Danish drivers winners of two TCR races in Portugal
Fourth racing weekend with rounds 7 & 8 of TCR International Series was held in Portual, at Algarve Portimao Circuit. Twice we heard Danish anthem, because the winners of two races are Nicki Thiim and Michel Nykjaer.
Thiim raced as guest driver for Liqui Moly Team Engstler in Audi TT and was a dominant in his first appearance in TCR International Series. Thiim was fastest at practice sessions and qualifying before taking a brilliant lights-to-flag victory in Race 1.
This was first win for Audi in TCR. Another guest driver, last years’ ADAC GT Masters Champion Kelvin van der Linde, was fourth Race 1, so the decision taken by the German team to invite two of Audi Sport Customer Racing’s drivers really paid off, with plenty of championship points. In Race 1 Thiim led from pole to chequered flag and was four seconds ahead of Jordi Gene (Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil) in Seat Leon. Third was Thiim’s team-mate Lorenzo Veglia in Seat Leon.
Championship leader Stefano Comini (Target Competition) in Seat Leon was fifth. It was a positive result for him, as the three drivers behind him in the points failed to score. One of them was Gianni Morbidelli who was involved in a lot of the action in his West Coast Racing Honda Civic and retired on lap eight after contact with Andrea Belicchi.
Thiim and Van der Linde were in the fight for victory with Nykjaer (Target Competition) in Race 2, but both were stopped few laps before the end, Thiim because of mistake and Van der Linde by electronics issues. This left Nykjaer flying towards his first win of the season. Second was American Kevin Gleason (West Coast Racing) and third was Jordi Gene.
Thiim’s and Nykjaer’s successes made it seven different winners out of eight races. In the championship fight, Stefano Comini and Pepe Oriola are on the top, with 116 and 104 points. Gianni Morbidelli did not score points in Portugal and now is third in championship with 91 points, one more than Jordi Gene. The TCR International Series will resume for Rounds 9 and 10 at Monza on June 24.