Josh Files crowned TCR Europe champion after Monza Race 2 victory
Target Competition’s Josh Files has clinched the TCR Europe series title with victory in the final race of the season at Monza, beating rival Julien Briché by just over a second.
Files started the reversed-grid race from second on the grid and got the early jump on pole-sitter Maxime Potty (WRT Volkswagen) at the Roggia Chicane on the first lap.
He then maintained his advantage at the front, and staved off a spirited drive from Peugeot 308TCR driver Briché, who worked his way up from ninth on the grid to second, to be crowned champion.
Dan Lloyd finished on the podium in third after DG Sport Compétition Peugeot driver Aurélien Comte was penalised 10 seconds for gaining an advantage off track when passing the Honda driver.
Files has also become a four-time TCR champion, adding the European and title to his two previous German championships and Middle Eastern title.
Potty initially got off the line well but lost out quickly to Files as the field headed into the Roggia for the first time.
Briché also made ground off the start and ran sixth after the opening two laps, before using his Peugeot 308TCR’s straight-line speed advantage pay off down the long straights to work his way onto the podium.
He got by his Peugeot stablemate Comte with ease before dispatching Potty for fourth under braking for the first chicane on the third lap.
Briché then got by the Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS of Gilles Magnus at the same corner, with the Belgian in the Audi later receiving a drive through penalty for jumping the start from third.
Files meanwhile was desperate to stop Lloyd – who had now made it up to second past Potty – and Briché from getting the advantage of the tow and weaved down the back and front straights.
Briché closed to within half a second in the latter stages but could not do anything to prevent Files securing the title by the flag.
Comte finished fourth on the road but dropped to seventh in the results after his time penalty, which meant that the Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308TCR of Teddy Clairet finished just off the podium.
He beat Gianni Morbidelli’s WestCoast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR and Santiago Urrutia’s WRT Audi, while Jimmy Clairet joined his brother in the points with eighth, while Potty eventually slipped to ninth by the end.
Target Competition’s Dominik Baumann completed the top ten, ahead of team-mate Andreas Bäckman, who recovered from a first lap trip through the Lesmo gravel to finish 11th.
Series debutant Josh Burdon finished just outside the points in 16th in an impressive second race for Brutal Fish Racing.
Files claimed the title on 353 points, 38 points ahead of Briché and 118 points ahead of Urrutia in third.