Despite 60 kg of extra wieght due to his past performances, the Leopard Lukoil driver honors the last Series round at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit with strong races and exiting overtaking. 2 victories in the TCR Benelux ranking allows him to grab the Benelux drivers’ title.
After missing the 2nd round of the TCR Europe season in Zandvoort due to his WTCR commitments, JayKay Vernay keeps alive his TCR Europe title hopes till the very last race of the season but finishes runner up in the 2018 standings.
Local hero Mikel Azcona and the young Hungarian Attila Tassi topped, on Friday, the two free practice sessions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the title contender Jean-Karl Vernay twice in fourth in the Leopard Lukoil Team’s Audi RS 3 LMS.
But it’s on Saturday at 11:45 (GMT +2) that action resumed decisively with the Qualifying session: Tassi and Files took over the front row with the top-14 covered by just nine tenths. In the battle for the European crown, Jean-Karl Vernay was forced to start both races in 13th, missing the decisive Top 12 shout-out by narrowly 4 hundreds of a second.
In Race 1, Tassi took an authoritative lights-to-flag victory, as he sprinted from pole position and bid farewell to the rest of the pack; after an incredible first lap and several exciting maneuvers, Vernay was able to recover from 13th on the grid to sixth despite driving the heaviest car of the pack. As a four-way battle, the European title had to be decided on the following day.
In Sunday’s Race 2, two out of the four title candidates, Borković and Tassi, were eliminated in a first lap incident with the Leopard Lukoil driver being the last one to defend his TCR Europe title chances against Mikel Azcona. On Lap8 Jean-Karl Vernay overtook Azcona in 7th, but the young Spaniard grabbed the TCR Europe Series title as the Leopard Lukoil Team driver finished runner up in the standings.
#69 Jean-Karl VERNAY:
"Of course it’s always a bit disappointing to lose a championship, especially when you are still able to win it one race from the end. But looking back through the TCR Europe season, I think we can be proud about the 2nd place as we missed an event in Zandvoort. We enjoyed two great races here in Barcelona and we managed to grab the TCR Benelux team’s and driver’s titles which is great for the Team but also for Leopard and Lukoil! This is a great way to thanks them for the support since the beginning of the season".
2018 TCR Europe (GMT +2)
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Length: 4655 m
5 - Vernay / FRA / Leopard Lukoil Team / Audi RS 3 LMS / 1:55.576
4 - Vernay / FRA / Leopard Lukoil Team / Audi RS 3 LMS / 1:54.623
1 - Tassi / HUN / Hell Energy Racing / Honda Civic Type-R / 1:53.861
2 - Files / GBR / Hell Energy Racing / Honda Civic Type-R / 1:53.902
3 - Azcona / SPA / PCR Sport / Cupra TCR / 1:53.802
4 - Borkovic / SRB / Target Competition / Hyundai i30 N / 1:54.057
13 - Vernay / FRA / Leopard Lukoil Team / Audi RS 3 LMS / 1:54.672
1 - Tassi / HUN / Hell Energy Racing / Honda Civic Type-R / 12 Laps
2 - Borkovic / SRB / Target Competition / Hyundai i30 N / +3.422
3 - Michelisz / HUN / M1RA / Hyundai i30 N / +3.899
5 - Azcona / SPA / PCR Sport / Cupra TCR / +6.093
6 - Vernay / FRA / Leopard Lukoil Team / Audi RS 3 LMS / +6.666
1 - Halder / GER / Hell Energy Racing / Honda Civic Type-R / 12 Laps
2 - Nagy / HUN / M1RA / Hyundai i30 N / +0.408
3 - Sutton / GBR / West Coast Racing / VW Golf GTi / +1.518
7 - Vernay / FRA / Leopard Lukoil Team / Audi RS 3 LMS / +6.870
8 - Azcona / SPA / PCR Sport / Cupra TCR / +7.292
TCR EUROPE DRIVERS’ STANDING:
1 - Azcona / 181 p.
2 - Vernay / 159 p.
3 - Borković / 154 p.
4 - Tassi / 153 p.
5 - Nagy / 138 p.
TCR BENELUX TEAMS’ STANDING:
1 - Leopard Lukoil Team / 222 p.
2 - CTY Racing / 152 p.
3 - JSB Competition / 145 p.
TCR BENELUX DRIVERS’ STANDING:
1 - Vernay / 163 p..
2 - Potty / 146 p.
3 - Briché / 117 p.
4 - Kroes / 108 p.
5 - Comini / 108 p.