The Tsunami RT - Centro Porsche Padova driver and 2017 Carrera Cup Italia champion won the first of the two weekend races at the circuit of Catalunya and finished 3rd in the second, keeping his hopes alive for the 2018 Carrera Cup France title, to be decided in two weeks time at Paul Ricard.
Alessio Rovera was fastest in the qualifying session of the first race with 1'48"137 and reserved the pole position at the grid. In Q2, the Italian made a mistake in his best lap and qualified in 3rd for Sunday's race behind pole setter and championship leader J. Andlauer and Turk driver A. Guven.
Alessio Rovera - who hadn't raced in Barcelona since his Formula days - started from pole position and managed to keep the lead throughout an intensive 30' race. But it was not easy: Julien Andlauer didn't let Rovera in peace for a single lap but the Italian driver defended himself and gloriously took the flag first.
Thomas Nicolle who hadn't driven since last season, gave a genuine battle with his gentlemen rivals and finished the race in 4th position in class B but really exhausted.
#112 Alessio Rovera: "I am very happy for today's win because we had never tested here and we found a fantastic setup yesterday. The race seemed to be clean but in the end I was 'dead' because of Julien's pressure".
#12 Thomas Nicolle: "It is very complicated to race after a year off. Especially towards the end of the race it was so difficult!"
Porsche Carrera Cup France. Barcelona. Race 1 overall:
Starting from 3rd on Sunday, Rovera looked calm before the start without hiding his strategy: "I will wait and see what happens between the two in the first corner". All three top drivers did a good start but better was Ayhancan Guven who momentarily took the lead from Julien Andlauer but lost it in the following corner. Alessio was there to take advantage of the situation but in the following laps, for a conservative car setting, couldn't attack the two drivers at the front, so the top three stepped on the podium with the same order they had at the race grid: Andlauer 1st, Guven 2nd, Alessio 3rd. Thomas Nicolle finished the race in 5th position in category B.
#112 Alessio Rovera: "3rd was the best we could do today. My start was OK, like yesterday, and everything was clean in the first lap. For this race we chose a different car setup in order to gain in the first sector and manage better the tyre but this has compromised all the other sectors. Track conditions were also different and all these things resulted in an understeering that didn't permit me to push more. We have two more races for the championship and the gap between the first and the second driver is not small but we will see in Paul Ricard".
#12 Thomas Nicolle: "like yesterday, I didn't do a good race. The car was really good but not me, from every point of view, concentration, fitness, everything. Throughout the season I only did a short test".
Porsche Carrera Cup France. Barcelona. Race 2 overall:
Next weekend 5-7 October, on programme is the final round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia at Imola, where Tsunami RT will line up three drivers: Alessio Rovera, who stands 2nd in the PCCI standings, Tommaso Mosca (currently 4th and mathematically in the title chase) and gentleman Alex De Giacomi. The two races are included in the annual Porsche Festival event, which is organised by Porsche Italia. The following weekend 12-14 October the Ukrainian team will travel to Paul Ricard for the final title battle of the Porsche Carrera Cup France 2018 season.
Text and photo: Akis Temperidis