Monlau Motorsport and Franco Girolami resist in Zolder and maintain the leadership of the TCR Europe

  • The Argentine leaves the Belgian circuit at the top of the championship overall, after a fourth place in the first race and a podium in the second. 
  • Viktor Davidovski has a great weekend at the wheel of the CUPRA León TCR VZ after fighting among the top five since training.
  • The sum of points means that Monlau Motorsport remains first in the team championship with 208, six more than its main rival.
  • “We came out half satisfied with the results, but at the top of both championships. We must work a lot on setting up the cars, because the level of the championship is very high,  says David Simón, Team Manager of Monlau Motul.
  • “The entire team, both drivers, mechanics and engineers, is working hard race after race to be at the top, so we will try to continue along the same lines,”  comments Jaime Serrano, CEO of Monlau Motorsport.

Franco Girolami and Monlau Motorsport remain at the top of the TCR Europe after the second round of the season, held this weekend at the historic Zolder circuit (Belgium). In an event marked by changing weather conditions and the burden of results for Girolami, the Argentine driver achieved a fourth and a third position to maintain the lead, tied at 146 points with his main rival. 

Viktor Davidovski, for his part, showed great progress since free practice, and concluded the first race in fifth place. Although he was forced to retire in the second due to an incident caused by humidity on the track, the sum of their points keeps Monlau Motorsport at the head of the solo team championship.

Franco Girolami’s excellent start to the season in Vallelunga – where he achieved a pole position, a victory and a second place – implied the expected increase in the burden of results for the next round of the TCR Europe. This circumstance became especially complex on a track like Zolder, very narrow and marked by constant slow corners. Added to all this were complicated weather conditions, with constant alternation between sun and rain. 

The weekend started with some productive free practice sessions that served to fine-tune the settings of the CUPRA León TCR VZ in all conditions. Then came the classification, held on a completely dry asphalt and divided into the usual two halves. In Q1, the Monlau Motorsport drivers set their best times of the weekend: Girolami managed to be third and Viktor Davidovski, fifth. But they still had more in their pockets and both managed to lower the bar in Q2, although their records relegated them to fourth and seventh place on the grid, respectively. 

Sunday dawned with a high percentage of chances of rain, precipitation that, yes, respected the first race of the program, which started based on the order of the classification times. After the traffic light went out, Girolami got into an intense battle for third place and even rode in this position for a few moments. However, his high ballast severely affected his race pace, so he had to settle for fourth place finish. Viktor Davidovski did manage to recover ground, climbing to fifth place.

The dreaded rain made an appearance a few hours before the start of the second race, although the holding of some support competitions helped to dry out the lane of the main route. This circumstance turned overtaking into an almost impossible mission, and all of this with the grid inverted with respect to the result of the classification. 

From the seventh starting square, Girolami minimized risks and took advantage of some other errors to place third, but his high ballast made it difficult for him to aspire to victory. Less fortunate was Viktor Davidovski, who was involved in battles for position that caused him to be involved in two incidents, the second of which was decisive for his intentions to score points. This action forced the safety car to enter the track, which neutralized the peloton for six laps, before leaving the resolution of the race to a three-lap sprint that the Argentine driver solved to end up climbing to the third step of the podium. 

David Simón , Team Manager of Monlau Motul, valued the performance of the drivers:  “We return from Belgium half satisfied with the results, but at the head of both championships. Franco Girolami has been able to score a good amount of points, although his aspirations were more complicated due to the high amount of ballast that he had to equip in his CUPRA. Viktor Davidovski, for his part, has remained fighting in the top 5 all weekend, and in the second race he was even close to the podium, although the difficult track conditions have prevented him from certifying the result. Now he has to think about Salzburgring, an old school circuit, very fast, and which will be very challenging for the drivers. We must work a lot on setting up the cars, because the level of the championship is very high.”

Jaime Serrano , CEO of Monlau Motul, highlighted the effort of the entire team:  “The battle for the titles is very close, the rivals are going very fast, so we will have to apply ourselves if we want to continue occupying first place. The entire team, both drivers, mechanics and engineers, is working hard race after race to be at the highest level, so we will try to continue along the same lines in the next meeting in Austria.”

At the end of the Zolder event, Franco Girolami is tied at 146 points with Aurélien Compte in the overall drivers’ standings, in which Viktor Davidovski occupies ninth place, with 53 points. Monlau Motorsport leads the team competition with 208 points, six more than ALM Motorsport. The TCR Europe will hold its third scoring event, which marks the halfway point of the season, at the Salzburgring circuit, in Austria, on June 1 and 2.