TCR International Series: Wins for Tarquini and Huff at new circuit
The Chinese TCR round was the first outing for a brand new Hyundai i30 N TCR which proved to be extremely competitive, setting best times in qualifying and allowing Gabriele Tarquini to win the Race 1 after starting 14th on the grid. A new car has a temporary homologation and it isn’t eligible to score points so Hyundai drivers Alain Menu and Gabriele Tarquini were moved back on the starting grid after a dominating performance in the qualifying.
After starting 14th, a touring car veteran Gabriele Tarquini showed an impressive performance at Zhejiang Circuit, taking his first win in the TCR International Series and giving a victorious debut to new car. The 25 points in the championship were awarded to the championship leader Jean-Karl Vernay, who finished second in the Leopard Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI. The Frenchman was followed by two other Volkswagen drivers, his teammate Rob Huff and WestCoast Racing’s Gianni Morbidelli.
Scoring maximum points in the first race, Vernay increased a lead over M1RA’s Attila Tassi to 26 points. Tassi was 11th in the first race (10th among point scorers).
In the Race 2, Frederic Vervisch started from pole on the reversed grid in the Comtoyou Racing’s Audi RS3 LMS. However, Vervisch finished outside points in the race fnished by only 11 cars and won by Rob Huff, who started from P10. It’s his first win of the season.
Huff fought for the lead with James Nash in the Lukoil’s Seat Leon, passing him on lap 15. Gianni Morbidelli also made a move on lap 16, finishing in the second place while Nash took the last podium position. Hyundai’s Alain Menu fiished fourth, one place ahead of Seat’s Pepe Oriola and teammate Tarquini. In the second race, Hyundais have additional balast and decreased power.
Jean-Karl Vernay didn’t score points in the second race. Attila Tassi finished ninth (seventh in the points). Ahead of season’s finale in Dubai, Vernay has 21-point advantage over Tassi. Stefano Comini and Roberto Colciago also have mathematical chances to take the title.