The supremacy of Brazilian drivers on their home soil continued at Autódromo Velocitta with W2 Pro GP teammates Raphael Reis and Galid Osman sharing wins in the TCR South America/TCR Brasil joint races. On Saturday, Osman had already won the first of two TCR Brasil-only races, with Diego Nunes victorious in the second.
As far as the championship is concerned, the points leader Ignacio Montenegro retired in Race 2 after finishing fourth in Race 1. The Argentine youngster saw his leadership shrunk to 11 points only over Bernardo Llaver with only one race meeting left, at Cascavel on December 1/3. It will be actually a two-way fight as Reis, who lies third in the standings, has a gap of 84 points, with 85 still at stake.
Race 1 – Reis got away well from the pole and led at the start, from Osman, while Rafael Suzuki who was second on the grid had a slow reflex and was swallowed by the pack. During the first lap, there were several clashes between the drivers who were fighting for P3, with both Juan Ángel Rosso and Pedro Cardoso passing Montenegro after making contact. In lap 2, Osman slowed and limped to the pits with a flat front tyre and lost one lap, while in lap 4 the safety car was deployed after Adalberto Baptista crashed following a collision with Fabio Casagrande. Racing resumed in lap 5, with Reis who was able to pull away, while Rosso was chased by Cardoso, Montenegro, Llaver and Fabián Yannantuoni. Positions froze as the gaps opened, and the last thrill was provided by the battle for P5 between Llaver and Yannantuoni who clashed a couple of times, allowing Nunes and Suzuki to join the fight. Up front, Reis claimed his second victory in the season, beating Rosso and Cardoso, with Montenegro in fourth position. Behind them Llaver slowed in the final lap as he nearly fainted and dropped to seventh behind Yannantuoni and Nunes.
Race 2 – From the pole, Guilherme Reischl’s Peugeot led the field at the start ahead of Yannantuoni who went wide during the first lap and dropped to sixth. Casagrande moved up into second ahead of Llaver, Rosso and Osman. The latter passed Rosso for P4 in lap 2, just before the safety car was deployed after Montenegro’s Honda stopped on the track with a water pump issue. When racing resumed, in lap 5, Osman overtook Llaver for P3, but Llaver immediately retook the position. In lap 8, they both passed Casagrande, moving up to second and third. Casagrande then was also passed by Yannantuoni, Cardoso and Rosso. In lap 10, Osman passed Llaver for second, Llaver then made contact with Yannantuoni and they both dropped to fifth and sixth. This promoted Cardoso and Rosso to third and fourth, while Osman was closing the gap from the leader Reischl. In lap 12, Osman stole the lead from Reischl, while Yannantuoni pitted and retired. Reischl too pitted with a gearbox failure during another safety car intervention following another stop of Montenegro’s car. The green flag was waved again with two minutes left and Osman scored his second win of the weekend beating Cardoso and Rosso. During the penultimate lap there were several collisions amongst the mid-fielders and Reis was sent into a spin and forced to retire.
Velocitta – Race 1
Velocitta – Race 2
Championship points – TCR South America
Championship points – TCR Brasil
Picture: TCR South America/Rafael Gagliano