The two races of TCR Brasil at Autódromo Velocitta were won by Galid Osman’s W2 Pro GP CUPRA and Diego Nunes’ Cobra Racing Toyota. Actually, the first race too had seen a Toyota car – that of Juan Ángel Rosso – first under the chequered flag, but the Argentine was penalised for jumping the start. The points leader Ignacio Montenegro finished second in Race 1, but then retired in Race 2; this propelled Osman’s teammate Raphael Reis on top of the standings, four points clear of Montenegro and 30 ahead of Osman.
Race 1 – The Brazilian drivers had dominated the Qualifying that was topped by Reis from Rafael Suzuki and Osman, with Montenegro fourth. Reis and Suzuki took a slow start, while Rosso sprinted from P6 on the grid to the lead, behind him there was a thrilling battle involving Reis, Osman, Pedro Cardoso and Montenegro. In lap 2, Reis outbraked himself and went wide, dropping to fifth behind Montenegro. Rosso pulled away, with Cardoso and Osman fighting for P2; behind them Reis was chasing Montenegro, while Fabián Yannantuoni and Suzuki followed in P6 and P7. In lap 8, Yannantuoni joined Montenegro and Reis in the fight for P4, while one lap later Cardoso pulled up with a flat front tyre and the safety car was deployed to recover his Hyundai Elantra and also Guilherme Reischl’s Peugeot stopped by a technical issue. Racing resumed in lap 12, with 70 seconds left on the clock; Rosso held on to the lead and crossed the line four tenths ahead of Osman, while Montenegro kept Reis and Yannantuoni at bay to complete the podium. However, after the race, Rosso was handed a 20-second penalty for jump-start and dropped to 11th, while Osman inherited the win.
Race 2 – Nunes and Reischl shared the front row; Reischl was fastest at the start and led from Nunes, Osman, Rosso and Reis. During the first lap, Suzuki and Cardoso overtook Reis; in lap 2, Nunes stole the lead from Reischl who then made contact with Osman and dropped down to seventh, while Rosso and Suzuki advanced to third and fourth, and Reis repassed Cardoso for P5. Positions remained frozen, with Nunes leading by one second over Osman, while Rosso defended the third place from Suzuki and Reis. Between laps 7 and 8, the Squadra Martino Honda cars of championship contenders Juan Manuel Casella and Montenegro retired. In lap 11, Suzuki pitted for a tyre change and lost the fourth place. Nunes went on to grab his maiden win in the TCR, with Osman and Rosso taking the other podium positions.
TCR Brasil will race again tomorrow for rounds 8 and 9, together with TCR South America.
Velocitta – Race 1
Velocitta – Race 2
Picture: TCR South America/Rafael Gagliano