Briché storms to second TCR Europe victory in Germany

by Phil Kinch

Julien Briché has taken his second win of the 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series after dominating the second race of the weekend at the Hockenheimring.

Briché made a strong start off the line and managed to gap both Jessica Bäckman and Aurélien Comte as the field streamed into turn one and then began jostling for position into turn two.  By the time they had cleared the hairpin, Comte was up into second place ahead of Jessica as her brother Andreas passed Maxime Potty to take fourth place.

Stian Paulsen was the first retirement on lap one as the Norwegian driver went wide coming into the stadium section before contact from behind from Dušan Borković saw the CUPRA driver beached in the gravel. Borković would later receive a drive-through penalty and then retire from the race.

Bäckman scored her first podium in TCR Europe in race two. Credit: WSC Ltd / TCR Europe

The Safety Car was deployed for one lap, during which Mat’o Homola retired from the race. Once the racing resumed, Championship leader Josh Files was engaged in an exciting battle for sixth with M1RA Motorsport‘s Luca Engstler, with the German driver defending heavily for several laps.

Both Santiago Urrutia and Gilles Magnus also joined in the action as well, with the WRT driver passing both Files and Engstler for sixth before Magnus also made his way past the battling pair on lap six.

Daniel Lloyd started from eighth place on the grid, thanks to a five-place grid penalty due to his contact with Comte in race one on Saturday. The Brutal Fish Racing driver had a difficult race, slipping back to finish in thirteenth place and scoring points in his opening weekend.

Morbidelli enjoyed a better second race at the Hockenheimring. Credit: WSC Ltd / TCR Europe

Gianni Morbidelli and Tom Coronel made their way up the field, having started in the midfield on the grid. Both drivers were involved with the fight for tenth place that included Lloyd and Luca Filippi. Filippi enjoyed a better race and was mixing it well with the more experienced TCR drivers.

Upfront, Briché took a dominant second win of the season ahead of Comte and Jessica Bäckman, who along with Comte, scored her debut podium in the series. Andreas Bäckman secured fourth place with Urrutia holding on to fifth position at the flag.

Comte took a well deserved podium in Germany. Credit: WSC Ltd / TCR Europe

Potty finished in sixth place, ahead of Engstler and Files as Magnus fell back to ninth place, with Tom Coronel scoring his first top ten finish of the season in his opening weekend with Boutsen Ginion Racing. Morbidelli enjoyed a better race as he brought the WestCoast Racing Volkswagen home in eleventh place.

Luca Filippi finished in twelfth place ahead of Lloyd, with Teddy Clairet in the Clairet Sport Peugeot in fourteenth position as Dániel Nagy came home as the last points scorer in fifteenth place.

Josh Files holds a five-point lead over Julien Briché in the Drivers Championship as the 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series heads to the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit on June 8-9 in two weeks time.

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