Max Mugelli claims victory in action-packed Vallelunga race
PRS Motorsport driver Max Mugelli, driving an Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR, scored his first victory of the TCR Italy championship season at Vallelunga after a close fight with Pit Lane Competizioni’s Enrico Bettera.
At the start, Mugelli took the lead ahead of Audi driver Bettera as Target Competition’s Marco Pellegrini immediately dropped places to Matteo Greco of team Scuderia del Girasole and Jacopo Guidetti in the Audi RS 3 LMS of FR Motorsport and Scuderia del Girasole’s Salvatore Tavano, driving a Cupra TCR.
Pellegrini suffered a front-right tyre puncture, with the Target Competition driver coming to the pits for a change three laps into the race.
Half way through the 25-minute race Bettera managed to overtake Mugelli for the lead, with the Alfa Romeo driver retaking the lead again a lap later after the Pit Lane Competizioni driver went wide. The fight between the leading duo allowed Guidetti to make it a trio.
Bettera made another mistake and went wide, losing second place to Greco. The Audi driver then came under fire from Guidetti, who overtook him for third place.
At the chequered flag, Mugelli claimed victory by a margin of close to five seconds ahead of Greco and with Guidetti completing the podium, a further four seconds behind.
Bettera managed to fend off Tavano’s attacks to finish fourth. Tavano’s team-mate Eric Scalvini, also driving a Cupra TCR, was sixth, ahead of Opel driver Andrea Argenti racing for the S.I. Racing Team.
Team Wimmer Werk’s Peter Gross finished eighth, followed by the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR of Pit Lane Competizione driven by Claudio Formenti. Gunter Benninger completed the top ten.
The start of Race 2 is scheduled for Sunday morning at 09:20 CEST.