TCR EUROPE'S PROVISIONAL RESULTS CROWN JULIEN BRICHÉ VICE-CHAMPION IN MONZA FINALE
Sun, 13/10/2019 - 20:00
TCR EUROPE - MONZA, Italy - 11-13 OCTOBER 2019
JSB Competition’s Julien Briché secured second place in the final TCR Europe Series provisional standings after a near-perfect weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Italy. Results of the TCR Europe second race in Monza, and therefore the final results of the series, remain provisional pending the technical checks of the ECU of Josh Files’ Hyundai i30N car.
Frenchman took a superb 75 points from the 80 available with a fourth win of the season. Briché added a second place in Race 2, and also set the fastest lap in each encounter, with the win also cementing his TCR Benelux title at the same time. PEUGEOT SPORT stablemate Aurélien Comte also enjoyed a successful weekend, claiming second to Briché in the first race before finishing seventh in Race 2 when Team Clairet Sport drivers Teddy and Jimmy Clairet confirmed their excellent results in TCR Europe for their first season.
However, the results of the TCR Europe second race in Monza, and therefore the final results of the series, remain provisional pending the technical checks of the ECU of Josh Files’ Hyundai i30N car. The software of the ECU will be checked by the TCR technical delegate and the staff of the TCR technical departments.
Coming into the weekend, Briché trailed eventual champion Josh Files (Hyundai) by 48 points, which the Peugeot 308TCR driver reduced to 43 after claiming a sensation pole position on Saturday morning. Such was the fast nature of the parkland circuit, getting a tow proved crucial to lap-times, and Briché was able to work closely with DG Sport Compétition’s Comte to maximise the straight-line speed of the car.
Both drivers lined up on the front-row for Saturday’s opening encounter, with Briché making a perfect getaway from pole to lead Comte into the first corner.
Comte then made sure that Briché would not be challenged for the victory, whilst also ensuring there was no threat from behind. Files eventually made it up to third by the finish, but that still meant the title was all to play for in Sunday’s final race of the year.
Having qualified on pole for Race 1, the reversed-grid format for Sunday meant that Briché started from tenth, with Files in second. Briché made a superb start and ran as high as sixth after the opening two laps.
He then fought his way past the pole-sitting Volkswagen Golf of Maxime Potty, the Audi RS 3 LMS of Gilles Magnus and finally the Honda Civic Type R of Dan Lloyd to be second entering the second half of the race.
Briché hounded the back of Files’ car in the closing stages, but knowing he had to finish either first or second, with Files not scoring any points, Briché was agonisingly close to snatching the title.
Comte had been disputing the final place on the podium with Lloyd and actually crossed the line third after his brilliant runner-up spot in Race 1. But the French driver was penalised 10 seconds post-race after being adjudged to have gained an advantage following an off-track excursion on the penultimate lap.
Briché finished the season second in the points while Comte secured a place in the top 10.
It was also a successful weekend for the Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308TCRs of siblings Teddy and Jimmy Clairet. Teddy performed excellently in both races, taking a best finish of fifth in the second race. He was joined in the points by Jimmy, who finished eighth.
This means that Teddy moved up four places in the final standings, from 18th to 14th, while Jimmy leapt from 24th to 20th.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Julien Briché - 2019 TCR Europe Series vice-champion
“Of course, it’s disappointing to end the season without winning the title, but I think we can be very proud of what we achieved this season. The team has been amazing and have worked so hard to make it as fast as possible. This weekend was also an incredible one, because we have shown our pace all weekend, taken a win and a second and scored almost the maximum points as well. Race 1 was very enjoyable, I had an agreement with Aurélien that he would not challenge me as I was fighting for the title. So we both made a good start, built a nice margin over the rest and just controlled the pace at the front. Race 2 was a little more difficult, but again I am really happy with the speed we had in the Peugeot. I knew I had the pace to come through the field and I feel I could have won it. I made a tiny mistake at the exit of the second Lesmo corner, where I put a wheel in the gravel, so that cost me probably around seven-tenths of a second, which is a lot around Monza. Overall, we can be very proud of this season.”
Aurélien Comte - 7th in the TCR Europe Series standings
“I think this weekend has been more positive than Barcelona, for us, and the whole Peugeot Customer Racing programme. It’s not been the easiest of seasons for me personally either, as we’ve had some misfortune and bad luck. So it is nice to end the season on a high, especially with the podium in Race 1. I was very happy to help Julien with his championship, so there was no pressure from me during this race. I also felt good to know that I had the pace to win the race as well, as we haven’t been in that position for a while. Race 2 was looking like it could have gone the same way but unfortunately I got a penalty at the end. It was a different kind of race, because I didn’t have the tow, I was sort of all by myself. I have to say that it’s certainly nice to finish the season like this, and I hope next year we can continue this form.”
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