Tiago Monteiro wins anarchic finale in Macau, while Comini takes the title
Tiago Monteiro has taken his first victory in the Guia Race of Macau, in another race which was shortened by a lengthy red flag delay, meaning half-points were again awarded for the TCR International Series championship, which was won for the second time by Switzerland’s Stefano Comini.
Stefano Comini started the race from pole position ahead of Leopard Racing team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay, after the two secured a 1-2 in the qualifying race. But both were passed at the start by the WestCoast Racing Honda of Tiago Monteiro into the first corner.
Further behind, James Nash was scything through the field after disaster in Race 1, and worked his way up from 18th to 11th by the end of the first lap in his Craft-Bamboo Racing SEAT, with his title hopes on the line with just a half-point lead after Race 1.
On lap two, while Dusan Borkovic battled Vernay’s Volkswagen for third, the B3 Racing SEAT driver found himself passed by the Craft-Bamboo SEAT of Pepe Oriola at Lisboa, with the Spaniard now chasing down his team-mate’s two title rivals.
The race only made it to lap three before disaster as Sunny Wong’s Citroën spun and blocked the track before Moorish Hill, which caused another lengthy red flag delay, which saw the race shortened to be another certain half-points event.
The minutes counted down as repairs were made at Lisboa, with the race restarting after the clock had counted down past its scheduled finish time. The race was restarted with three laps left to run, one behind the safety car, and two behind under green flag conditions.
Monteiro held on at the start, while Comini was passed by team-mate Vernay at Lisboa, while the Swiss was then harried by Craft-Bamboo’s Oriola over the course of the lap.
Oriola made his move on the final lap, with Comini making it easy for Oriola to get past on the way into Lisboa, knowing he just needed to finish ahead of James Nash to win the title.
Monteiro won the race after completing seven laps, with Vernay crossing the line second, securing third in the drivers’ championship, with Oriola completing the podium.
Comini’s fourth was enough for the Swiss to win the 2016 TCR International Series drivers’ championship, with James Nash finishing 3.5 points behind in the standings after finishing eighth.