Photo: TCR Europe

Josh Files tops competitive second TCR Europe practice at Portimão

Target Competition’s Josh Files set the fastest time in the second TCR Europe Series practice session at Portimão as under a second covered the top 12 cars.

The 2019 champion, who finished 10th quickest in the opening session of the weekend, posted a best time of 1:52.047 to end up just over two-tenths of a second clear of Klim Gavrilov’s Volcano Motorsport Cupra León Competición.

Despite the fastest time going the way of Files’s Hyundai Elantra N TCR, it was the Cupra which appeared the strongest, occupying four of the top five positions by the end of the 30-minute practice.

Gavrilov was near the top of the times throughout, while a late effort from Sébastien Loeb Racing’s John Filippi – who struggled in FP1 – put the Frenchman third ahead of the second Volcano Motorsport entry of Isidro Callejas.

Both Gavrilov and Filippi set the fastest sector times of all in the third and second respectively, while the Hyundai of Files topped the stop-start first sector.

Pepe Oriola ended up as the best of the Honda Civic Type-R drivers in fifth, his Brutal Fish Racing car just over half a second adrift of Files.

Behind, Franco Girolami was sixth in his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS TCR and fractionally ahead of another Audi of Luís Cidade.

FP1 pacesetter Mat’o Homola was eighth quickest in his Janík Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N TCR, 0.604s off the pace of Files, while the sister car of Jáchym Galaš was just behind in ninth.

After failing to set a proper lap-time for half the session, Tom Coronel completed the top 10 in his Comtoyou Racing Audi.

It was an up-and-down session for the Halder siblings, who featured well inside the top 10 early on, but ultimately ended up just outside by the flag.

Mike Halder was 11th quickest, seventh-tenths off the pace, while Michelle Halder was 12th. The third Halder Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R of Jack Young, second in FP1, had to make do with 14th.

Next up for TCR Europe is qualifying which is scheduled to take place tomorrow morning at 09:35 local time (10:35 CET).