Double podium in Balaton for home favourites Zsille Motorsport

The opening race of the 2024 TCR European Endurance season around the Balaton Park Circuit saw local team Zsille Motorsport fight for both the overall podium and the DSG win. The Hungarian outfit, a team with a lot of experience in both national and international competitions, paired up Zoltan Barkovics and Balazs Takacs to race with a Cupra Leon DSG, a car that Zsille has tested with multiple times ahead of their debut in the series promoted by Mauricio Salviero.

However, it wasn’t an easy start for the home favourites. A delay in the fuel tank’s delivery process meant that the car could only be built hours before the race, with the Hungarian team able to get the car ready in time for FP1 thanks to their mechanics’ hard work. Though free practice saw them run consistently in the top four, a handbrake issue right at the start of qualifying meant that the team could not take part in the two 15-minute sessions that formed the starting grid. Zsille Motorsport was therefore forced to start right at the back of the grid in stage one; however, a brilliant start by Barkovics meant that the Cupra Leon DSG #60 was able to shoot up to fourth place in the overall standings. After a solid firsts stint, the Hungarian left the car to Takacs for the final part of stage one, which saw him come out of the pits in third and keep within touching distance of DSG leaders Kaçan/Okyay.

Stage two took place on Sunday, and this time it was Takacs who took the start. After a solid stint by the Hungarian, the team was able to briefly get in the lead of the race by putting off their first and only pit stop of the day compared to the rest of the grid. Barkovics was then ready to take the car all the way to the finish, coming out of the pit lane in third place in the overall standings, directly behind Kaçan/Okyay who still held the lead in the DSG class. Unfortunately for the Hungarian team, they were not able to take the fight to the TEXACO Team AMS’ Audi RS3 DSG, settling for second in the DSG class and rounding out the overall podium, too.

After a great debut, TCR European Endurance will be back out on track in Vallelunga, with the Italian racetrack hosting round two of the series on May 19th.

Balint Hatvani, Zsille Motorsport Team Principal
“It was a fantastic experience to compete in the opening race of TCR European Endurance’s history. Despite the issues we had in the first couple of days, we are very proud of our performance, especially the way we handled the unexpected difficulties we experienced. Coming away with two podium finishes, both in the DSG class and in the overall standings, is a great achievement, and I want to thank Mauricio Slaviero for creating such an interesting and exciting championship. We are now evaluating our options for the rest of the season, and we hope to be back on the grid for the following races”.

2024 CALENDAR

28th APRIL

BALATON PARK

19th MAY

VALLELUNGA

22nd JUNE

MISANO

25th AUGUST

SLOVAKIARING

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