Photo: TCR Europe

Julien Briché: “On paper, Files is champion“

Julien Briché says the battle for the TCR Europe series title is all but over, despite taking his fourth victory of the season in the penultimate race of the year at Monza.

The JSB Compétition Peugeot driver converted pole position into a straight-forward win from Peugeot stablemate Aurélien Comte, but title rival Josh Files maintains a healthy points advantage after fighting through to third.

Briché is now 33 points adrift of Files, meaning the title race is still alive heading into tomorrow’s second race of the weekend, but the Frenchman is realistic about his chances as he starts the reversed-grid race from 10th.

“It’ll be a big effort to take the title tomorrow. In any case, we’ll be second in the standings barring any issues for the others, and of course I don’t wish that on anyone,” Briché said to TouringCarTimes.

“But yeah, on paper, Files is champion.

“Anything is possible, but we don’t wish that. It was just nice for us to win in front of the Peugeot boss today too. There is one here but there were two in Barcelona! So it was nice to do that.”

As expected, Briché and Comte did not fight each other over the course of the 13-lap encounter, despite Comte showing better pace in the race.

Briché confirmed that an agreement between the two Peugeot drivers was made before the start, with Comte not challenging Briché as the pair went into the first corner.

“We made a good start with Aurélien alongside us. We agreed between us before the start that we would hold station,” Briché continued.

“After that, I got into a good rhythm and as we’re both with the same manufacturer, he agreed he wouldn’t attack me because I am going for the championship.

“Even though it was quite a hard race, he had a lot of pace, but it was a really good day.”