Dušan Borković took a light-to-flag victory - the second for him and the third for GE-Force and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR - in a race that turned to drama for Leopard Racing, as both Rob Huff and Jean-Karl Vernay crashed at high speed at the infamous Turn 9. Luckily both drivers escaped shocked, but unhurt.
The result was decided by the two perfect sprints that Borkovićperformed at the start and the re-start after the first safety-car period. In both cases the Serbian was able to keep at bay the pole-sitter Mat’o Homola and his Opel Astra.
As Homola was forced to concentrate on defending his second position, first from Pepe Oriola and in the final stages from Stefano Comini, Borković created a small gap for the lead. “I knew that if I was not able to be faster than Homola at the start, it would have been a problem to overtake him. So I pushed hard at the start, and then again after the safety car. It’s a big day for me and the team!” the winner said.
Behind him, Homola eventually managed to retain second place, while Comini moved up to third in his Audi RS3 LMS overtaking the SEAT cars of Oriola and James Nash. Just before the second safety car intervention, local driver Thomas Jäger managed to overtake Oriola and Nash as well to grab a brilliant fourth.
Jens Reno Møller completed a spotless race, finishing as the best of the Honda drivers in an impressive eighth position.
With Vernay off (and sidelined for the rest of the event) and Roberto Colciago scoreless following a collision with Daniel Lloyd, Comini took advantage of the situation, moving to second in the standings, only three points behind Vernay.
Race 2 will start at 14.35, with Roberto Colciago and Gianni Morbidelli forming an all-Italian front row of the top-ten reverse grid.
The race will be streamed live at www.tcr-series.com and www.tcr-series.tv.
Grid – Tassi and Huff are both demoted (from 4th and 7th) to the back of the grid due to engine changes; Colciago was also dropped (from 10th to 13th) because of a penalty received in Monza
Start – Borković has better reflexes than Homola and takes the lead ahead of the pole sitter, Oriola, Nash and Jäger
Lap 1 – Møller and Colciago overtake Lloyd and Morbidelli for 8th and 9th
Lap 2 – Oriola and Nash are chasing Homola
Lap 3 – Comini overtakes Jäger for 5th
Lap 4 – Huff (17th) and Vernay (15th) try to recover
Lap 5 – Homola defends his second place from Oriola, Nash and Comini
Lap 6 – Vernay overtakes Morbidelli for 13th; Kajaia overtakes Jäger for 6th
Lap 7 – Paulsen retires after a clash with Morbidelli
Lap 8 – Comini overtakes Nash for 4th; Colciago and Lloyd make contact
Lap 9 – Comini pips Oriola for third; Vesnić and Ende make contact at the first chicane, the former remain stranded in the gravel, the latter loses a front wheel; Huff crashes at high speed at Turn 9, the safety car is deployed
Lap 12 – The race resumes; the leading quartet of Borković, Homola, Comini and Oriola is covered by only one second; Jäger overtakes Nash for 4th
13 – Jäger overtakes Oriola for third
14 – Vernay crashes just a few hundred metres before the spot of Huff’s incident; the safety car is deployed again
15 – The race is red-flagged, Borković wins from Homola, Comini and Jäger
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
WSC WORLD SPORTING CONSULTING LIMITED 10 Philpot Lane, First Floor London EC3M 8AA - United Kingdom