Kajaia and Alfa Romeo win a breath-taking first race
02 April 2017
The 2017 TCR International Series kicked off with a breath-taking wet race at Rustavi International Motorpark.
Georgia’s local hero Davit Kajaia and his Romeo Ferraris-built Alfa Romeo Giulietta run by the GE-Force team claimed a fantastic victory after a close fight that involved five drivers representing four different brands of car manufacturers.
After sprinting from pole position, Kajaia pushed to the limit and created a gap in the first half of the race, while Attila Tassi (M1RA Honda Civic Type-R), Ferenc Ficza (Zele Racing SEAT León) and Stefano Comini (Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS) where fighting behind him.
Once Ficza managed to overtake Tassi and close the gap, Kajaia was able to keep him at bay, while Comini and Roberto Colciago (M1RA Honda Civic Type-R) were also chasing the leading pair.
Eventually the crowd roared when Kajaia crossed the finish line with a slim margin ahead of Ficza, while Comini kept third place despite Colciago’s last effort.
Race 2 will take place 15.35 local time, with Giacomo Altoè (WestCoast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi) and Pepe Oriola (Lukoil Craft-Bamboo SEAT León) sharing the front row on the top-ten reverse grid.
Grid – the track is still wet after it rained the whole morning
Start – Kajaia takes the best start, from Tassi, Ficza and Colciago
Lap 1 – Comini and Vernay make contact, Comini moves up to fifth; Borković and Valente clash
Lap 2 – Comini overtakes Colciago for fourth
Lap 3 – Borković overtakes Morbidelli for ninth
Lap 4 – Tassi is under pressure from Ficza and Comini
Lap 5 – Homola overtakes Valente for 11th
Lap 6 – Ficza overtakes Tassi for second
Lap 7 – Comini overtakes Tassi for third; Valente pits for repairs
Lap 9 – Colciago overtakes Tassi for fourth
Lap 10 – Ficza closes in on Kajaia
Lap 11 – Kajaia leads shrinks to four tenths
Lap 12 – Kajaia, Ficza, Comini and Colciago are nose to tail
Lap 13 – the first four are covered by less than one second
Lap 14 – Ficza knocks on Kajaia bumper, but the leader maintain the position
Lap 15 – Colciago dives inside Comini at Turn 1, but the reigning champion maintains third place; Kajaia wins from Ficza, Comini and Tassi
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