Photo: TCR Europe

Young heads first TCR Europe practice at Monza despite car issue

Halder Motorport’s Jack Young was fastest in TCR Europe’s first practice at Monza, but had his session shortened by car issues.

Aggressive Team Italia’s Pepe Oriola initially set the pace in his Hyundai Elantra N TCR, then Volcano Motorsport’s Klim Gavrilov went to the top ahead of Comtoyou Racing’s points leader Franco Girolami and Target Competition’s Felice Jelmini.

Gavrilov improved in his Cupra León Competición and remained in first place for some time as his early 1:57.121 lap was unmatched by his rivals.

With 10 minutes to go of the session he was usurped as Young set a 1:56.475 lap that almost two thirds of a second faster than anyone else could manage at that point. But he only set two more laps before his session came to an early end, with an as-yet-undiagnosed problem striking his Honda Civic Type R TCR and prompting him to stop it at the side of the track to avoid damaging as he was not sure what the issue was. However the pace he had shown before then was still enough to be the benchmark for the paddock.

Gavrilov, who never bettered his earlier pace, was shuffled down to fourth place on the timesheet as Comtoyou pair Tom Coronel and Girolami rose to second and third with two minutes to go.

Marco Butti, whose Élite Motorsport team is supported by Comtoyou as both run Audi RS 3 LMS cars, was fifth fastest and like Gavrilov found the peak of his pace early on.

Jelmini was the last driver within a second of the pace in sixth, ahead of Jáchym Galáš and Isidro Callejas. Two successive improvements at the very end of the session put Sébastien Loeb Racing’s John Filippi in ninth place.

Michelle Halder rounded out the top 10 in an identical Honda to team-mate Young’s, while Girolami’s Target-run title rival Josh Files was 1.348s back in 11th place.

MM Motorsport’s Paolo Rocca was the fastest of the debuting drivers in another Honda, just pipping fellow newcomer Michele Imberti to 14th place by 0.032s.

The second practice session starts at 17:36 CEST.