LADA Sport Rosneft drivers Kirill Ladygin and Vladimir Sheshenin claimed one victory apiece in the TCR Russia fourth race meeting at Kazanring.
Ladygin won Saturday’s race beating Sheshenin, with the TAIF Motorsport SEAT León of Dmitry Bragin in third position. The second race saw Sheshenin scoring his first victory in the LADA Vesta ahead of a trio of Lukoil Racing SEAT cars (Aleksey Dudukalo, Klim Gavrilov and Roman Golikov). Ladygin went off the track twice and dropped out of the points, while Bragin was classified sixth.
However, Bragin maintained the championship lead, 17 points ahead of Dudukalo, while Sheshenin climbed to third, 24 points behind the leader.
Saturday’s Race 1 started behind the safety car, as the track was still very wet after a shower. Ladygin and Sheshenin used their front row positions to take the lead, but he latter was soon involved in a fierce battle for second place with Bragin, Nikolay Karamyshev’s SEAT and Irek Minnakhmetov’s Audi.
From lap 5, Sheshenin’s pursuers swapped positions several times and this allowed the LADA driver to pull away. The fight for third place went on until lap 10, when Minnakhmetov began to have problems with the tyres on the drying track and lost contact.
While Ladygin and Sheshenin went to secure a 1-2 finish for the LADA Sport Rosneft team, Karamyshev was threatening Bragin’s third place, but could not find a gap to pass the reigning champion.
There were damp patches when Race 2 got underway. Anton Badoev’s SEAT was on pole, but Minnakhmetov sprinted to the lead ahead of Bragin and Sheshenin. The three of them began fighting for the lead, while another trio – Ladygin, Karamyshev and Dudukalo – competed for the positions between four and six.
On lap 2, Bragin took the lead from Minnakhmetov, who lost second place to Sheshenin two laps later. On lap 5, Sheshenin overtook Bragin and began to create a gap. Bragin, Minnakhmetov and Karamyshev were in troubles with the wet tyres on the drying track, while Sheshenin, Dudukalo and Gavrilov, who had elected to run on dry tyres, increased the pace.
On lap 11 the safety car was deployed after Ladygin’s LADA got stranded in the gravel while it was sixth. When the race resumed, on the 13th of 18 laps, Sheshenin pulled away from Dudukalo and Gavrilov, while Bragin dropped from fourth to sixth behind Roman Golikov and Pavel Yashin.
The TCR Russia will resume at the Smolensk Ring on August 5/6.
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