Photo: TCR Europe

Franco Girolami has no doubts about costly Spa lock-up: “It’s my fault”

Franco Girolami took responsibility for the last-lap mistake that cost him TCR Europe victory at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday, but revealed he had no warning his car would lock up.

The championship leader spoke to TouringCarTimes about his day at Spa, which started with eighth place in Q1 and then first place in Q2 to put himself on pole for race one, which could have been a lights-to-flag success had he not run off track at Les Combes with a lock-up at the final time of asking.

“It was a difficult day for us, for the car, for the tyres,” he said.

“A lot of temperature, so it was not easy for all the teams to manage the situation but we did a very good qualifying, we did the pole position with an amazing car, an amazing set-up. And then we did a very, very good start in the race. I managed the gap with Callejas, he was also very, very fast but I can control him.

“But then in the end on the last lap I had some problem with the brake, I went to the brake and the pedal goes to the bottom. In the end it’s my mistake, because I had the situation under control and I could have braked a little earlier, but OK, that’s it. We lose five points, but we earn a lot of points for the championship, so we’re happy.”

When pressed on if his Audi RS 3 LMS II’s brake pedal had shown any signs of going through to the floor prior to the tenth and last lap of race, he replied: “Nothing, nothing. In the normal situation the brake lets you know. It’s like all the laps you are losing some feel or something like that. In this case, nothing. All the race, the car, the brake, everything OK. And the last lap I went to the brake and nothing. But in the end I repeat, it’s my fault.”

The Comtoyou Racing driver goes into Sunday’s race, which is the sixth of the season and starts at 11:35 CEST, with a 34-point cushion at the top of the standings over team-mate Tom Coronel. However as it is a reversed grid race he will have to start from tenth place.

“We’ll be starting in 10th position for the reversed grid, but we are okay, we are working on the set-up to have the best pace possible, but we do have to continue thinking about the championship.”

Coronel will start several places ahead of him, with the chasing Volcano Motorsport pair Klim Gavrilov and Isidro Callejas also further up the grid than the race one pole man.