16 Sep From fourth to victory in the last lap, Fabio Casagrande and Esteban Guerrieri won the Termas de Río Hondo Endurance Racee
From fourth to victory in the last lap, Fabio Casagrande and Esteban Guerrieri won the Termas de Río Hondo Endurance Race
Termas de Río Hondo, August 28, 2022 – The second endurance race of the 2022 TCR South America season was packed with excitement and drama from start to finish. The invited drivers of the World Tourism Cup (WTCR) showed the high level and the fight to reach the podium was intense throughout the race. At the end of the day, victory ended up going to the #34 Honda Civic, owned by Brazilian Fabio Casagrande and Argentine Esteban Guerrieri.
Casagrande, driver of the Trophy Cup, started the last lap in fourth position and ended up being favored by a dispute between the Brazilian Alceu Feldmann and the Spanish Mikel Azcona that led to a run off track for both and due to failure of the Honda Civic # 29 of the Argentine Ignacio Montenegro and his compatriot Nestro Girolami.
At the start, poleman Manuel Sapag kept the lead and was followed by Girolami and Guerrieri who took advantage of the contact between Bernardo Llaver and Juan Ángel Rosso. The race had an important change when Llaver wanted to overtake Sapag and they had a blow between the tires that made both of them have to enter the pits to change them due to breakage.
Before the mandatory entry for the change of drivers and tires, the top 3 was made up of all Honda with Guerrieri at the top, followed by Rosso and Girolami. Feldmann in his #17 CUPRA and Okulovich, in Pezzini’s car, completed the top five.
Girolami and Rosso came in together to change tires and drivers on the first lap of the window. Milla and Okulovich did the same. Guerrieri, on the other hand, kept accelerating to open up a lead and hand the car over to Fabio Casagrande as far away from his pursuers as possible.
Guerrieri pitted on the last lap of the window and his teammate ended up coming out about 7 seconds ahead of Feldmann, who had passed the #29 and #26 Hondas. The fifth was already Mikel Azcona, aboard Pedro Aizza’s #35 Hyundai Elantra.
Within two laps Feldmann halved the lead and two laps later he was on the tail of the #34 Honda. Due to the fight, Montenegro approached the lead and the dispute was already between three pilots.
After one lap, Montenegro took the lead, Feldmann moved into second place and Azcona moved up to third. Casagrande gave way to fourth position and remained expectant of what could happen ahead.
The last lap had all the excitement that an Endurance race should have. While Azcona and Feldmann went to the touch in turn 3 and went off track, Montenegro began to have problems with his Honda. This sequence left Casagrande once again in first place and he crossed the finish line to take the overall victory and the Trophy Cup. Feldmann and Azcona crossed the checkered flag in second and third place.
After the race and the evaluation of the touch between the CUPRA and the Hyundai, the stewards decided to exclude Feldmann for the maneuver against Azcona and that made Fabricio Pezzini ascend to the last step of the podium.
With these results, Pezzini escaped further in the championship and now leads with 401 points, followed at 72 by Rosso, 84 by Reis and 92 by Sapag.
The next date of the TCR South America will be in Buenos Aires on September 17 and 18 and the last one on the calendar is scheduled for Villicum, on October 8 and 9.
“I came to this race wanting to absorb and learn as much as possible from Esteban (Guerrieri). I improved a lot over the weekend and it ended with this grand prix victory. I was a good student and this is a great reward.”
“Races are races and you have to believe until the end. Today was a clear example that you always have to try. It was a great job by the whole team, the car worked perfectly. I started well and handed the car over to Fábio (Casagrande) and he also did an incredible job. Fabio is a very humble and calm boy, eager to learn. I had a very good feeling and we ended up with an incredible victory”.
“It was a weekend of a lot of learning. We did well in the race and the team did a great job at the pit stop. Azcona took over and did a perfect race, he came very fast, he had many chances to win. Unfortunately, a touch in the last few laps took that opportunity away from us, but I think if it hadn’t been for that, we would have been in contention for the win. It was a great weekend for us, it will definitely help a lot for the rest of the year.”
“I am very happy with the result, we started ninth and finished third. Pedro’s (Aizza) work was incredible. He is a young driver, very fast, who is showing his talent. The car was very fast and I managed to set the lap record. In the last laps I tried to gain positions with a very nice battle with riders like (Juan Angel) Rosso, but with a CUPRA it was an atypical moment because I received a very strong blow even though I left more than six meters of space. I did not understand what happened and that should not be accepted.
01. #34 Fabio Casagrande (BRA)/Esteban Guerrieri (ARG)
02. #35 Pedro Aizza (BRA)/Mikel Azcona (ESP)
03. #7 Fabricio Pezzini (ARG)/Carlos Okulovich (ARG)
04. #60 Juan Manuel Casella (URU)/Frederick Balbi (URU)
05. #15 Enrique Maglione (URU)/Rodrigo Aramendia (URU)
06. #6 Pedro Nunes (BRA)/Marcio Basso (BRA)
07. #22 Gabriel Lusquiños (BRA)/Vitor Genz (BRA)
08. #87 Franco Farina (ARG)/Guilherme Resichl (BRA)
09. #33 Manuel Sapag (ARG) /Santiago Urrutia (URU)
10. #10 Adalberto Baptista (BRA)/Sergio Ramalho (BRA)
11. #26 Juan Ángel Rosso (ARG)/Ricardo Risatti (ARG)
12. #18 Javier Scuncio (CHI)/Martín Scuncio (CHI)
13. #29 Ignacio Montenegro (ARG)/Néstor Girolami (ARG)
14. #77 Raphael Reis (BRA)/Bernardo Llaver (ARG)
DNF #14 Matías Cravero (ARG)/Martín Chialvo (ARG)
DNF #73 Juan Pablo Bessone (ARG)/Isidoro Vezzaro (ARG)
DNF #88 Facundo Marques (ARG)/Franco Coscia (ARG)
DNF #32 Jorge Barrio (ARG)/Thiago Camilo (BRA)
DNF #13 Pablo Otero (ARG)/Bia Figueiredo (BRA)
DQS #17 Alceu Feldmann (BRA)/Matías Milla (ARG)