Josh's Italian Job proves his standing among the best racers in Europe
PUBLISHED: 11:17 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:17 01 November 2017
Josh Files underlined his status as one of the leading TCR touring car drivers in Europe by beating allcomers in the first race of the newly-instigated TCR Europe Trophy held at the Adria International Raceway in Italy.
The Poringland racer was on target to claim his third TCR title of the season before he had to serve a drive-through penalty in race two while battling to challenge race leader Gabriele Tarquini.
“I believe my move at turn one in race two was a calculated risk,” explained Files. “I actually made the apex, but it was just unfortunate that Antti Buri turned in. But, this is motorsport. I didn’t come here to finish second and just score points. I came here to win races.
“My goal was to get past (Aurélien) Comte, which I did, and then the team told me I had a drive-through penalty, because I wanted to hunt down Tarquini for the win.
“I remember meeting Gabriele when I was three years old, in 1994 when he was racing in the British Touring Car Championshp. Not only did I get to race against him, but also beat him in race one, so overall I’m very happy with the weekend.”
Rejoining the race in ninth place Files charged back to seventh, but ran out of laps to climb any higher and had to settle for third place, just two points away from taking the title.
In the opening event, Files made one of his trademark flying starts and beat pole man Tarquini to the opening corner to lead all the way to the chequered flag, despite close attentions from the former World Touring Car champion.
“I had a fantastic car,” said Files.
“I got a great start and was able to keep Tarquini at bay.
“The old guy is still very quick and tough! He also hit me a few times.”
Files also had demonstrated his speed in qualifying when the Honda Civic racer claimed the five bonus points on offer for the fastest time, but hadn’t set the overall quickest lap time, an accolade which went to the vastly-experienced Tarquini, but it was set in the Hyundai i30 N which was running as a guest entry at the event.
“I’m really happy,” said Files. “I couldn’t have beaten Tarquini, but I could have matched him had I not been held up, so I’m happy.”