Jordi Gené takes commanding Singapore win
Jordi Gené won the second race in Singapore, taking the lead right after the start and never leaving it. Behind the Craft-Bamboo Lukoil driver finished once again in second Stefano Comini, the Target Competition driver pulling his show out as usual ahead of title rival Pepe Oriola.
At the start, Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Tomas Engstrom was aggressive trying to retain his first place from pole position, but despite slight contact Gené was able to take the lead. Engstrom was soon passed by team-mate Mikhail Grachev very soon, with Lorenzo Veglia behind them. Loris Hezemans was in fifth, but Pepe Oriola and Stefano Comini soon took his place, with Fernando Monje’s Opel ahead of Gianni Morbidelli’s Honda Civic TCR.
On the third lap Engstrom was defending his place hard from Oriola, but after contact the Spaniard was able to pass, followed immediately by Comini, Veglia and Morbidelli, the pole sitter slipping down the order to eighth when Gleason also took his place.
A battle between Hezemans and Afanasyev saw the Russian overtake his fellow SEAT driver, the Frenchman hitting the wall soon after but able to continue.
A brilliant pass from Stefano Comini saw Pepe Oriola lose third place to his championship rival, despite trying to resist, as the Swiss also charged on a distant Grachev to go up to second, soon imitated by the Spaniard. The Volkswagen driver eventually went straight before the tunnel, which cost him a few places as he slipped down to seventh.
Meanwhile the ill Gianni Morbidelli finally made his move stick on a very smart Lorenzo Veglia, who eventually also had to surrender to Kevin Gleason. There was more drama in the back of the field though, as a contact between Engstrom and Munnich saw both cars damaged, although able to finish within the points-awarding places.
Gené therefore won the race ahead of Comini and Oriola, with Gianni Morbidelli a very good fourth, also considering his health issues. Kevin Gleason took a good fifth ahead of Lorenzo Veglia, with Mikhail Grachev again missing out on a podium chance just when it all looked done enging up in seventh in his Volkswagen Golf. Loris Hezemans took his damaged SEAT to eighth, with Tomas Engstrom in ninth in his Volkswagen and René Munnich completing the top ten.
Comini gets his advantage from Oriola up to eleven points, with Gené a further 19 adrift. Despite his almost heroic weekend, Morbidelli is in fourth, 47 points behind the leader.
Next up for the TCR Series is Buriram, Thailand, on October, 25th.