Josh Files endured a difficult opening weekend in the TCR Europe championship held at the Le Castellet circuit in France. He leaves the weekend sitting 5thin the championship standings, having qualified his Honda Civic FK7 P5 and P6 for the races and taking a best result of 4thin Race 1.
During the Free practice sessions Files and his HELL ENERGY Racing with KCMG team worked through a number of setup scenarios, but were slightly hampered by session 2’s damp track, unknowing if the improvements worked.
Into qualifying Files was able to set extremely fast lap times, initially putting him 1st in Qualifying 1 before others went slightly faster on their second runs. For the second phase of qualifying (Q2) Files made a lap time of 2m14.392s which was good enough for 5thfor the 1strace and 6thfor the reverse grid race 2.
Race 1 was very frenetic. Files made an excellent start making the jump into P4. From there he tried to move up the field however a lack of top speed meant he came under threat from a fast charging Kris Richard in his Hyundai i30 TCR car. A race long battle ensued with there now a 6 car train all fighting for 4thplace. Files held his nerve and controlled the race with excellent defending to consolidate 4thplace for race 1.
Race 2 saw rain falling with most cars starting on slicks initially. Files made a superb launch to take him from 6th to 3rdby turn 1. Whilst fighting the Hyundai of Francesco Mora for positon, Jean Karl Vernay managed to pass them both demoting Files to 4th. At the start of lap 2 Files managed to take 3rdfrom Mora before passing Jens Moller 3 turns later into 2ndplace. Coming onto the back straight a slight oversteer turned into a dramatic spin as the Brit lost control of the rear of his car in the damp conditions, which then demoted him to 13th. A lap later another driver in their Hyundai did the same this time making heavy contact with the wall creating a safety car situation. With rain still falling Files made the decision to change to wet tyres in a bid to move back to the front on an alternative strategy. Unfortunately, due to the tyre wall damage the race was red flagged with Files in P19. 
The race was restarted, but 20 minutes later, and by this time the circuit had started to dry. Files managed to consolidate only 15thposition by the flag.
“It was a tough weekend overall. We had fantastic one lap pace, even though we are missing a little straight line speed, which just goes to show how good the chassis is in the new Honda Civic FK7. Race 1 felt like a victory to us, and was one of my hardest races to date. Race 2 was unfortunate. I made great progress at the start and was just a bit too cautious in the conditions, so I lifted when I shouldn’t have and sent my car sideways. It was my own fault but then that’s racing, we need to learn from it and move on. I’m sure in Zandvoort we will have a much better weekend as our car should be much better suited there” Explained Files.
“I have to thank all the guys at HELL Racing and KCMG for the weekend. We really did a great job. In Zandvoort we will be pushing very hard to repay all the guys who support us including my loyal Sponsors PROFI-CAR and AirWalk Consulting” 
Round 2 of TCR Europe head to Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands on the 19th-21stMay in support of the FIA WTCR and Netherlands Jumbo weekend with over 100,000 spectators expected.