Josh Files doubles-up in Abu Dhabi with Race 2 victory
Josh Files took a perfect score from his first race weekend in the TCR Middle East series, with the TCR Germany champion winning the second race from the back of the grid in his Lap57 Motorsports Honda Civic TCR.
Files started seventh and last in the race, courtesy of the reversed grid from qualifying, but it didn’t even take a lap for the 26-year-old to storm in the lead
The Brit’s charge was helped by non-start for the Subaru WRX of Giacomo Altoè, who pulled into the pits with a technical issue on the formation lap, and also when team-mate Mohammed Al Owais stalled his Honda on the grid.
Files swooped into the lead ahead of the Engstler-run Volkswagen Golf of Luca Engstler at Turn 6 on the opening lap, while yesterday’s runner-up Davit Kajaia was also chasing down the young German in the sole Mulsanne Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
Kajaia passed Engstler for second on the second lap at Turn 8, but Files was continuing to build a significant lead, with the Briton taking the victory by over 13 seconds ahead of the Alfa driver.
Files’ results from the weekend elevate him to third in the drivers’ championship standings despite missing the first race in Dubai. Files is just 12 points behind points leader Brandon Gdovic, who is on 67 points, with the American finishing fourth in both races at the Yas Marina Circuit this weekend.
Luca Engstler is second in the championship, six points behind Gdovic and six clear of Files.
The season finale takes place on March 10th at the Bahrain International Circuit.