Levente Losonczy concluded the fourth round of the TCR Italy series at Mugello, Italy. The Hungarian driver had to overtake several opponents and make significant progress from his starting position because of the results of Friday’s qualifying session that shaped the course of the weekend. Still, the Aggressive Team Italia driver managed to get onto the podium.
The Mugello Circuit, which previously hosted Formula 1 Grand Prix races, served as the venue for the fourth round of the 2023 TCR Italy touring car championship, where Levente Losonczy, the driver of Aggressive Team Italia, participated. The 20-year-old driver prepared for the weekend through simulator sessions and a test day.
Mugello is a high-speed track surrounded by gravel traps and the walls are not far away either, requiring precise driving from the drivers. This posed a challenge for the crowded field of over 30 participants, leading to frequent Safety Car phases, and even during practice sessions, it was difficult to complete a clean lap.
Levente Losonczy also experienced this, as he couldn’t complete an ideal lap during the Qualifying session held on Friday afternoon, resulting in him securing the 25th grid position for the first race, which fell short of his potential and the car’s competitiveness.
He commented, ‘I started with the tires used in Free Practice 1 to make sure everything was fine with the car and the setup. Then we put on two new tires, and I ended up 5th fastest.’
‘The second practice session also went well with the race simulation, and the pace looked promising. However, during Qualifying, I couldn’t put together a clean lap. I was initially held up, and then I pushed too hard, so I had to start from the 25th grid position on Saturday. But I was encouraged to know that the car was capable of better results, so I aimed to move forward in the two races.”
He succeeded on both occasions. On Saturday, after a great start, Levente immediately engaged in battles, overtaking 10 opponents on the track and benefiting from two penalties. As a result, he finished the first race in 13th place, despite the race being marked by accidents and offering only a few clean racing laps for the field.
‘My start was good, and I could carry more speed into Turn 1 compared to my opponents, so I immediately improved several positions. I managed the race situations well in the first lap and gained 5-6 places right away. Then there were a few more overtakes before the Safety Car came out. It stayed on the track for many laps, and then we were released for only one lap because of another accident. The Safety Car came out again, and it stayed on until the end of the race.’
On Sunday, he surpassed his Saturday result on the track. Starting from 24th place, Levente immediately overtook a stalled opponent, and despite a trip to the gravel trap, he quickly moved up to 19th place. Later, Rodolfo Massaro almost spun him, and after another collision, the Italian driver hit the wall, leading to multiple appearances of the Safety Car on Sunday, similar to Saturday.
The actual track time on Sunday accounted for only a small portion of the race distance. Nevertheless, Levente finished in 12th place, demonstrating his competitive pace over the weekend and performing well during the Mugello round, despite the disappointing qualifying result.
‘On Sunday, I started from 24th place on the left side, and just like in Spa, the light was blocked, so I had to rely on the reaction of the driver in front of me. Moreover, one of my opponents stalled right in front of me. I managed to position myself well on Turn 1, gaining a few more positions there and at the chicane. Then there was some chaos in the first lap, and one of my opponents squeezed me off the track, and my car was hit from all sides,’ Levente recalled.
‘Due to an accident, the Safety Car came out, and then I had a good pace until I clashed with another Hyundai. This led to another Safety Car period, and was off to the left, so I had to adjust my driving style, but I managed to stay consistent. There wasn’t a single lap where I didn’t have contact with someone, but you can learn from these battles. I finished in 12th place, and after the penalties, I became 11th, and in the classification for drivers under 25, I secured the 3rd position. It was an eventful race!’
Fre‘Thank you very much to Aggressive Team Italia, Pepe Oriola, and Bálint Hatvani for their efforts during the weekend, as well as to my father, sponsors, and the Hungarian Motorsport Academy for their support.’
The Italian championship now enters a longer break, and the field will meet again at the Monza Circuit, the venue of the Italian Grand Prix, between September 15th and 17th, 2023. However, before that, Levente Losonczy will also participate in the TCR Europe series at Circuit Paul Ricard in France from July 21st to 23rd, 2023.
Levente Losonczy, TCR Italy Mugello results
Free Practice 1: P5
Free Practice 2: P18
Race 1: P13
Race 2: P11