HELL ENERGY racing by KCMG driver Josh Files suffered non finishes from both of TCR Europe’s races held at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.
The Brit had a strong showing in both free practice sessions held on Friday being the fastest used tyre runner as the KCMG team worked through setup choices ahead of Saturdays two-part qualifying session.
Files’ first flying lap of Q1 was easily enough to put him through to the Q2 pole position shootout. The official test driver for JAS motorsport put on a strong show in Q2, and despite being blocked in the last half of his lap, he was the fastest Honda driver qualifying P7 and P4 for the 2 races with a lap of 2m 30.238s.
In Saturday evening’s first TCR Europe race Files made a fast start moving into 6th after turn 1. An intense battle ensued for 5th place over the first few laps, with Files struggling to find a way passed the slower car holding place in front. Now with no less than 7 cars all fighting for the position, the 5th place battle started to become frantic due to the slow pace of the race. At the start of lap 5, whilst defending from a fast charging CUPRA, Files braked into La Source hairpin with the CUPRA on his inside. The 5th placed car took the usual racing line, and with Files sandwiched between the two, he was out on the spot with a left front puncture.
Sundays race 2 was a much stronger showing for the Honda driver, starting P4 he made his way through to 2nd by Les Combe on lap 1. Charging forward further, the gap was closing to the leader, and was now down to 0.6s before the safety car was called into action. At the restart Files was closer than ever and mounting an attack for the lead position before a suspected electrical issue meant Files had to retire the car.
“Overall the weekend wasn’t great I’ll be honest. But I don’t want to sit back dwindling on the what if’s and what could have been’s, so I’m looking only at the positives. Were we the fastest Honda? Yes. Did we have a great chassis for both qualifying and the races? Yes. Were we able to fight for wins? Yes. Knowing all of this, we can go to Hungary ready to be back at the front where we belong, and continue our title attack. It’s not over yet!” Said Files
“I must thank my engineer Nicola and all my lovely HELL ENERGY by KCMG team for getting the car ship shape. It’s weekends like this that will only make our team even stronger! I also have to thank my wonderful personal sponsors Profi-Car and AirWalk for the continued support, and also all the fans and marshals for coming out to watch.”
Round 4 of TCR Europe will take place in a little over 3 weeks at the Hungaroring circuit in Budapest on the weekend of the 6-8th July.