TCR International Series: Morbidelli wins both races at Monza
Gianni Morbidelli had a great day at Monza, with two wins in fifth round of TCR International Series. He became the first driver to win both races of a TCR event.
There was 15 cars on the grid of the first race under a nice sunshine at Monza circuit. Davide Roda missed the start because his Seat could not be repaired after yesterday’s roll.
Morbidelli and Stefano Comini had a bad start from first row and Pepe Oriola sneaked between them. Morbidelli felt to fourth position, but until sixth lap he passed Andrea Belicchi, Comini and finally Oriola to retook the lead.
The Spaniard finished a close second ahead of Belicchi and Jordi Gene. Comini had to retire two laps from the end after running wide at the Lesmo 2 corner. It was not the only spectacular incident, as Mikhail Grachev, Sergey Afanasyev and Michel Nykjaer were eliminated in a three-way collision in the closing laps while fighting for eighth position.
It was excellent race for rookies in TCR Series. Fernando Monje taking a superb fifth in the Campos Racing Opel Astra. Point finishers are also Zsolt Szabo, Antonio D’Amico and Tom Boardman, who managed to finish the race with the Ford Focus ST, giving the first point to Proteam Racing’s car.
Race 2 was even more exciting than first race, with a great fight and close duels involving four different leaders Morbidelli, Comini, Gene and Monje. With often three and even four cars side-by-side on the straight the show was superb to the delight of fans present at the Autodromo Nazionale.
In the last lap Morbidelli made the winning move on Comini, who had started last and climbed up to the top. Comini spun and lose a few positions in the incident. Second place was for Jordi Gene, while Fernando Monje gave a first well-deserved podium to the Campos Racing Opel Astra OPC.
Nykjaer and Afanasyev missed the second race because of unrepairable car, while Grachev (who had pole for Race 2) starts from the pits and Comini from last row, so in the front row was D’Amico and Gene.
Gene takes the best start, but in Lap 2 was passed by Monje. He led until Lap 7, when Comini took over. Morbidelli waited for the decisive attack in final lap and he succeed. There was a contact between him and Comini, Swiss driver spins and nearly hits Gene. Morbidelli wins ahead of Gene and Monje, Comini, Belicchi and Skuz. Last points going to Szabo, Veglia, Grachev and D’Amico.