Pepe Oriola reclaims championship lead with third win of the season in Germany
Pepe Oriola won the second race of the day at Oschersleben for Craft-Bamboo Lukoil. The Spaniard finished ahead of B3 Racing’s Dusan Borkovic, with James Nash completing the podium for the Hong Kong/UK outfit.
Engstler Volkswagen driver Davit Kajaia started on pole position and kept the lead into Turn 1, while Oriola was touched by Antti Buri, which triggered multiple accidents, ending up with Mulsanne Racing’s Petr Fulìn hitting Morbidelli’s WestCoast Racing Honda from behind and spinning him around. Stefano Comini also made contact with the Civic in his Leopard Racing Volkswagen Golf.
Oriola managed to stay in second despite the slide, and started chasing down race leader Kajaia. Meanwhile, behind him there was was mayhem, with Jean-Karl Vernay sliding off of the track twice in the other Leopard Racing Volkswagen, while the B3 SEATs of championship leader Mat’o Homola and Dusan Borkovic also touched. It took Oriola just a few of laps to claim the lead from Kajaia, and never looked back, while Kajaia now tried to resist Borkovic, eventually relenting on lap five. Another five laps later, the Georgian made a mistake at Turn 1, which allowed the Craft-Bamboo Lukoil SEATs of James Nash and Sergey Afanasyev through.
Comini made up ground after his early incident with Morbidelli, and by mid-race he had caught the field, progressing up to sixth with a move on Attila Tassi, who finished right behind the defending champion.
Pepe Oriola won the race to reclaim the championship lead, although now equal on points with team-mate James Nash, who finished the race third.
Dusan Borkovic finished second for the second race in a row, with Afanasyev fourth for Craft-Bamboo Lukoil.
Niklas Mackschin made very good progress throughout the weekend to collect four points with an eighth place finish for Engstler Motorsport, while Michela Cerruti scored points for Mulsanne Racing in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR after a big disappointment in Race 1, while Morbidelli completed the top ten for WestCoast Racing to scoop up single point.
Oriola now leads the championship equal on points with Nash, with Homola four points behind after having been briefly moved into the lead of the standings after Race 1. Comini is now 17 points behind the leader, while Vernay and Morbidelli are fifth and sixth, 30 and 31 points behind respectively.
The TCR International Series will now head to Sochi in Russia on July 3rd, for the seventh round of the championship.