The first visit of the TCR International Series to Russia provided a significant shake up at the top of the standings and the battle for the first Drivers’ title in the series is closer than ever. With the top four drivers – Stefano Comini, Pepe Oriola, Gianni Morbidelli and Jordi Gené – covered by only twenty points and the fifth (Andrea Belicchi) and sixth (Kevin Gleason) still within striking distance, anything can happen in the four remaining events. The SEAT cars shone on the Sochi Autodrom even beyond expectations, as the Honda cars could not find the right pace. Gené and Comini shared the race wins, with the Swiss driver taking the best advantage in terms of points harvest, as he is now back in the leadership, two points ahead of Oriola. The Spaniard, with a couple of second places, was one of the other happy men at the end of this weekend. There is little doubt that Morbidelli deserved the title of ‘Mr Unlucky’; the former point-leader pocketed only a 7th in Race 1 and was forced to withdraw from Race 2 because of a turbo failure. Belicchi and Mikhail Grachev took the other podium spots, finishing third in Race 1 and 2, respectively. On home soil, the Russian impressed from the beginning and was rewarded with his first TCR podium in Race 2, where he led the five initial laps. With a fourth and a fifth, Sergey Afanasyev also gave local fans great satisfaction, while the TCR International Series community will certainly bring back home a pleasant memory of the Olympic atmosphere surrounding the event and the warm welcome on the shores of the Black Sea. The TCR International Series will resume on July 12th at the Red Bull Ring, Austria, for Round 15 and 16.
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