04 May Pezzini and Merlo from Lynk & Co takes the win at the Endurance Race in Interlagos
Pezzini and Merlo from Lynk & Co takes the win at the Endurance Race in Interlagos
São Paulo, May 1, 2022 – With four different teams in the top five, TCR South America put on a formidable show in its first Endurance race of 2022. After an hour of racing, the #7 Lynk & Co from Fabricio Pezzini and Javier Merlo took the victory. The podium was completed by the #35 Hyundai of Pedro Aizza and Rodrigo Sperafico and the #26 Honda of Juan Angel Rosso and Ricardo Risatti.
With this victory, Pezzini takes the lead in the championship, beating Raphael Reis in the table by 11 points. The driver of the #77 CUPRA, who had dominated practice and qualifying, had a very difficult race, after struggling with the balance of the car.
The start had as protagonists the two Lynk & Co who started from the second row. Both overtook Rosso’s Honda, driven by Ricardo Risatti, and thus positioned themselves behind Guga Lima, who was aboard Reis’s CUPRA.
On lap 8, the lead was just changed. Pezzini approached Lima and overtook the Brazilian when braking for the S de Senna. A few laps later, the Argentine had already escaped and the CUPRA began to defend itself against Aizza’s Hyundai, although it only took a few meters to overcome it.
Driver changes began on the first lap of the window. With the field restored after the swap, the lead still belonged to the #7 Lynk & Co, with a 5.4sec lead over Rosso’s Honda.
In the final part of the race, Sperafico was fastest in Aizza’s #35 Hyundai. With just a few minutes to go, he overtook Rosso to finish on the second step of the podium.
Pezzini and Merlo took the first Endurance race of 2022, followed by Aizza/Sperafico and Rosso/Rissati.
After tough battles on the track, the Uruguayan duo Maglione/Rama took first place on the Trophy Cup. The second in the category were the #12 Hyundai of Edson Reis and Felipe Papazissis and the third was the #37 Audi of Guilherme Reischl and Marcio Basso.
The next race of the championship will be in Goiânia, on June 4 and 5.
“It is incredible to win at Interlagos. Until recently I was crying, it is a very big emotion. Two Argentines racing for the first time in Interlagos and we took the victory after a magnificent race. We had a great first lap and then a good move with Reis to take the lead. Then Javier took over the car and he was very fast. It was great working with him. I thank you for accepting my invitation.”
“When Fabricio invited me to race at Interlagos, I accepted immediately. The team and the category treated me very well and we got what we wanted. I have a big smile, which will be even bigger after the champagne and the podium”.
“It was a perfect race. We managed to do both parts of the race perfectly, taking care of the car, going fast and being constant”.
“We knew we had a very fast car. We didn’t have a good qualifying, but I was sure that we would have a good pace in the race. Pedro did an incredible stint, jumping from P7 to P2, we lost a bit at the stop, but we managed to recover and fulfill the objective that the team set for us”.
“I am happy. The 40 kilos of ballast, which yesterday did not seem to make a difference, today we felt it. I think it was a very good race. Ricardo had a good first half and set a good pace. I took the car in second place and tried to go as best I could and tried to hold on. But Sperafico was very fast and we finished third”.
Juan Angel Rosso
“The start was complicated. I was coming at 90 km/h, which was the limit, and the Lynk & Co. passed me very quickly. I hope the stewards check them out. The last part of my shift was fast and we were able to make a good pit stop. Lynk & Co and Hyundai were quicker than us and third place is important for the championship.”
“The truth is I’m very happy. The team worked hard, overcoming a number of problems. The car ran well and I have to thank my guest that he did a perfect job.”
“We started from P15 and we were advancing with a good rhythm. The team did a great job and I thank Enrique for the invitation. I am very happy to return after a few years to an international career. We were strong and we were able to finish with the victory in the Trophy Cup. It was a great experience and I congratulate the category for this magnificent event”.
“Our car was very fast throughout the weekend, but unfortunately we couldn’t keep up the pace in the race. We need to analyze and understand where to improve to balance this performance. It is a long championship and we will have good and bad stages. The ballast starts to bother in the race and in the fastest lap it doesn’t hurt as much. We are going to learn to get the best performance out of the car.”