TCR International Series: Two Thailand's wins for Craft-Bamboo Lukoil
Craft-Bamboo Lukoil drivers Pepe Oriola and James Nash are the winners of two TCR International Series at Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand. After eight rounds and sixteen races in the 2016 season, Nash has two wins and he is now the championship leader with 204 points, seven more than his taammate Oriola, who collected four wins.
After beating Gianni Morbidelli for one thousand of the second in the qualifying, Pepe Oriola started the first race from pole and remained in the lead until the chequered flag. Morbidelli and Nash were fighting for P2. The Briton overtook Italian veteran on Lap 7 (of 14).
The Leopard Racing duo of Stefano Comini and Jean-Karl Vernay finished in fourth and fifth place after a close fight. Kantadhee Kusiri finished sixth and the best among Thai drivers, who were also classified for the TCR Thailand championship. Other two places on the TCR Thailand podium were taken by Narasak Ittiritpong (11th overall) and Alexander Mies (13th).
In the second race, Mikhail Grachev started from pole in the reverse grid. He defended his lead at the start but the race was stopped during the opening lap because of Morbidelli’s crash. He hit the barriers and badly damaged his Honda. After the restart, Grachev was leading ahead of Kusiri and Nash. On Lap 5, Nash took P2 from Kusiri and then, on Lap 8, he took the lead from Grachev.
The duo Nash &Grachev remained in front until the end of the race while the battle for P3 was full of contacts and position changes. At the end, the Serbian driver Dušan Borković reached his fifth podium of the season, holding off Stefano Comini. David Kajaia made an fantastic move on Lap 14, overtaking three cars in one turn, to take the final fifth place. Other points scorers are Attila Tassi, Sergey Afanasyev, Jean-Karl Vernay, Kanradhee Kusiri and Mato Homola. Pepe Oriola suffered a puncture in the opening lap and he dropped to the back of the field. During the race, he progressed to 11th place.