Halder takes lights to flag victory at Le Castellet
Mike Halder took a dominant lights to flag victory in Sunday's TCR Europe race at Le Castellet.
The German driver, who made a last-minute switch from TCR Germany to a full season in TCR Europe, made a clean getaway off the line and was never headed as he took control of the race early on
Behind Halder, Néstor Girolami made the best of the start as he battled with Teddy Clairet and the Bäckman siblings of Andreas and Jessica with all four drivers contesting third place through the first two turns.
Clairet held on to third place as the field streamed through whilst Girolami pushed Andreas Bäckman out wide. As the pair raced onto the Mistral straight, Girolami was ahead and started to close in on Teddy Clairet.
Girolami made short work of passing Teddy Clairet, taking second place from the Peugeot at the end of lap two into the final chicane, before settling into second place behind Halder.
The main focus of the race became about third place, with Clairet holding off the determined Andreas Bäckman and Bennani in the second Comtoyou Racing Audi. As with race one, high temperatures and tye wear played their part as the pair pressured the Peugeot driver.
Further back, Julien Briché endured a difficult race fighting with Jessica Backman, Lloyd and Filippi early on for lower places in the top ten. However, he slipped down the order, eventually finding himself outside the top ten after running straight on at the chicane on the Mistral straight on lap five.
Photo Credit: WSC / TCR Europe
This allowed Jessica Bäckman, Lloyd and Filippi to close up on the fight for third, joining the battling Teddy Clairet, Andreas Bäckman and Bennani.
The race stayed this way for the final laps, leaving Mike Halder to take his second win in the series ahead of Néstor Girolami with Teddy Clairet holding on for third place ahead of Andreas Bäckman and Mehdi Benanni.
Daniel Lloyd took sixth place ahead of John Filippi and Jessica Bäckman with Nicolas Baert taking ninth place whilst Dániel Nagy secured tenth spot after another comeback drive.
Pepe Oriola came home in eleventh place in the second Brutal Fish Racing Honda ahead of Mat’o Homola in the second BRC Racing Hyundai with Michelle Halder in thirteenth. Julien Briché finished in fourteenth place after receiving a track limits penalty with Stéphane Ventaja claiming the final point in fifteenth.
Daniel Lloyd holds a one-point lead over Mehdi Benanni with Néstor Girolami a further two points back after his guest entry. The next round of the 2020 TCR Europe Touring Car Series takes place at Zolder in Belgium on 12-13 September