Gianni Morbidelli crashes Renault Mégane TCR in Valencia test

Gianni Morbidelli, one of the two official TCR Balance of Performance drivers, went off at high speed at Turn 1 while driving the Renault Mégane TCR due to a broken brake duct during the annual BOP test at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia.

The Italian was taken to the circuit medical centre where they established that he had suffered a bruised right foot. The car was badly damaged in the crash and is in need of substantial repairs.

Eleven manufacturers were on site and they selected their own drivers to set up the cars for the BOP test, all running at their base weight of 1265kg including the driver, before Morbidelli and Daniel Lloyd, the two official TCR BOP drivers, took over.

Honda was the only manufacturer to take two different models of cars to the track, as the 2017-spec Civic also had to undergo BOP testing alongside the new 2018 car. Josh Files and Esteban Guerrieri took driving duties respectively for Honda.

Mario Ferraris drove the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, while Rahel Frey was behind the wheel of the Audi RS 3 LMS. Gabriele Tarquini was in the Hyundai i30 N, Mike Halder in the Kia Cee’d and Mikhail Grachev in the Lada Vesta. Alexander Heil drove the Opel Astra and Aurélien Comte the Peugeot 308, while Franjo Kovac and Alex Morgan shared driving duties in the Renault Mégane. Jordi Gené was behind the wheel of the SEAT León and Dieter Depping in the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

After scrutineering the schedule of the first BOP day was split between testing, centre of gravity checks and engine dynamometer runs.