TCR Russia: The Bragin-Dudukalo fight resumes

TCR Russia: The Bragin-Dudukalo fight resumes

28 May 2017

The second race meeting of TCR Russia races at the Smolensk Ring saw Denis Grigoryev and Dmitri Bragin scoring one victory apiece.
Grigoryev’s win in Saturday’ race at the wheel of a SEAT León run by Innocenti-AMG Motorsport provided a surprise and so did the second place of Irek Minnakhmetov’s Audi RS3 LMS.
The second race revived the same old duel between 2016 champion Bragin (TAIF Motorsport Audi) and 2015 champion Aleksey Dudukalo (Lukoil Racing Team SEAT) who finished in the order.
They are also first and second in the standings, separated by six points.

Race 1 – Pole sitter Gavrilov didn’t start well and dropped to fourth behind Grigoryev, Ladygin and Bragin; during the first lap Sheshenin went off and retired following a collision, while his teammate Ladygin overtook Grigoryev for the lead.
Ladygin was chased by Grigoryev, Bragin, Minnakhmetov and Gavrilov; on lap 4, Grigoryev retook the lead from Ladygin who also lost the second place to Minnakhmetov on lap 7. Then the LADA driver got hit by Gavrilov and had to pit for repairs.
Grigoryev benefitted from the fights behind him to create a big gap and claimed his first victory ahead of Minnakhmetov who managed to keep Gavrilov at bay until the end.
In the fight for the fourth position, Bragin dropped to seventh behind Karamyshev, Dudukalo and Golikov. After the race Gavrilov was given a 30-second time penalty for the incident with Ladygin, which dropped him to 11th.

Race 2 – Badoev sprinted to the lead from pole position, followed by Bragin and Dudukalo who had passed Yashin. On lap 2, Bragin took the lead from Badoev, who handed second place to Dudukalo soon afterwards.
From that moment on, Dudukalo followed Bragin closely; the gap never exceeded the three tenths, but the SEAT driver could not find a way to pass the Audi. With two laps to go, Dudukalo risked a move and hit the back of Bragin’s car; the SEAT got the worst of it, meaning that Dudukalo lost contact from the leader and had to fight to defend his second place from a recovering Golikov.
The two LADA cars of Ladygin and Sheshenin elbowed their way through the field after starting from the back of the grid; they both climbed to fourth, but were stopped by steering rack problems: Ladygin on lap 10 and Sheshenin on the last one.

The TCR Russia will resume at Nizhniy Novgorod on June 17/18.


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