Photo: TCR Europe

Josh Files: podium finish ‘more than I expected’ in first Monza race

Target Competition’s Josh Files says his drive to third place in the penultimate race of the TCR Europe series season surpassed even his own expectations following a difficult qualifying session.

The series points leader charge up from ninth on the grid to finish just four seconds behind title rival and race winner Julien Briché, which allowed him to take a 33-point lead into tomorrow’s final race.

“I made a reasonable opening lap, there was some good fighting and I did some bump drafting with Gilles Magnus in front of me,” Files told TouringCarTimes.

“I went round the outside of him at Ascari which was risky, but at this stage of the championship, you need to go for it. I then made my way forward which was really good.”

Files undertook a series of calculated overtaking manoeuvres after a first lap which could have resulted in contact, as Teddy Clairet (Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308TCR) and Dan Lloyd (Brutal Fish Racing Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR) came together on the exit of the second Lesmo.

From then on, Files began closing on Santiago Urrutia’s Team WRT Audi RS 3 LMS and pulled off a great move on the exit of the final corner, which the British driver feels was his most important.

“I’m really happy with that one, because I knew that if and when I got to him, I could make the move quite easily.

“This is where we should have been. We still don’t quite understand the Peugeot pace, but this is a good result, given where we started.”

Files will start tomorrow’s reversed grid race from the front-row alongside pole-sitter Maxime Potty, but the Target Competition driver remains in a cautious frame of mind with the title on the line.

“It’s still motorsport and you never know what will happen,” Files added.

“Tomorrow is another day, and I will try and win because that is what I want to do. Julien has to fight through the pack, and I will do my best.