. Further down the field, Mike Halder was engaged in a battle with the two TCR Germany runners. The I30s of Patrick Sing and Jonas Karklys.

As the race progressed onwards the story became a Hyundai battleground. The 4 Elantras in the bottom half of the top 8 fought it out with the Cupras of John Filippi and Giancomo Ghermandi. As well as the Audi of Marco Butti. On lap 9 things took a turn for the worst for Ghermandi. He retired with engine issues on lap 9. Mato Homola would also retire near the end of the race. Making it another disappointing weekend for the experienced TCR veteran. Viktor Davidovski also retired after going off at the hairpin.

As the race got into its closing stages the Hyundai’s of Files and Galas had an epic tussle between themselves. Which then, drew in the Audi of Butti. Out front, Tom Coronel would lead the field to the flag and take a commanding victory over the rest of the pack. In one of the finest drives of his career. Baldan would finish in second and Girolami would take third. Oriola would take fourth place and Files would claim fifth after Jelmini allowed the brit to pass him in the closing yards of the last lap. Galas would just hold off Butti for eighth. Filippi would round out the top 10 being the only Cupra in the points.

In terms of the championship, Coronel goes to third in the standings. Overtaking Isidro Callejas in the process. Girolami still has a strong lead ahead of Files. While, Gavrilov, Davidovski, Mike Halder, Baldan and Galas round out the top 10.

Well, it may have been a one race weekend but it was a truly entertaining race for the TCR Europe Series. One of the finest and most entertaining races of the season. Next stop for the 2022 title contenders, the circuit of Monza in Italy. The home of the Italian Grand Prix. Where the TCR runners and riders will support the International GT Open and Euroformula Open championships. Find out who comes out on top when TCR Europe returns to action on September 24th and 25th.


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