Photo: TCR Europe

Losonczy lands breakthrough TCR Europe win in dramatic reversed-grid Zolder race

Levente Losonczy claimed a breakthrough maiden win in TCR Europe Race 2 at Zolder, which took place on a wet but drying track.

It had rained for much of the morning, and the preceding track action had cast a dry line but meant anyone attempting an overtake would have to drive on some slippy asphalt.

Losonczy, who had never finished higher than eighth in any of his previous 14 TCR Europe races, started on reversed-grid pole ahead of Felipe Fernández, Giovanni Scamardi, Viktor Davidovski and Viktor Andersson but a slow getaway meant he immediately lost the lead.

Fernández led Scamardi into turn two, and after failing to get ahead at the first chicane the outside line at the second one provided Scamardi with the chance to take the lead. Losonczy saw a gap at the exit and used it to pass Fernández too, but he then turned too tightly for the next corner and hit Fernández into a half-spin.

That sent Fernández’s car into the path of Viktor Davidovski, and both went off-track. When they rejoined, Davidovski drove through a puddle and into the path of Aurélien Comte, sending him off and down to last place.

Driving through the chaos into third place was the success ballast-laden Franco Girolami. He did not challenge the top two, but gained another spot at the end of lap seven when Scamardi slowed down and dropped to third. After brief contact with Girolami, Scamardi fell even further down the order on lap eight and then his race ended at turn eight as he and Davidovski buried their cars in the gravel.

The safety car was summoned on the next lap, after Ruben Volt had passed Fernández for third. They went side-by-side down the pit straight, then the move was done when Fernández ran wide exiting turn one.

Racing did not resume until lap 13 of 16 (with the race distance extended due to the neutralisation of green flag action), and Girolami briefly took the lead from Losonczy. He reclaimed it before the first chicane, and by the end of the lap Girolami was in third as Volt passed him in a three-wide move.

Losonczy was unable to pull away from ALM Motorsport team-mate Volt, but also avoided coming under attack as he won by 0.583 seconds. Girolami was third, Fernández was fourth and Comte recovered to fifth after making plenty of overtakes. He even tried getting past Fernández on the last lap, and now shares the points lead with Girolami.

Race 1 winner Nicola Baldan finished seventh, and Andersson benefited from others’ drama to come home a distant ninth after spending much of the race being overtaken.

The next round of the TCR Europe season is at the Salzburgring in two weeks’ time.