Fabián Yannantuoni wins competitive race at Velopark
Paladini Racing’s Fabian Yannantuoni (Toyota Corolla TCR) claimed a difficult victory in a wet Race 2 at Velopark (Brazil).
At the start, Yannantuoni, starting from the reversed grid pole position, retained the lead, with Manuel Sapag (Toyota Corolla TCR) climbing to second place, ahead of Scuderia Chiarelli’s Pedro Cardoso (Hyundai Elantra N TCR).
Raphael Reis (Cupra Leon Competición) couldn’t hold off Juan Ángel Rosso’s (Toyota Corolla TCR) attacks, with the Argentinian overtaking the Brazilian for fourth place on the opening lap.
Rosso continued moving forward, getting ahead of Cardoso on the second lap, as Sapag kept the pressure on the leader. Reis overtook Cardoso for fourth place on lap six.
The Hyundai Elantra driver continued losing ground, as Squadra Martino’s Ignacio Montenegro (Honda Civic Type R TCR), Rafael Suzuki (Lynk & Co 03 TCR) and Race 1 winner Bernardo Llaver (Toyota Corolla TCR) also overtook the Brazilian driver on lap seven.
Reis broke away from the group, gradually reducing the difference to the leading trio. Squadra Martino’s Juan Manuel Casella (Honda Civic Type R TCR) recovered up to eighth place, and was under Llaver’s rear bumper on lap 12.
Suzuki continued his attacks on Montenegro, making contact with the Honda driver and sending him into a spin on lap 14. Llaver overtook Suzuki for fifth place as the Lynk & Co driver also fell behind Casella, with Montenegro falling to ninth position. The incident will be investigated after the race.
The PMO Motorsport driver repeated a similar incident two laps later with Casella, who dropped to 11th place.
Reis overtook Rosso for third place on lap 23, climbing up to second place ahead of Sapag two laps later. The Toyota driver defended, with both cars making contact and Sapag fell down to fourth place behind Rosso – another incident to be investigated after the race.
The fights in the group allowed Yannantuoni to build a 1.7-second gap at the front, as Suzuki overtook Llaver for fifth place, building the pressure on Sapag.
Reis overtook Yannantuoni for the lead on the penultimate lap, with the Toyota driver returning the favour at Turn 1. The Argentinian won the race as the chequered flag fell, joined by Reis and Rosso on the podium.
Sapag was fourth, with Suzuki next ahead of Llaver and Diego Nunes (Toyota Corolla TCR). Cardoso finished eighth, followed by Montenegro and Galid Osman (Cupra).
“I’m very happy and I congratulate my whole team, and very glad of bringing home another victory,” said Yannantuoni after the race. “The track was changing, and the cars behind were using my reference to know where to brake. We were able to hold off Reis at the end, so it was a nice race.”
The next round of the 2023 TCR South America series takes place at the Brazilian track of Velocitta on the 21-22nd of October.