Photo: TCR South America

Jorge Barrio wins at San Juan, Fabricio Pezzini is the champion

Jorge Barrio (Toyota Corolla TCR) claimed the victory in Race 1 at San Juan Villicum, host of the final round of the 2022 TCR South America season. Fabricio Pezzini (Lynk & Co 03 TCR) clinched the drivers’ title after finishing in fourth place.

At the start, Pezzini took the lead, with Barrio overtaking Raphael Reis (Cupra Leon Competición) for second place. Bernardo Llaver, also driving a Cupra, went past Reis for third place.

An incident between Fabio Casagrande (Hyundai i30 N TCR) and Franco Farina (Peugeot 308TCR) caused the safety car to come into action at the end of the first lap, with Farina sustaining suspension damage.

The race was restarted on lap three, with Barrio attacking Pezzini at Turn 1, and Llaver coming under fire from Reis.

Llaver tried to show his front-end to Barrio, with the Toyota driver defending second place.

Javier Scuncio (Hyundai i30 N T CR) overtook Juan Angel Rosso (Honda Civic Type R TCR) for seventh place on lap five, as the four leaders opened a gap over Honda driver Matías Cravero.

Cravero tried to overtake Rosso on lap six, with Casella trying on the outside but collided with Cravero, with the Honda driver spinning off the track.

Barrio attacked and overtook Pezzini for the lead on lap seven, with the Lynk & Co driver braking late and going wide, allowing Llaver and Reis past as well.

Reis overtook Llaver for second place on lap nine, with the Cupra driver closing the gap to Barrio.

The positions remained stable, with Pezzini losing ground to Llaver.

Barrio won at the chequered flag, with Reis and Llaver completing the podium. Pezzini clinched the title with a fourth position, ahead of Rosso, Cravero and Manuel Milla (Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR).

Casella was eighth, ahead of Ernesto Bessone (Peugeot 308 TCR), with Gabriel Lusquiños (Audi RS 3 LMS) completing the top ten.

“I can only thank my team, because they have done everything right,” said Pezzini after the race. “From last year I knew I had a great car but, more than that, they have a great work discipline and make very little mistakes.”

Race 2 is scheduled for 12:00 local time (17:00 CEST).