Photo: ACI Sport

Nicola Baldan takes his fourth win of the season at Mugello

Pit Lane Competizione driver Nicola Baldan crossed the finish line in Race 2 at Mugello to take victory at the wheel of his SEAT León TCR.

MM Motorsport’s Eric Scalvini had a new engine fitted to his Civic TCR before the race, and made a great start to take the lead ahead of pole-sitter Baldan and Pit Lane Competizione’s Max Mugelli in his Audi RS 3 LMS.

BF Motorsport’s Alessandro Thellung and VFR Racing’s Finlay Crocker suffered unrelated spins during the first lap, with the safety car being called into action just as Baldan was challenging Scalvini for the lead. The race was neutralised for just one lap.

Scalvini kept the lead at the restart, with Baldan in second place followed by Mugelli and Race 1’s winner Kevin Giacon in the sole Opel Astra from the Gruppo Piloti Forlivesi team.

Baldan started to put pressure on Scalvini, eventually overtaking him at Turn 14 on lap three. Giacon took third from Mugelli on the following lap, with Kraf Racing’s Plamen Kralev closing the gap and also overtaking the rival Audi before the end of the lap.
Giacon kept charging, and overtook Scalvini for second on lap five, with the Italian also losing a spot to Kralev on the following lap. He’d drop one further to Mugelli on lap seven, with the MM Motorsport driver continuing to fall down the classification, with apparent performance issues with his new engine.

The positions remained stable until the end of the race, with Nicola Baldan taking his fourth win of the year, followed by Giacon and Kralev on the podium.

Mugelli withstood the attacks of Giuseppe Montalbano to take fourth place, with Cosimo Barberini completing a fantastic performance to take his SEAT León Racer to sixth place. Felice Tedeschi was again in the points in seventh place in his Civic from MM Motorsport, followed by Massimiliano Gagliano’s Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR and Scalvini, who was ninth at the finish line. Daniele Cappellari completed the top ten in his SEAT León.

Nicola Baldan said after the race: “I was very unlucky this morning, with a mistake at the start and problems in one of the tyres, so I’m very happy to get this result and make up for it.”

The next round of the TCR Italy series takes place at Imola on September 10th.