TCR Europe - 7/8 June 2018. Despite 60 Kg of Compensation Weight on his Audi RS 3 LMS, Leopard Lukoil WRT’s Frenchman managed his best at the TCR Europe Series’s Hungarian round, closing in the points in Race1 after a phenomenal comeback and fighting with his rivals before being penalized with a drive-through in Race2.
TCR Europe’s Hungarian event began with M1RA’s Dániel Nagy, one of the local heroes, as the fastest in FP1, that was shortened by one third because of a red flag, with Jean-Karl Vernay moving up to fifth in the final moments of the session. Several drivers managed to improve their times, moving up in the ranking in the Free Practice 2, but no one was able to go as fast as the Serb Dušan Borković.
An unfortunate qualifier for J.K. Vernay in Hungary with variable weather conditions: his fastest lap was disallowed due to a track limit infringement and he was not able to advance to the Q2. Spaniard Mikel Azcona secured the pole position in TCR Europe with the last lap when the racing line was dryer.
In Race 1, Borković collected his third seasonal victory. At the Hungaroring, it was a thrilling fight on a wet track after the morning rain, with several and crucial contacts. The TCR Benelux winner Jean-Karl Vernay brought his Audi RS 3 LMS inside the top-ten, with a phenomenal comeback recovering from 21st on the grid to 7th on the finish line.
On a warm Sunday afternoon, the Hungaroring produced a lively Race 2, which was won by Francisco Mora for a perfect use of the pole position on the reversed grid. The combination of BoP and Compensation Weight listed the Leopard Lukoil WRT’s Audi RS 3 LMS as the heaviest car: J.K. Vernay emerged from the tough battle with another great performance again but on Lap 6 he received a drive-through for track limit infringements, closing out of the points.
The Frenchman is currently in 5th place overall in the Drivers’ standings, 50 points from the current leader. But there are still 3 double rounds to run: Leopard Racing WRT will face them as well as 6 world finals!
#69 Jean-Karl VERNAY:
“A terrible weekend. Qualifying 21st on a wet track when we were hoping for some good results after our pace on Friday in the dry: it started well but then we put in a set of tires and the car was just really difficult to drive. No traction and we were really slow, we couldn’t keep up the pace. It was just really weird. From there the weekend was difficult. Race 1 was great, 21 to 7 and a lot of overtaking. The car was really good, a lot of fun. Race 2 was good again, good first few laps back to P13 from 21. I got hit really hard in the second last corner and lost six or seven positions and after that it was difficult to come back. At least it’s positive as we are still getting used to the car.”
1 – Borković / SRB / Target Competition / Hyundai i30 N / 12 Laps
2 – Paulsen / NOR / Stian Paulsen Racing / Cupra TCR / +2.733
3 – Nagy / HUN / M1RA / Hyundai i30 N / +3.989
7 – Vernay / FRA / Leopard Lukoil Team / Audi RS 3 LMS / +6.507
1 – Mora / POR / M1RA / Hyundai i30 N / 13 Laps
2 – Nagy / HUN / M1RA / Hyundai i30 N / +1.421
3 – Files / GBR / Hell Energy Racing / Honda Civic Type-R / +6.819
20 – Vernay / FRA / Leopard Lukoil Team / Audi RS 3 LMS / +2 Laps
1 – Azcona / 112 points
2 – Borković / 111 p.
3 – Nagy / 87 p.
4 – Files / 68 p.
5 – Vernay / 62 p.
1 – Target Competition / 184 points
2 – PCR Sport / 144 p.
3 – Hell Energy Racing / 128 p.
4 – M1RA / 132 p.
5 – Leopard Lukoil Team / 100 p.