The TCR Italy season came to a close in Imola, where Levente Losonczy secured a 3rd place finish earlier this year. Racing for the Aggressive Team Italia, the Hungarian Motorsport Academy-supported driver faced a tougher challenge this time but he managed to secure his overall 3rd place in the category of drivers under 25.
The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola brought back memorable moments for Aggressive Team Italia’s racer, Levente Losonczy. At the beginning of the season, he had achieved a 3rd place in the TCR Italy field. This was also the venue for the final round of the championship, where it became evident during practice sessions that Levente would have a more challenging weekend ahead of him.
“The first day in Imola did not start as we planned it. My FP1 was messed up by a full course yellow then a red flag, so I ended up with one lap. The second practice was a bit better, I managed to complete a few laps and gather some data to work with the team,” said the Győr-based athlete.
The frustrating traffic situation also characterized the qualifying session. In the first attempt, a red flag ended Levente’s lap, and then his subsequent efforts with two new front tires were interrupted by yellow flags. On his next lap, another red flag came out, and by the time of his final attempt, he had no fresh set of tires left. To make matters worse, that lap was also invalidated due to yet another red flag.
The results of the qualifying session indicated that both races at Imola would be about making a comeback. In the first race, this proved impossible, as Levente got involuntarily caught in the biggest start accident of the year, forcing him to retire after just 60 meters.
Ruben Volt, who started from the front row, couldn’t get off the line, and several members of the large following pack collided with his car. This chain reaction led to competitors attempting to avoid the crash colliding with each other, and Levente was caught up in the aftermath as well. The race was immediately red-flagged due to the collisions. It restarted after the track was cleared, but the Aggressive Team Italia racer couldn’t participate in Saturday’s race.
Overall top 3 in the class of drivers under 25 years of age
For Sunday, the team rebuilt the Hyundai in preparation for the season finale. Levente and the team members wrote individual messages on the car’s hood before the closing race, expressing their gratitude for the collective efforts throughout this season. The race provided excitement fitting for a season finale, but luck, once again, was not on the side of the 20-year-old racer.
Starting from 15th place, Levente and his teammate Eric Brigliadori gradually moved up the order lap by lap. Right after the start, Levente quickly advanced to 13th place, and they capitalized on their competitors’ mistakes. After a safety car period, they were in the vicinity of 9th place. However, just minutes before the finish, one of the Audis hit Levente’s car, causing damage to the left front wheel arch and side sill. This forced him to pit for a quick repair, which resulted in him slipping back to 21st place.
“Challenging race, but we need to focus on the positives: the car was superb, keeping up with the pace of the top 5 and I maintained my 3rd position in the U25 category!”
“My start was very good, gaining 2-3 positions right off the grid, and avoiding any issues in the opening laps. I and my teammate managed to move up through the field, then there was a Safety Car, but we were able to capitalize on it. We were running in 8th-9th place, and it’s always tough to keep up with the Audis on the straights as they caught up to us. One attempted to overtake, I thought I had enough room to make the turn, but we made contact, causing damage to my car and I was called into the pits for repairs. Up until that, the race was going positively: a good start, solid positioning and my car was the best it had all weekend. I truly enjoyed driving. The team did a fantastic job setting everything up, and I’m very thankful to them!”
“Today marked the end of the 2023 season in which I participated in TCR Europe and TCR Italy for Aggressive Team Italia. Thank you to the whole team for their hard work, especially Team Principal Mauro Guastamacchia and my coaches Bálint Hatvani, Pepe Oriola and Gianni Morbidelli for the guidances. I am grateful to my father, our partners and the Hungarian Motorsport Academy for the support, Fit4Race and MOTAM for the preparation and contribution.”
Levente Losonczy, TCR Italy Imola (season finale) results
Free Practice 1: P21
Free Practice 2: P18
Race 1: DNF
Race 2: P21
Overall Classification: P13
U25 Classification: P3