Langeveld gives the new Honda its maiden win at Misano

Langeveld gives the new Honda its maiden win at Misano

07 May 2023

TCR Italy’s champion Niels Langeveld won the first race at Misano, scoring the maiden win of the new Honda Civic Type R FL5 run by MM Motorsport. The second race was won by Michele Imberti, in a repetition of his last year’s success with the CRM Motorsport Hyundai i30 N.

As far as the championship is concerned, the retirement of the former leader Marco Butti in Race 1 helped TCR Europe’s champion Franco Girolami to move up on top of the standings. The Argentine finished second and a fifth in the two races, building a gap of 28 points over Butti, while Langeveld climbed to third a further six points adrift.

Race 1 – Butti - on pole for the second time - and Girolami who shared the front row, made tough door-to-door contact at the start. Langeveld from P3 took the opportunity to pass both and take the lead from Girolami, Butti, Denis Babuin, Felice Jelmini, Aurélien Comte and Imberti. In lap 2, Butti went off, rejoined and pitted to change the front right wheel damaged in the clash with Girolami; then he retired a couple of laps later. In the meantime, Damiano Reduzzi’s Hyundai Elantra pulled up on the grass, while Victor Fernández’s Audi stopped on the gravel and the safety car was deployed in lap 5. The race resumed one lap later with Comte and Imberti passing Jelmini for P4 and P5, but in lap 7, the safety car was called back on track following an incident between the Audi cars of Giacomo Ghermandi and Francesca Raffaele.

At the restart, in lap 11, Langeveld kept on leading from Girolami, while Babuin was defending the third position from Comte and Imberti. At the end of lap 13, Imberti finally overtook Comte for P5, while Gennaro Manolio’s Hyundai i30 spun off onto the gravel, which resulted in another intervention of the safety car that left the track before the last lap. Langeveld held on to the lead, winning from Girolami and Babuin.

Race 2 – Imberti and Comte filled the front row of the top-eight reversed grid; the French driver made a better start, but Imberti retook the lead during the first lap, while Jelmini and Ruben Volt followed in third and fourth positions. Soon Langeveld, Butti and Girolami all passed Volt advancing to P4, P5 and P6 respectively. In lap 3, Langeveld, Butti and Girolami moved up further as they all passed Jelmini. 

A pile up in lap 6, involved Matteo Poloni, Reduzzi, Antti Rammo, Victor Fernández and Junui Park, resulting in the safety car’s intervention. At the restart another incident eliminated Federico Paolino and Levente Losonczy, while Sergio López’s Audi stopped on the track forcing the safety car back into action.

In the last part of the race, Imberti pulled away from Comte; Langeveld and Butti ran comfortably in third and fourth, while Girolami defended P5 from Felipe Fernández who had passed Jelmini. There were no further changes in the leading pack and Imberti took his second TCR Italy victory, at Misano again like in 2022.

The DSG cars competed in separate races; Vedat Ali Dalokay won both heats in his Bitci Racing Audi, while RC Motorsport’s teammates Luigi Gallo and Carlotta Fedeli shared second places.

The championship will resume at Mugello, on July 7/9.


Misano – Race 1

  1. Niels Langeveld (MM Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R FL5), 16 laps
  2. Franco Girolami (Aikoa Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS II), 0.783
  3. Denis Babuin (Planet Rally, Audi RS 3 LMS II), 1.805


Misano – Race 2

  1. Michele Imberti (CRM Motorsport, Hyundai i30 N), 17 laps
  2. Aurélien Comte (SP Compétition, CUPRA Leon Competición), 1.416
  3. Niels Langeveld (MM Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R FL5), 2.253


Championship points

  1. F. Girolami, 160 pts; 2. M. Butti, 132; 3. N. Langeveld, 126


Picture: ACI Sport

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