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TCR – Borković wins a thrilling race from Paulsen and Nagy

Dušan Borković returned to victory in a very entertaining Race 1 at the Hungaroring, after a thrilling fight on a track that was humid and treacherous after the morning rain. The Serb of Target Competition, who had won the two races of the season-opener at Paul Ricard, collected his third victory at the wheel of his Hyundai i30 N. He chased the leading trio of Josh Files, Mikel Azcona and Attila Tassi during the first three laps, then chose the right moment to attack while his competitors were fighting. After a contact between Files – who stopped with a puncture – and Azcona – who lost a few places, the battle continued with Tassi defending second from a charging Julien Briché. A contact ensued, which eliminated them both: Tassi in the gravel, Briché with a drive-through. This promoted Stian Paulsen to second and Azcona to third; while the Norwegian was happily flying towards his first podium, Azcona did not settle for third and attempted an overtaking manoeuvre. He found himself involved in the duel between Stefano Comini and Reece Barr and was lucky to escape the collision and finish fourth behind Dániel Nagy. Thus he retained the championship lead, only one point clear of Borković. Kris Richard, Jens Reno Møller (his best result of the season so far), Jean-Karl Vernay (TCR Benelux winner), Stefano Comini (who recovered from 22nd on the grid), Danny Kroes and Márk Jedlóczky (who scored his first point) rounded off the top-ten. Marie Baus-Coppens won the DSG Trophy in 15th position overall. Race 2 will start tomorrow at 11:50, with Francisco Mora on pole on the top-ten reverse grid. Live streaming on and

Key facts Grid – The race is declared wet, as the track is still damp from the morning showers, but all cars are on slick tyres Start – Azcona and Files fight side by side at the first braking, they clash but the Spaniard keeps the advantage; Ryba spins at T1 after being sandwiched between Davidovski and Piro Lap 1 – Files overtakes Azcona at T2; Tassi too overtakes Azcona for P2; Borković is fourth ahead of Barr, Nagy and Paulsen Lap 2 – Paulsen overtakes Nagy for sixth; Tassi goes wide at T3 and drops to third; Ficza and Abreu make contact; Comini climbs to 11th Lap 3 – Azcona spins at the last turn after clashing with Files; Borković overtakes Tassi for second Lap 4 – Borković overtakes Files for the lead at T1; Paulsen overtakes Barr for fourth Lap 5 – Files pits with a puncture; Comini and Møller clash while fighting for ninth; Briché overtakes Paulsen for third Lap 6 – Comini overtakes Richard for eighth Lap 7 – Tassi and Briché are in a thrilling fight for second; they make several contacts and eventually Tassi spins off onto the gravel trap Lap 8 – Paulsen benefits from the commotion and climbs to second; Mora pits with a throttle issue; the safety car is deployed to recover Tassi’s car Lap 9 – Briché is given a drive-through for the incident with Tassi Lap 10 – The race resumes, with Briché putting again the show at first corner but almost going off track, before passing Paulsen for a virtual P2 Lap 11 – Barr and Comini sandwich Azcona at T1, they collide and spin, but the Spaniard manages somehow to escape and drops behind Nagy; Borković wins from Briché (who is dropped to 16th by a 30-second time penalty for not observing the drive-through), Paulsen, Nagy and Azcona

Driver quotes after the first race

Dušan Borković (1st): « We have struggled a little bit since Paul Ricard with the BoP and the Compensation Weight, but everyone is in a similar position. I knew that it would be our turn again this weekend because the circuit suits the power we have as there not so many straights here. When we had the wet conditions in Qualifying, I was worried because I had never driven the car in the wet and my team had not done any testing in the wet. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew we wouldn’t be P1. There were some drivers faster than me and among them was Azcona, my main rival for the championship. I was driving using the dry places on the circuit and I made some clean overtaking moves. I was careful under braking and I think I managed really well. »

Stian Paulsen (2nd): « This is actually my first podium in any TCR championship, so I’m very happy about it! It was a very hard race but these are my favourite conditions, when it’s wet and we’re on slicks. There was a lot of fighting going on around me but I managed to stay out of trouble; I actually let a few people pass me because I wanted to avoid contacts. It turned out really well and I’m really happy to have finished P2. I’m happy for my boys and my sponsors – I’ve been working so hard over the last two years and I’ve been managing on not much sleep. This was actually the first race I came to feeling prepared and I was relaxed. Everything really worked out. To go from P12 to P2 again tomorrow will be really difficult but if I can finish in the top five I will be really happy. »

Daniel Nagy (3rd): « It was an amazingly tricky race but I think you could see that from the outside as well! I made a good start because I was on the drier line and I was able to overtake something like three cars before the first corner. Then I had a big slide and after that I was struggling with my pace, so I lost a few positions. I knew I had to change something because I knew otherwise I would keep dropping back. It was a very tricky last lap because I could see drivers in front of me going into Turn 1 like crazy! Everybody was trying to brake too late so it wasn’t easy, but I think it was a good decision from me to brake safely and I think I also had some luck because they were touching and making contact. I know it’s part of the game, so you have to be lucky sometimes. This aspect of the sport is always important and today I was lucky to be P3 at the end. I’m really happy for the team because after seventh position I didn’t even think I could be on the podium. »

Azcona pips Tassi and Files in Qualifying

After being the last driver to make the cut for Q2, Mikel Azcona secured his first pole position with a last gasp lap on the drying track. A perfect strategy from PCR Sport meant that the young Spaniard waited until the final moments in Q2, when the racing line were dryer, to mount two slick tyres at the front and set the fastest lap of 2:05.652. Thus, he pipped Tassi (2:06.105) and Files (2:06.393) who seemed to have locked the front row of the grid for Race 1. Target Competition colleagues Dušan Borković and Reece Barr qualified fourth and fifth respectively, with the Irish making up from a disappointing day of Practice and claiming his best Qualifying result so far. Zengő Motorsport’s TCR returnee Ferenc Ficza put in a brilliant effort to place his Cupra DSG in sixth position, ahead of his fellow countryman Dániel Nagy who had been fastest in Q1. Francisco Abreu qualified eighth despite having his fastest lap disallowed for a track limit infringement, while Julien Briché and Francisco Mora rounded off the top ten and secured the front row on the reverse grid for tomorrow’s Race 2; Mora will be on pole. It was a disappointing session for Kris Richard – the first to miss the cut for Q2 by 48 thousandths of a second only -, Jean-Karl Vernay and Stefano Comini who were also eliminated after Q1. The Frenchman had a quick lap disallowed for a track limit infringement, was called back to the pits by his team and rejoined when it was too late, while Comini’s car suffered from a gearbox issue.

Press release TCR


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