Kirill Ladygin took his third TCR Russia victory of the season in Race 2 at the ADM Raceway, when he finished just over 2.2 seconds ahead of his LADA Sport Rosneft teammate Mikhail Grachev. Pole-sitter Grigoriy Burlutskiy completed the podium in his Carville Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Both Grachev, who started from second on the grid, and Ladygin (from P3) beat Burlutskiy to Turn 1, but an incident involving Pavel Kalmanovich and Ivan Lukashevich forced a number of drivers to take to the escape road in avoidance. Among them were Andrej Maslennikov and series leader Dmitry Bragin, who dropped to 13th place as a result.
Grachev and Ladygin then ran first and second for much of the race, while Bragin steadily began to work his way through the pack. His Hyundai was up to 11th by Lap 3, but was elevated into 10th when Anton Badoev was given a drive-through penalty for a false start. By Lap 8, Bragin was up to 8th and he then moved up another position when he passed Kalmanovich on Lap 11. Then, on Lap 16, Bragin passed Lukashevich for 6th, which is where he finished.
While Bragin was battling his way though the lower half of the top ten, at the head of the field things were a lot less frantic. Grachev and Ladygin controlled the race from the front, opening up a gap from Burlutskiy who was defending 3rd place from Klim Gavrilov. At the final corner of Lap 16, Grachev played the dutiful teammate and allowed Ladygin to take the lead and so claim maximum championship points.
That was the way the race finished, with Ladygin, Grachev and Burlutskiy on the podium. Garilov finished fourth ahead of Maslennikov and Bragin, while Ivan Chubarov, Kalmanovich, Ibragim Akhmadov and Timur Shigabutdinov completed the top ten. Lukashevich seemed to suffer some kind of technical problem in the race’s closing minutes and dropped to 12th on the final lap.
The result means Bragin still leads the championship with 152 points, but Gavrilov is now just five points adrift and Ladygin’s victory has lifted him to within 12 points of Bragin.
TCR Russia will stay in the Moscow region to race again at the Moscow Raceway in two-week time for its penultimate event.
1. Kirill Ladygin (LADA Sport Rosneft, LADA Vesta), 19 laps
2. Mikhail Grachev (LADA Sport Rosneft, LADA Vesta), 2.208
3. Grigoriy Burlutskiy (Carville Racing, Volkswagen Golf GTI), 2.581
4. Klim Gavrilov (VRC Team, Audi RS 3 LMS), 6.803
5. Andrej Maslennikov (Lukoil Racing, CUPRA), 10.222
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