Comini and Grachev triumphed at Sochi Autodrom
Stefano Comini (Leopard Racing) and Mikhail Grachev (West Coast Racing) are the winners in two races of the seventh round of the TCR International Series at Sochi Autodrom. The defending TCR champion Comini has won in Race 1, which he started from pole. In the second race, with reversed grid, Grachev started third and progressed to the first place in the 11-lap race at 5.848-km race track.
Comini converted pole position to second season’s victory
While Stefano Comini managed to defend his first position from start to the chequered flag, Pepe Oriola lost his second position from Gianni Morbidelli, but returned to P2 on Lap 2. After that, the podium position remained unchanged. Jean-Karl Vernay and James Nash made a contact while fighting for P4. Vernay dropped to tenth while Nash holds on track and finished fourth.
Dušan Borković finished fifth, but he received a 30-second time penalty after the race. The Serbian driver was deemed guilty of repeatedly trespassing the track limits. The penalty dropped Borković from fifth to 14th.
Home glory for Mikhail Grachev
In the second race, the reversed grid rule put B3 Racing drivers Mato Homola and Attila Tassi in the front row, but the winner was the Russian driver Mikhail Grachev. He takes the glory at his home track ahead of Jean-Karl Vernay, while Attila Tassi took his maiden TCR podium.
Grachev took the lead immediatelly at the start. Tassi followed him, while poleman Homola dropped to fourth, behind James Nash. Vernay was fifth. On Lap 3 Homola attacked Nash but lost the duel, went wide and dropped down in the order. After that Vernay attacked Nash and took P3. On Lap 9, Tassi made a mistake and handed P2 to Nash. The next duel was between Morbidelli and Tassi. The Italian veteran suffered from a suspension failure and retired.
Two drivers were penalized after Race 2. James Nash gets 10 seconds penalty as he was deemed responsible for hitting Jean-Karl Vernay’s car. It demoted Nash fourth to ninth. Mato Homola was given a 5-second penalty for being in a wrong position at the start of Race 2. This dropped him from ninth to tenth.
Comini and Craft-Bamboo Lukoil in the championship lead
After two races in Sochi, Stefano Comini is the championship leader. He collected 168 points, one more than Pepe Oriola (167). James Nash in two points behind Oriola. Mato Homola and Jean-Karl Vernay are fourth and fifth respectively, with 146 and 144 points. In the teams’ classification, the Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil leads, ahead of Leopard Racing and WestCoast Racing.
After a summer break, the TCR International Series will resume at Chang International Circuit, Thailand, on August 28th.