TCR South America @ Rosario - Montenegro and Casella dominate for Squadra Martino

TCR South America @ Rosario - Montenegro and Casella dominate for Squadra Martino

19.04.2023: Squadra Martino teammates Ignacio Montenegro and Juan Manuel Casella dominated the second event of TCR South America at Rosario at the wheel of their Honda Civic cars.

Squadra Martino teammates Ignacio Montenegro and Juan Manuel Casella dominated the second event of TCR South America at Rosario at the wheel of their Honda Civic cars.

Montenegro added a double win to the one he had scored in the season opening race at Alta Gracia, while Casella was runner up in both races. Toyota Gazoo Racing drivers Bernardo Llaver and José Manuel Sapag shared third places.

Montenegro stretched his leadership in the standings to 42 points over Llaver.

Race 1
– Juan Ángel Rosso sat on pole after he had pipped Llaver by six thousandths in Qualifying; they fought for the lead after the start, with Llaver ahead of Rosso who retook the position when Llaver ran wide, helping Montenegro and Galid Osman moving up to P2 and P3.

In lap 4, Montenegro muscled his way into the lead, while Rosso dropped to third behind Osman. In lap 5, Rosso and Llaver passed Osman and resumed their battle, while Osman was also passed by Casella and Fabián Yannantuoni, though the latter eventually dropped down the order.

In lap 10, Llaver tried to overtake Rosso but hit him, Casella passed them and climbed to second. In lap 12, Osman passed Llaver for P4, while Fabricio Pezzini passed Raphael Reis for P6. In the final minutes, Rosso’s pace faded, and he dropped down to seventh, while Llaver and Pezzini overtook Osman, moving into third and fourth respectively.

Montenegro crossed the line with a margin of 8 seconds over Casella, with Llaver completing the podium ahead of Pezzini, Osman and Reis.

Race 2 –
Sapag and Pezzini shared the front row of the top-ten reversed grid and retained the positions at the start followed by Rafael Suzuki, Casella and Yannantuoni. In lap 4, Casella overtook Suzuki for P3 and one lap later he passed Pezzini for second; the Uruguayan closed the gap to Sapag and passed him for the lead in lap 9.

Montenegro was also moving up the order, he took P5 from Yannantuoni and then P4 from Suzuki. The Argentine youngster then passed Pezzini for third in lap 10 and Sapag for second in lap 12; in the same lap Llaver passed Suzuki for P4. While Pezzini retired after being hit by Suzuki, Montenegro stole the lead from Casella in lap 15.

Behind them, there was a thrilling fight for P3, with Sapag chased by Llaver, Suzuki and Rosso. There was contact, which helped Sapag to retain the position and finish third ahead of Llaver and Rosso who passed Suzuki during the final lap, with the latter disqualified for the collision with Pezzini.

The next event will be the first of the two endurance rounds, featuring a one-hour race, on 29/30 April at Termas de Río Hondo.

Rosario – Race 1

1. Ignacio Montenegro (Squadra Martino, Honda Civic Type R Fk7), 16 laps
2. Juan Manuel Casella (Squadra Martino, Honda Civic Type R Fk7), 8.082
3. Bernardo Llaver (Toyota Gazoo Racing, Toyota Corolla GRS), 12.925

Rosario – Race 2

1. Ignacio Montenegro (Squadra Martino, Honda Civic Type R Fk7), 18 laps
2. Juan Manuel Casella (Squadra Martino, Honda Civic Type R Fk7), 1.134
3. José Manuel Sapag (Toyota Gazoo Racing, Toyota Corolla GRS), 8.869

Championship points

1. I. Montenegro, 155 pts; 2. B. Llaver, 113; 3. JM. Casella 95

Fabio Ravaioli - photo TCR South America/Hernán Capa


19.04.2023 / MaP

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