TCR / 11 September 2023
Three titles and four race wins for Honda Civic Type R TCR
The Honda Civic Type R TCR won three major titles during the weekend while also recording four race wins on three continents.
The JAS Motorsport-built car, which has established itself as one of the most successful TCR vehicles ever built, has now won 78 championships since its debut in 2016.
TCR EASTERN EUROPE
Having dominated the Junior Championship section of the series this year, Mertel Motorsport's Rene Kircher clinched the crown for drivers under the age of 25 in the opening race of the final weekend at Brno, Czech Republic.
He then grabbed the outright lead of the season finale on Sunday and stormed to a dominant six-second win that netted the German the runner-up spot in the overall championship.
While he was doing that, Sebastian Kolakowski was finishing second in the Trophy category, which was enough to secure the title for drivers of pre-2019 machinery and to make Honda Wyszomirski the Teams' title winners.
He had been third in the opening race behind Antonio Citera, who drove a similar car for the RTM Motorsport-run 78 Racing-Team. Citera matched his results over the weekend to finish third in the standings.
Davit Kajaia retired from both races, but his results during the season helped Mertel take second in the Teams' points.
Jack Young charged into title contention as he and Martin Xie recorded a dominant one-two finish for the Dongfeng Honda Racing Team at Shanghai.
Polesitter Xie spent most of the race leading the field behind the safety car, following an early incident, but allowed his championship-challenging team-mate to overtake on the final lap.
Young - a graduate of the JAS Motorsport Driver Development Programme - had charged from ninth to fourth with two laps to run of Race Two when he was hit hard by a rival and spun around, dropping to 18th.
He charged back to 10th in the final lap-and-a-half, a result that keeps him second in the points. Xie retired while Hong Kong actor Daniel Wu finished both races in the third car, driven by Andre Couto at the previous round.
Wu was not the best-placed driver in the Am class, however. That honour went to Norris Racing's Tony Chan, who finished eighth and 10th.
Tony D’Alberto scored his first victory of the season at Sandown to keep his hopes of winning back-to-back titles alive on what was the final event for the Honda Wall Racing driver before he switches to the brand-new FL5 Civic.
The reigning champion sprinted up from fourth on the grid to take the lead around the outside of his chief rivals at the start of Race One and was never headed as he built a small, but significant advantage.
A magnificent final-lap move, in which he passed two cars in one go at the quickest point of the track, won him a third-place result in Race Three, but he was only ninth in Race Two after being squeezed onto the grass at a crucial moment by a rival.
Halder Motorsport marked their return to the category with two TCR category pole positions and a victory in Sunday’s six-hour race.
Brother and sister duo Mike and Michelle Halder were joined by Roger Vogeli for the back-to-back event and were on pole by at least eight seconds on both days.
COPPA ITALIA TURISMO
Kevin Giacon maintained his series lead in both Division 1A and in the TCR Sequential classes on a sweltering hot weekend at Vallelunga.
The MM Motorsport driver qualified third and, despite minor contact from rivals in both races, survived to record third and sixth-place finishes in TCR.
JAS Motorsport Development Driver Scott Sumpton recorded the best finish of his career at a wet Donington Park for Restart Racing.
Driving an FK7 Civic, Sumpton started the race from pole position on the partially-reversed grid, having been 10th in the earlier encounter. Keeping his nose clean, he came home fifth.
Team-mate Chris Smiley finished second in the wet to record the best series result to date for the FL5 Civic, but was later excluded for failing a ride-height test. He was seventh in the dry earlier race.