TCR International Series: Gleason and Nykjaer winners at Salzburgring
West Coast Racing’s Kevin Gleason and Target Competition’s Michel Nykjaer are the winners of TCR International Series races at Salzburgring. Both Gleason with Honda Civic and Nykjaer with Seat Leon had no problems and was leading from lights to checkered flag, but behind them there was lots of battles, accidents and changes of positions.
Starting from pole in the Race 1, Gleason controlled the race all 15 laps, being only briefly threatened by Stefano Comini (Target Competition), who finished a solid second ahead of team-mate Andrea Belicchi.
Behind Gleason and Comini, the fight, which arose mostly in the second part of the race, included the usual stars. This time, it was Belicchi emerging ahead of Jordi Gene, while Pepe Oriola and Gianni Morbidelli eventually lost ground after a contact between them. Lorenzo Veglia was first of the rest, after a superb duel with Igor Skuz, while Sergey Afanasyev, Bas Schouten and Markus Östreich filled the remaining point positions.
There was 14 cars on the grid. Fernando Monje’s Opel Astra OPC does not start after it suffered from technical issues during the morning’s shake down. The similar situation was in Race 2, Campos had a problem with another Astra of Markus Östreich, but he started from pit lane. Zsolt Szabo is withdrawn from race, as his Seat Leon was not repairable after the incident in the first race.
In the Race 2 Ukrainian Igor Skuz (West Coast Racing) started from pole-position, due to reversed grid position. He had a contact with Mikhail Grachev before the first turn and both get eascape road. Michael Nykjaer, who started from second position, took the advantage of situation and after that his leading position wasn’t threatened. It was his second win of the season, which confirmed the special bond of the Dane with this track, where he has won in both in the ETCC and WTCC in the past.
Behind Nykjaer were two Seats of team-mates Andrea Belicchi and Stefano Comini, but not for a long. Comini was punished with drive-through for jump start and Belicchi had a short off-road moment caused by oil on the track, so Pepe Oriola and Gianni Morbidelli took second and third position.
Lorenzo Veglia lost his fifth place when he received a drive-through for a contact with Jordi Gene. Sergey Afanasyev took fourth after a consistent race, followed by Belicchi, Kevin Gleason and Grachev. Comini (8th) and Gene (10th) salvaged minimum championship points, while Bas Schouten repeated 9th despite having been rammed by Skuz in the opening laps.