Bernardo Llaver wins very wet Race 1 at Velopark
Bernardo Llaver of Toyota Team Argentina claimed a difficult victory in Sunday’s Race 1 at Velopark (Brazil), host of the eighth round of the 2023 TCR South America series.
The race took place in very wet conditions. Honda driver Ignacio Montenegro took the lead from pole, but soon lost out to Llaver, with Rafael Suzuki of PMO Motorsport, in third place.
Squadra Martino driver Fabio Casagrande retired to the pits before the safety car was called into action on lap five due to the amount of standing water and lack of visibility.
The race was relaunched on lap 11, with Llaver keeping the lead ahead of Montenegro and Suzuki.
The fight continued between Manuel Sapag (Toyota) and Galid Osman (Cupra), with the Brazilian tagging the Argentinian driver on lap 16. Osman managed to overtake Sapag for seventh place, with Diego Nunes sitting in ninth place. Nunes would overtake Sapag for eighth place on lap 17.
Llaver won at the chequered flag, followed by Montenegro and Suzuki on the podium. Juan Ángel Rosso was fourth, with Juan Manuel Casella in fifth place.
Paladini Racing driver Fabio Yannantuoni was sixth, followed by Nunes, who overtook Osman on the last lap, for seventh place. Reis was ninth, with Sapag completing the top ten.
“I’m grateful to all my team, as we have never won in the rain with this car,” said Llaver after the race. “Sometimes, it rained more and, even if I had a good visibility, I still had to sort the puddles and it wasn’t easy. For the second race we are looking good, as yesterday we prepared for quali counting on the rain, but we will see how it develops.”
Race 2 is scheduled for 12:55 local time, 17:55 CEST.