TCR / 26 March 2023

Civic Type R TCR wins TCR South America opener

Squadra Martino gave the Honda Civic Type R TCR a winning start to the TCR South America season as teenager Ignacio Montenegro triumphed on a dramatic day at Alta Gracia, Argentina.

Montenegro, 18, who represented Argentina at last year's FIA Motorsport Games, qualified second and ran there for most of the opening race as part of a two-car breakaway at the front of the field.

After two earlier failed attempts, he snatched the lead at the tight right-left section with just three laps left - his Civic squirming under braking as he went through - and then pulled clear for victory.

Second place - from ninth on the grid - in Race Two meant he left the circuit as the series leader while Martino hold second in the Teams' standings.

Team-mate Enrique Maglione led Fabio Casagrande in a team one-two in the Trophy division in the opening race; the pair finishing 11th and 12th overall with Casagrande's recovery from a first-corner incident particularly impressive.

Maglione was on course for a double win when a left-front puncture caused his retirement from Race Two.

Casagrande - who started from overall pole position on the partially-reversed grid - suffered early contact that put him to the back of the field, but by finishing he heads the Trophy points as the Brazilian seeks a second title in a row.

Juan Manuel Casella finished eighth in the opening race and added ninth later on.