Leonel Pernía and Nacho Montenegro, experience and youth in the double appointment of TC2000 in Córdoba

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experience and youth. A conjunction that the team exploits in the best way Ambrose competition, which for several years has stood out as the most efficient structure within the TC2000. And in Córdoba, where the category is more local than any other, and this time with phenomenal support from the public that has filled the venue with great enthusiasm, the team installed in Villa Carlos Paz has strengthened itself at the racecourse of Oscar Cabalén , to take over with its most famous driver, the two-time champion Leonel Pernia47 years old, young blood of national motoring Ignacio “Nacho” Montenegro18-year-old, who has picked up double-date victories.

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Pernía prevailed in the final race. He started from the front row, together with Montenegro, and although his teammate took the lead, it took a lap and a half to overtake him and from there manage the potential of the Renault Fluence to take him to victory.

In the previous race, in the very early hours of the morning, the biggest feat was achieved by Montenegro, which, unlike the following race, the Patagonian driver staged a fabulous comeback, to capture the vanguard in the last corner , beating Facundo Aldrighetti.

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Montenegro was born on November 23, 2004 in Rada Tilly, Chubut Province. At the age of 7 he convinced his parents, Alejandro and Paula, to go karting, a world unknown to the family. At 12 he entered the Argentine championship, finished second in the Junior and moved on to European karting.

Recommended by Lucas Colombo Russell and Lucas Benamo (who also assists the international Franco Colapinto, now in F3), he made his debut in national motorsport. But the pandemic complicated it, given that in 2020 he had tried his luck in Formula 4, in Spain.

Already at the age of 16 he raced in the TC2000 Series, in the Toyota Young team, until he came into contact with Marcelo Ambrogio, owner of the then official Renault team and current Axion Energy Team, with whom he formalized his entry into the TC2000 in 2022, obtaining his first win, at age 17.

In the second round, Montenegro also put on a show. Although he dropped to third place, since when he was passed by Pernía he was also passed by Julián Santero (Toyota Gazoo Racing), he did the impossible to regain second place, with several risky manoeuvres. Highlights of the final race.

Pernía demonstrated his talent and why he is the TC2000 champion. He effortlessly scored very good points in the first race, with second place, and then escaped to the lead with the win. Second win of the year and in 5 discipline races in 2023, he finished on the podium in all of them. A superlative level for who 15 years ago, in the Cordovan circuit, obtained his first victory.

Outside of the two great protagonists of the double appointment, other outstanding performances. The aforementioned Aldrighetti, who makes his first weapons in the TC2000, and Santero, who has been able to insert himself between the two current references.

Franco Vivian looked like a good candidate for the win, but the broken floor of his Chevrolet prevented him from fighting for the lead in the opening race. Out of contention Facundo Ardusso, who suffered with Honda. His partner, Bernardo Llaver, finished fifth in the first.

“We had a flawless weekend with an outstanding car. It’s important for us to win at Cabalén, because all the teams try here. And in the first race he was also very good, with second place, and scoring important points, with a very nice maneuver against Aldrighetti”, underlined Leonel Pernía.

Meanwhile, the other winner, Ignacio Montenegro, indicated: “We made a mistake with the strategy in the second race. Then I tried to recover but I went to the limit, I tried with Santero but it didn’t happen. The first race was the one I liked the most. In the TC2000 you lose a lot of charge, but I’ve made great progress from behind. When I passed Vivian I knew I could win. Now I will also look for the final.

Marcelo Ambrogio’s team lead the tournament strongly, with Pernía amassing 117 points, followed by Montenegro, with 82. Further afield, Santero has 57 points.

Will there be any chance of recovery for the rest? The difference, although there is still a long way to go, is it irreversible? There are several, and very close, examples of devastating departures fading towards the end of the season.

This is how the TC2000 passed through Córdoba, where it feels local. For the geographical position of most of the teams, for the circuit which is a laboratory for the structures, and above all for the public who, massively, gave their support to the automotive proposal.

Three Pernías on the track

Beyond the prominence of Leonel Pernía, two-time TC2000 champion, with a victory and a second place that places him at the head of the race, the family is expanding in the business.

The monarch’s son, Tiago, who competed in Formula Nazionale, is now a driver in the TC2000 series, a discipline that shares a track with the older TC2000.

This weekend, in Pernía’s absence, another member of the clan joined: Mariano Pernía competed in the senior category, still in Marcelo Ambrogio’s team, fourth in the first competition.

Mariano, a former soccer player (who joined the Spanish soccer team at the 2006 World Cup) arrived at the Cordoba facility to compete in a Renault Fluence.

In the 1970s defender Vicente Pernía, after becoming intercontinental champion with Boca Juniors, asked the then president of the institution, Alberto J. Armando, for authorization to alternate his activity with motor racing. There began the “fierrera” campaign of “Tano”, which he was able to pass on to his children and nephew.

Source: Clarin

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