Balaton, Race Final: Konukoglu/Brigliadori win the first ever TCR European Endurance race

The TCR European Endurance declares its first outright winners of the championship’s history. Konukoglu/Brigliadori (Audi RS3) – TEXACO Team AMS are the first to write their own names in the history books of the continental endurance series dedicated to TCR cars promoted by Mauricio Slaviero.

Stage 2 around the Balaton Park Circuit saw the cars line up on the grid following yesterday’s finishing order. Brigliadori was therefore the leader early on, though in the first part of the race shared with TCR Eastern Europe, Attila Bucsi (Hyundai i30N) – M1RA Motorsport, and Martin Kadlecik (Audi RS3) – Aditis Racing were the ones leading the pack. At the end of the local series’ 30 minutes of racing, the two drivers finished first and second respectively, a result that further enhances the level of the continental endurance series. Brigliadori was also able to set the third fastest lap time of the race, an impressive feat considering that the Italian had a full tank of fuel compared to the lighter cars competing in the sprint series.

On lap 16, the driver from Cesena is then promoted to the lead of stage 2, as well as in the overall standings. With 25 minutes left on the clock, the pit lane is opened as Ibrahim Okyay is the first to stop, giving his Audi RS3 DSG to Seda Kcan, conceding the lead of the DSG class to Balazs Takacs’ Cupra DSG. Zsille Motorsport later calls the Hungarian to the pits on lap 17 for the mandatory tyre and driver change, with Zoltan Barkovics ready to take his car all the way to the flag.

Meanwhile, TEXACO Team AMS is busy with both Brigliadori’s pit stop, leaving the driving duties to Turgut Konukoglu, and with Zekai Ozen’s debut. The young Turk was in fact unable to race in stage 1 after teammate Barkin Pinar was stuck in he gravel before Saturday’s pit stop window was opened. Despite the lower mileage in the car, the Gen 1 Audi RS3 was able to top its class’ standings, with Ozen winning the Junior trophy as well.

At the end of the two hours of racing, Konukoglu/Brigliadori were then declared winners of the first ever TCR European Endurance race, after dominating both stages. It was also a TEXACO Team AMS one-two thanks to Okyay/Kacan, who were able to finish in second place overall and win the DSG class ahead of home favourites Zsille Motorsport with Barkovics/Takacs. Other thank Ozen’s win in the Junior trophy, Seda Kacan was victorious among the Ladies, whereas Okyay triumphed in the Gentleman standings, thus making the #4 car the most decorated entry of the weekend.

The next round of the TCR European Endurance is scheduled to take place on May 19th around Vallelunga, which will host the second race of the championship.

Balaton Race Final standings
1. Konukoglu/Brigliardori (Audi RS3) – TEXACO Team AMS – 59 laps 1’56:16.907
2. Okyay/Kacan (Audi RS3 DSG) – TEXACO Team AMS + 1:38.092
3. Barkovics/Takacs (Cupra Leon DSG) – Zsille Motorsport + 2:13.809
4. Pinar/Ozen (Audi RS3 Gen 1) – TEXACO Team AMS + 18 laps
RET Attila Bucsi (Hyundai i30N) – M1RA Motorsport
RET Martin Kadlecik (Audi RS3) – Aditis Racing

2024 CALENDAR

28th APRIL

BALATON PARK

19th MAY

VALLELUNGA

22nd JUNE

MISANO

25th AUGUST

SLOVAKIARING

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