Photo: TCR Europe

TCR Europe gets a growing grid, of mostly Audis, for Monza

Comtoyou Racing’s Tom Coronel heads to Monza for the penultimate round of the TCR Europe season with a handy 37-point lead at the top of the standings.

It is still a six-way title fight, and it is with some surprise that all six contenders are on the entry list for this weekend. Comtoyou drivers occupy the top four places in the standings, then in fifth is Target Competition’s Dušan Borković. During the last round at Paul Ricard they withdrew over Balance of Performance concerns, and have not since confirmed if they will return but both team and driver are on the entry list.

The biggest title outsider is Lewis Brown, who needs maximum scores at Monza and Barcelona while Coronel scores nothing to be in with a chance of becoming champion. His best finish so far this season is sixth, and he has moved from Volcano Motorsport to join fellow Audi-running team Comtoyou.

Nicola Baldan is also part of Comtoyou’s six-car line-up as he makes his third appearance of the season. He contested the season opener with Aggressive Team Italia and had a best finish of 15th, then last time out at Paul Ricard was with Comtoyou and finished second in both races.

RC2 Racing Team duo Felipe and Rubén Fernández return in their Audi RS 3 LMS TCRs after getting strong points hauls in the two rounds they have previously contested.

In total there are 17 cars entered for this weekend, an improvement on the two other rounds held so far where the grid has not been bolstered by TCR World Tour entrants, as 13 drivers turned up to Pau and there were 14 at Paul Ricard before Target withdrew their two Hyundais.

But 12 of the cars on the entry list are Audis, with only three Hyundais, and one Honda and Lynk & Co apiece.

Felice Jelmini is the highest profile name of those who have picked Monza to make their first TCR Europe outing of 2023.

The track action at Monza begins on Friday with first practice at 13:20 CEST and lasting 30 minutes. Second practice is at 18:19, then teams return to track the next afternoon as qualifying (which is split into a 20-minute first segment and 10-minute second segment) starts at midday.

TCR Europe gets to end the day’s action with a race that starts at 18:25 and could finish as late as 19:00. Race 2 is at 16:25 on Sunday.