TAIF Motorsport’s Dmitry Bragin was crowned champion of the Touring class of the SMP Russian Circuit Racing Series at the end of two dramatic races under pouring rain on the Kazanring.
Bragin had virtually secured the title in yesterday’s Race 1, clinching his eight victory of the season and stretching his leading gap to 48 points ahead of reigning champion Aleksey Dududkalo. This meant that all Bragin needed was to finish the second race in the points, which he did by crossing the line eighth overall and sixth in the class, one lap behind the winner Nikolay Karamyshev and despite a 30-second time penalty for overtaking under yellow flags.
“Today we made a little mistake when all the drivers pitted to change the tyres at the same moment. I lost a lot of time in the pit stop and couldn’t recover. Speaking about the season, I'm very happy to be the Champion in top Touring class. It was quite an unexpected result. I wish to thank my competitors, the fans and SMP RCRS promoters who were part of this fantastic season for me!” said Bragin.
The top-four drivers in the final standings are: Bragin 1336 points, Dudukalo 1308, Karamyshev 1210, Roman Golikov 1156.
Race 1: Under a pouring rain Karamyshev made good use of his pole and took the lead, followed by Bragin and Dudukalo who managed to overtake Golikov during the first lap.
On lap 4, Bragin overtook Karamyshev; the first four positions did not change further, despite the race was discontinued twice by the safety car (from lap 6 to 8 and from lap 12 to 14) following incidents between cars of the Super Production class.
Bragin won from Karamyshev, Dudukalo and Golikov; Irek Minnakhmetov claimed a deserved fifth place after a close fight with Lev Tolkachev.
Race 2: A wet race was not declared, despite the rain came just before the start. Karamyshev elected to pit at the end of the warm-up lap and switch to rain tyres, while most of the others had to stop during the first laps. This created some chaos, as some of the competitors of the Touring class in the faster TCR cars found themselves fighting against the slower Super Production machines.
Karamyshev cruised to a comfortable victory, while his Lukoil Racing teammates Dudukalo and Golikov recovered to finish second a third. Bragin finished seventh overall and fifth in the class, which was enough to clinch the title.