Photo: TCR Media

Néstor Girolami “couldn’t ask for more” after winning Race 2 at Vallelunga

Néstor Girolami turned a reversed grid pole position into victory in FIA TCR World Tour Race 2 at Vallelunga. The Hyundai driver made a good start and never looked back, despite two safety car sessions.

“What a way to start the season with a new team”, said the Argentinian to TouringCarTimes.

“Hyundai, BRC and everyone back at the workshop worked amazingly hard to give me a great car, and I’m happy to put it on top, especially after a difficult day yesterday. It was a difficult race because I pushed to build the gap and be safe, but Santi [Urrutia] was also pushing hard.”

Girolami explained that he always pushed as much as he could during the race, and the gap from Urrutia’s Lynk & Co 03 FL TCR is the result of his compatriot attacking less towards the end of the session.

“At the beginning he was attacking more after the safety car, but at the end I also had to manage my tyres, because the degradation is so high, especially at the compression at Curvone,” said Girolami.

“You can never now what can happen with the front left, so you have to take care of it. I tried to, but it’s never easy because you also have to push.”

The BRC Squadra Corse driver admits that starting the new season with a win with his new team had been in his dreams before Vallelunga.

“It’s a dream come true, I dreamed about this and today it’s become reality. You can never stop dreaming because it’s the only way I know to make things come true. I’m so pleased to start on a high the new season with a new team and the FIA title. I couldn’t ask for more,” said Girolami.

Norbert Michelisz leads the championship for Hyundai, 15 points ahead of team-mate Mikel Azcona.

Marco Butti shares third with Honda team-mate Esteban Guerrieri on 42 points. Urrutia’s second place in Race 2 elevates him to fifth, 22 points off the lead and just one ahead of Girolami.

Lynk & Co’s Yann Ehrlacher and Thed Björk are seventh and eighth respectively, while John Filippi is ninth for Audi, equal on points with the last of the Lynk & Co drivers, Ma Qing Hua.