Photo: TCR Italy

Junui Park takes maiden TCR Italy victory at Misano

Solite Indigo Racing driver Junui Park (Hyundai Elantra N TCR) scored his first victory in the TCR Italy in Sunday’s Race 2 at Misano.

The South-Korean dominated from the start and gave no opportunities to his rivals.

The race distance was shortened by the stewards from 35 minutes to just 20, plus one lap.

Junui Park took the lead at the rolling start, with Scuderia del Girasole’s Salvatore Tavano (Cupra Leon VZ) taking the outside of the first corner to climb up to second place, followed by Nicola Baldan (Audi RS 3 LMS from Aikoa Racing).

Michele Imberti, with a repaired Hyundai Elantra N TCR after Saturday’s fire, sat in fourth place, followed by series newcomer Jacopo Cimenes, at the wheel of a Honda Civic FL5.

Further back, Junesung Park, with the second Elantra from Solite Indigo Racing, challenged Ruben Volt (Honda Civic FL5) for ninth place, but the Estonian managed to stay ahead on lap two.

At the front, Junui Park opened a small gap, as Baldan closed onto Tavano, reaching the Cupra’s rear bumper on lap four. The battle between the pair allowed Imberti to make contact with the group on the following lap.

Baldan overtook Tavano on lap six, with Imberti taking advantage of the inside gap to also go past the Cupra. Further back, Volt and Denis Babuin (Audi RS 3 LMS) collided on the track and were under investigation from the stewards.

Baldan and Imberti quickly opened a gap over Tavano, who soon fell under the grasp of Cimenes and Saturday’s winner Alex Ley (Hyundai Elantra N TCR from Target Competition). Ley overtook Cimenes for fifth place on lap eight.

Ley continued moving forward, overtaking Tavano for fourth place on lap ten, as Luciano Martinez parked his Audi RS 3 LMS on the side of the track. Volt also went past Cimenes to take sixth position.

Junui Park claimed his first victory in the series at the chequered flag, with Baldan in second place and Imberti completing the podium.

Ley was fourth, followed by Tavano, Volt and Cimenes. Levente Losonczy took his Honda Civil FL5 to eighth place, with Babuin right behind. Marco Pellegrini was ninth aboard his Audi RS 3 LMS, with Cosimo Barberini completing the top ten with a Cupra Leon Competición.

“I made a big mistake in qualifying, but today I made a good start and I’m very happy,” said Park after the race. “I want to thank my team Solite Indigo Racing, my sponsors and my family.”

After the first round at Misano, Ley leads the championship with 83 points, followed by Junui Park just four points behind, with Tavano in third place, 14 points adrift.

The next round of the TCR Italy takes place at Pergusa on the 7-9th of June.