TCR / 17 June 2024

South American win and Italian podium for JAS-built race cars

Fabio Casagrande led a Squadra Martino one-two finish in the Trophy class as TCR South America and TCR Brasil continued with a combined event at Interlagos.

There was also a podium finish for the NSX GT3 Evo 22 as the Italian GT Championship staged its first endurance race of the year at Vallelunga.


TCR South America

Fabio Casagrande - who is chasing a third straight Trophy crown with Squadra Martino - looked an unlikely winner in the class as he qualified his Honda Civic Type R TCR third and ran there for most of the race.

But, after finishing there, he was promoted to victory in the category for semi-pro drivers when the two rivals that came out ahead were given time penalties post-race. Enrique Maglione made it a Martino one-two on the team's 50th start in the series.

Casagrande did not finish the later race but with Maglione coming home second, both remain in the hunt for the overall title.

At the front of the overall field Rodrigo Baptista qualified second and ran there early in Race One before being biffed off the track by a rival and falling to an eventful sixth spot, one place higher than Juan Manuel Casella.

Casella was ninth in Race Two while Baptista was knocked out by a rival, who was penalised five seconds post-race for reckless driving.


Italian GT Endurance

For the opening Endurance race of the season, Nova Race fielded two radically different line-ups in their Honda NSX GT3 Evo 22s and came away with another podium finish.

Team owner Luca Magnoni and Sprint Series regular Massimo Ciglia were joined by Rodolfo Massaro and the trio ran consistently throughout to move up from their fourth place on the Am-class grid and finish third.

JAS Motorsport Development Driver Marco Butti, who only confirmed his participation in the series three days before opening practice, was joined in the Pro-Am entry by Sprint regulars Felice Jelmini and Vincenzo Scarpetta.

A technical issue in qualifying caused the #55 entry to start last on the 35-car grid but with 45 minutes of the three hours to go Butti was running fifth in class.

That became fourth when Jelmini was released from a lengthy safety-car period that ended with 15 minutes to go and seventh by the chequered flag.