Kevin Giacon takes maiden TCR Italy victory at Mugello

Gruppo Piloti Forlivesi’s Kevin Giacon scored a hard-fought victory in this morning’s Race 1 at Mugello at the wheel of his Opel Astra, the first in the TCR Italy series for the young Italian driver.

As the lights went out, pole-sitter Nicola Baldan, in the Pitlane Competizione SEAT León TCR, was slow off the starting line, with MM Motorsport’s Eric Scalvini moving into the lead in his Honda Civic.

Finlay Crocker launched like a rocket from ninth on the grid in his Honda Civic, managing to challenge for third place, but contact with Kraf Racing’s Plamen Kralev’s Audi sent the Briton into a spin on the main straight, and he fell to the back of the pack.

Kevin Giacon was now up to second position, followed by Pit Lane Competizione driver Max Mugelli’s Audi as well as Kralev, with Baldan falling to fifth position.

Giacon overtook Scalvini for the lead before the end of the first lap, but wasn’t able able to open a gap up over the Honda.

The positions remained stable, but Baldan was now attacking Kralev, unsuccessfully trying to overtake at the outside of Turn 5 on lap three. The Bulgarian driver upped his pace, closing down the gap to Mugelli. Kralev got ahead of Mugelli for third on lap seven, who now fell into Baldan’s hands

Further back, Massimiliano Gagliano was fighting with veteran returnee Felice Tedeschi, with the Volkswagen Golf driver overtaking the MM Motorsport Honda on lap six for sixth.

Kralev closed up to Scalvini’s Honda, but the Italian in turn stepped up his pace and closed on leader Giacon in the last stages of the race.

The race was then red flagged with two laps to go due after Scalvini suffered a burst tyre on the track. The race wasn’t resumed, with Kevin Giacon scoring his first victory of the season, with Scalvini classified in second place, as the results were from countback to the lap prior to the red flag, with Kralev completing the podium.

Mugelli managed to hold off Baldan to finish in fourth position, with Gagliano sixth in his Volkswagen. Tedeschi was seventh in his first TCR Italy race, with Autostar Motorsport’s Raimondo Ricci eighth at the wheel of the best-placed Peugeot 308 TCT.

Daniele Verrocchio was ninth in the first of BF Motorsport’s SEAT León, with Gian Maria Gabbiani completing the top ten in the third Civic from MM Motorsport

An elated Kevin Giacon said: “This is a beautiful victory, especially for our team after a difficult start of the season. We hope to be able to continue like this and fight for the championship.”

The start of Race 2 is scheduled for 17:55 CET