Davit Kajaia holds off Ferenc Ficza for sensational home win
Davit Kajaia won the first round of the 2017 TCR International Series at his home race in Georgia, and leads the championship standings ahead of Hungarian driver Ferenc Ficza, also scoring the Romeo Ferraris-built Alfa Romeo Giulietta its first win.
The 33-year-old Georgian held off a late race charge from Ferenc Ficza, who was released after he was able to pass fellow Hungarian Attila Tassi on lap six and began to close down the GE-Force Alfa driver, duelling throughout the final six laps of the race, but was unable to find a way past.
At the start of the race, Kajaia had begun to build a margin after keeping the lead from pole position, with M1RA Honda driver Tassi in second ahead of the Zele SEAT of Ficza, while the second Honda of Roberto Colciago got ahead of WRT’s Jean-Karl Vernay for fourth.
Vernay was quickly shoved out of the way by former team-mate Stefano Comini in the Comtoyou Audi RS 3, who would then grab fourth from Colciago one lap later and began to harry the lead trio.
Ficza overtook Tassi for second at the start of lap six, with Comini making his move on Tassi a lap later at Turn 4 to move into the final podium spot.
Tassi would drop one further position to team-mate Colciago on lap nine, with the Italian shortly catching up to the top three to make a four-way battle for the victory between four different manufacturers, with Alfa leading SEAT, Audi and Honda.
Though Ficza would continue to push Kajaia hard, he couldn’t find a way past the Georgian, who would take his first win in the series, with Ficza and Comini completing the podium.
The second race of the day takes place at 15:35 GET (13:35 CET), with WestCoast Racing’s Giacomo Altoè starting on pole position ahead of the two Craft-Bamboo SEATs of Pepe Oriola and Hugo Valente.