Race 1 – Thiim wins ahead of of Gene and Veglia

Race 1 – Thiim wins ahead of of Gene and Veglia

10 May 2015

At his first visit to the TCR Nicki Thiim, the Audi Sport Customer racing driver, took the win in the Liqui Moly Team Engstler Audi TT on a warm afternoon in the Algarve. The Dane lead from pole to chequered flag and was four seconds ahead of Jordi Gené at the line in the Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil SEAT León, with his team-mate Lorenzo Veglia third (this was the first podium result for the young Italian).
Thiim was the sixth different winner from seven rounds. Oscar Nogués scored the first points for Campos Racing with the Opel Astra OPC. The highest placed local driver was José Monroy, who finished eighth in his Veloso Motorsport SEAT León, while his team-mate Francisco Mora took the final point for tenth.
It was a positive result for championship leader, Stefano Comini in the Target Competition SEAT in fifth as the three drivers behind him in the points failed to score. One of them was Gianni Morbidelli who was involved in a lot of the action in his West Coast Racing Honda Civic and retired on lap eight after contact with Andrea Belicchi.
The race was action packed for the whole 13 laps with many exciting overtaking moves and quite a lot of contact.

Key moments
Grid – Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil refueled Sergey Afanasyev's car on the grid and the Russian was given a drive through
Start – Good start by both Thiim and Gené with the Audi driver keeping the lead
Lap 1 – Nykær retires and Afanasyev takes drive-through; Thiim leads from Gené
Lap 2 – Contact for Morbidelli with Oriola; Mora overtakes Morbidelli for seventh; Van der Linde chases Comini for fourth
Lap 3 – Contact between Comini and Van der Linde; Oriola chases them
Lap 4 – Van der Linde and Comini swap positions five and six; Oriola and Morbidelli overtake Van der Linde
Lap 5 – Comini and Oriola fight for fourth, they are chased by Morbidelli and Van der Linde
Lap 6 – Grachev  overtakes Mora for eighth
Lap 7 – Oriola and Comini make contact; Oriola has bodywork damage on rear left; Morbidelli loses several positions while avoiding the incident; Van der Linde overtakes Oriola for fifth; Gleason overtakes Morbidelli for eighth
Lap 8 – Contact between Belicchi and Morbidelli; Morbidelli and Oriola pits for repairs
Lap 9 – Nogués moves up to ninth and Monroy to eighth as Belicchi slows down
Lap 10 - Van der Linde passes Comini for fourth
Lap 13 – Thiim takes win by 4.074secs from Gené with Veglia third

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