Misano, stage-1: Girolami/Pelatti (Audi RS3 TCR) dominate

Franco Girolami and Sandro Pelatti (Audi RS3 TCR) are the leaders of the first stage of the 2024 TCR European Endurance third round, hosted in the Marco Simoncelli dedicated Misano World Circuit. The Audi RS3 LMS #72 of PMA Motorsport was able to replicate the pace shown both in the free practice and qualifying sessions to obtain their first win in the series promoted by Mauricio Slaviero. The race was characterized by a lot of battles, especially at the beginning, both for the win and the podium.

The first lap of the race saw a thrilling battle for the lead between Girolami and Brigliadori. The pair engaged in a duel filled with overtaking and counter-overtaking where the winner was the two-time TCR champion of PMA Motorsport, who managed to maintain the position undermined by the #2 car of TEXACO Team AMS. Meanwhile, Comini, Özen and Okyay battled for the third place. The Swiss, at the wheel of the VW Golf DSG, led the group during the first few laps, until Özen was able to bring the second TEXACO team AMS on the podium. Brigliadori’s hopes of victory were extinguished after he received a 10-second penalty for violating the starting procedure, leaving the way clear for Girolami’s Audi RS3. The championship leaders still managed to maintain quite an advantage over the others, finishing second.

As soon as the pit stop window opened, Özen was the first to enter, giving the wheel of his Audi RS3 #3 to Barkin Pinar. It was Stefano Comini’s turn in the following lap, as he left the cockpit to Ottavio Cappelli, just like Ibrahim Okyay and Seda Kaçan. The two potential winners of Stage 1 waited until the last moment to enter the pitlane. The race-leading PMA Motorsport placed its hopes on Sandro Pelatti, who managed to maintain and increase his lead over Turgut Konukoğlu, who got into the car switching with Brigliadori. The fight for the last step of the podium immediately lit up for Faro Racing’s Volkswagen Golf DSG, with Cappelli at the wheel, as Pinar got off track, losing his position. His ability to gain it again was what impressed everyone, as the Audi RS3 Gen-1 was the actual podium finisher.

Winners of the first stage of TCR European Endurance’s third round were Pelatti and Girolami (PMA Motorsport), after crossing the finish line ahead of the two TEXACO Team AMS of Konukoğlu/Brigliadori, championship leaders, and Pinar/Özen. Closing the top five were Cappelli/Comini, at the wheel of the debuting Volkswagen Golf DSG of Faro Racing, as well as being DSG Class winners, and Okyay/Kaçan. First stage results will set the grid for the second one, underway at 20:55 local time. The race will be live streamed on TCR TV’s YouTube channel, with Daniele Spadi as the lead commentator.


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