Oriola and Valente make 1-2 for Lukoil Craft-Bamboo
02 April 2017
Pepe Oriola confirmed his winning record in the opening event of the TCR International Series; after being victorious at Sepang in 2015 and Bahrain in 2016, the Catalan won the second race in Georgia.
Oriola beat his Lukoil Craft-Bamboo teammate Hugo Valente, while Attila Tassi claimed third position ahead of Jean-Karl Vernay.
While the two SEAT León cars of Oriola and Velente pulled away when the race resumed after the safety car, there was a red-hot fight for the fifth position. Eventually Dušan Borković managed to resist the pressure from the likes of Ferenc Ficza, James Nash and Roberto Colciago, while Pierre-Yves Corthals finished tenth and became the first Opel driver to score championship points.
There are currently two investigations ongoing: the first one on Oriola and Valente, the second one on Colciago; all three of them are suspected to have passed under yellow.
Grid – the track is drying, all cars are on slicks; Comini lines up at the end of the pit lane
Start – Altoè sprints ahead of Oriola and Valente
Lap 1 – Abkhazava hits Homola at Turn 1, the Slovak’s Opel spins and stalls; there is battle for the leading positions: Oriola and Valente overtake Altoè who drops to third ahead of Tassi, Vernay and Morbidelli
Lap 2 – the safety car is deployed to recover Homola’s car
Lap 4 – the race resumes
Lap 5 – Tassi overtakes Altoè for third; Borković overtakes Morbidelli for fifth; Ficza overtakes Kajaia for ninth
Lap 6 – Comini pits and retires
Lap 7 – Nash overtakes Morbidelli for sixth
Lap 8 – Colciago overtakes Morbidelli for seventh
Lap 9 – Oriola pulls away from Valente
Lap 10 – Nash overtakes Borković for fifth
Lap 11 – Colciago and Nash go wide at T1, Borković retakes fifth; Ficza overtakes Nash for sixth
Lap 13 – Borković, Ficza, Nash, Colciago, Morbidelli and Nash have a close battle
Lap 14 – Ficza makes a mistake and drops behind Nash and Colciago
Lap 15 – Ficza and Colciago make contact, Ficza stops and retires
Lap 16 – Kajaia overtakes Morbidelli for eighth
Lap 17 – Oriola wins from Valente, Tassi and Vernay; Borković keeps fifth ahead of Colciago who overtakes Nash for sixth; Corthals claims the last point
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