Stefano Comini takes first TCR International Series title
Swiss driver Stefano Comini and his team Target Competition became the champions in the inaugural season of TCR International Series. At inccident packed finale at Macau Guia street circuit Comini won Race 2 and secured the title ahead Pepe Oriola (Team Craft-Bambo Lukoil).
As expected, guest driver Rob Huff dominated in Race 1 to take his 8th victory at Guia Circuit. Driving the West Coast Racing Honda Civic, the Brit started from pole and survived initial attacks of two Seat Leons, driven by Jordi Gene (Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil) and Stefano Comini. After that he raced without problems and increased his record number of victories at famous Macau track.
Behind Huff’s back the three title contenders Jordi Gene, Stefano Comini and Pepe Oriola battling for precious points, but positions remained unchanged. This allowed Comini to exted his lead ahead Oriola to 7 points. Jordi Oriola took an excellent fifth in Target Competition’s Seat Leon, ahead two West Coast Racing’s Hondas of Gianni Morbidelli and Kevin Gleason. Andrea Belicchi (Target Competition, Seat Leon) was eighth ahead of the Lorenzo Veglia (Liqui Moly Team Engstler, VW Golf) and Sergey Afanasyev (Craft-Bamboo Lukoil, Seat Leon). Rodolfo Ávila (Asia Racing Team, Seat Leon) finished 12th overall and first in TCR Asia classification.
The race was marked by a big accident in the middle of the group during the first lap that involved Francisco Mora (Target, Seat Leon), Kenneth Lau (Prince Racing, Honda Civic) and Frank Yu (Craft-Bamboo Racing, Seat Leon), prompting a red flag and a 3-lap safety-car period. Mora was sent to the hospital for medical checks.
A much bigger accident occcured in the opening lap of Race 2. It was a real Guia-style pile up in which eleven cars was participating. First who collided were leaders Rob Huff and Jordi Gene, and after that ‘crash fest’ followed. Only nine cars restarted and after that intense duel of Comini and Orila was the main attraction. Comini was in front and he resisted number of bumps and contact, but Oriola’s Seat didn’t survived. Damaged radiator caused his retiring three laps before the end and after that Comini easily took the victory and his championship title.
Comini’s team-mate Andrea Belicchi finished second. Younger Oriola brother Jordi was on his way to secured 1-2-3 for Target Competition, but he retired two laps before the end and handed the last podium place to Mikhail Grachev (Liqui Moly Team Engstler, VW Golf). Four more drivers finished the race – Gianni Morbidelli, Rodolfo Ávila, Robb Holland (Roadstar Racing Team, Seat Leon ) and Keith Chan (Target, Seat Leon).
Check all the results at SnapLap result pages.