On only his second appearance in TCR Italy at the wheel of the Otto Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR, Edoardo Cappello achieved an authoritative victory at Mugello last weekend beating the reigning champion Nicola Baldan.
However, it was all bad news for his fellow Alfa Romeo driver Luigi Ferrara who picked up just one point all weekend and lost the leadership in the championship to Salvatore Tavano who added a first and third place to his tally for the year so far.
In Race 1 Tavano and Nicola Baldan crossed the finishing line side-by-side, split by only 43 thousandths of a second, and were classified first and second at the end of an hectic race.
This was Tavano’s maiden win in TCR Italy that repaid the Cupra driver for the disappointment of the penalty that had deprived him of pole position. The victory also meant that Tavano had closed the gap from Giulietta TCR driver Ferrara in the championship standings to only 3.5 points overnight.
Ferrara had started well from fourth on the grid ahead of Eric Scalvini and Tavano; then he took the lead on the opening lap, overtaking the pole sitter Baldan, while Tavano passed Scalvini for third.
After a brief Safety Car period to recover the Cupra of Peter Gross that was stranded in the gravel following a contact with Andrea Larini’s similar car, Ferrara was able to pull away.
However, on lap 5 his pace faded and the V-Action Racing Giulietta TCR began to drop down the order until it retired with brake problems.
For the rest of the race, Baldan chased Tavano and on the last lap they ran abreast until the end, with the Cupra beating the Hyundai by 43 thousandths of a second. Scalvini was classified third, ahead of Marco Pellegrini and Matteo Greco who won the DSG Trophy.
In Race 2 Federico Paolino took the lead from the pole on the reverse grid, but the race was disrupted by the Safety Car to recover Cesar Machado’s Honda that ended up stranded in the gravel after contact with Scalvini’s Hyundai.
At the restart on lap 4, Cappello overtook Paolino at Turn 1 and pulled away. Soon afterwards, Paolino was passed by Baldan, Greco and Tavano who began to chase the leader.
On lap 6 Baldan managed to overtake Greco for second and began closing in on Cappello; one lap later Greco handed third position to his teammate Tavano.
The final laps were thrilling, with Cappello and Baldan driving abreast for most of the time until the Alfa Romeo took the chequered flag only two tenths of a second ahead of the Hyundai.
Tavano has now moved on top of the standings, 7.5 points clear of Alfa Romeo driver Ferrara and with 18 points in hand over Greco.
TCR Italy resume next weekend for its fifth double-header of the season, this time the series is set to visit the Imola Circuit.
Photos: Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR - TCR Italy 2018