Rob Huff and Jean-Karl Vernay on the third step of podium in today's two races at the Oschersleben Motorsport Arena; the Frenchman climbs back to the top of the Championship.
In what turned out to be the perfect day for Gianni Morbidelli, who was able to capitalize on yesterday's pole position by winning both of today's races at the Motorsport Arena in Oschersleben, Germany - 7th round of the 2017 TCR International Series - Leopard Racing WRT 's VW Golf GTI bagged two podium finishes, the second of which allowed French driver Jean-Karl Vernay to return to the top of the Championship.
In Race1, Morbidelli made a perfect start to dominate start-to-finish despite of the safety car coming in following a crash involving Tassi and Vernay in Lap 4. Daniel Lloyd claimed 2nd place to bag his first ever podium finish while Leopard Racing WRT's Rob Huff claimed third following a great battle with fellow Brit James Nash. It was an eventful race with a number of contacts, with penalties for Vernay and Oriola and a black flag for Paulsen for repeatedly trespassing the track limits.
In Race 2, Mat’o Homola started on pole with Jean-Karl Vernay alongside him but the battle was immediatly marred by a catastrophic pile-up involving 8 cars, in the aftermath of which top drivers Roberto Colciago, Pepe Oriola, Rob Huff and James Nash were forced to retire. Homola tried everything to keep the VW Golf cars of Vernay and Morbidelli behind him but on the last lap the Italian found the space to dive inside Mat’o Homola’s Opel and strip the young Slovak driver of the first victory with the Astra.
Making the most out of others' misfortune, with Colciago and Oriola out in the incident at the start and Tassi stopped by a flat tyre, Vernay managed to claim back the leadership in the standings one point ahead of the Hungarian. Colciago slipped to 3rd while Stefano Comini is now 4th The TCR International Series will resume after the summer break at the Buriram’s Chang International Circuit, Thailand, on September 2-3.
Rob Huff (3rd in Race 1):
“I had a very good start in Race 1, but after 2-3 laps, it was clear to me that I didn’t have the pace to stay with the guys in front, so I focused in taking no risks, not ruin the tyres on the kerbs and control the SEAT cars behind me. In Race 2, I thought I was almost through the turmoil, after going left and right, right and left and almost stop to avoid the cars going in all directions. I was almost clear when I was hit quite violently from the back, and that was it.”
Jean-Karl Vernay (3rd in Race 2):
“To be leading the points standings after a weekend like this is almost incredible and makes me very happy. Especially after Race 1 in which I got no points. Race 2 was eventful as well. I was sandwiched at the start between Colciago and Oriola, there was nothing I could do. When the race restarted, I tried to resist to Gianni, but he was faster than me and had also to defend myself from Lloyd. I felt I was a little bit quicker than Homola but not enough to pass him for second.”
Results – Race1:
1 – G. Morbidelli / ITA / West Coast Racing / VW Golf GTI / 19 Laps
2 – D. Lloyd / GBR / Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing / Seat Leon / +2.314
3 – R. Huff / GBR / Leopard Racing Team WRT / VW Golf GTI / +5.890
4 – J. Nash / GBR / Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing / Seat Leon / +6.454
5 – G. Altoe / ITA / West Coast Racing / VW Golf GTI / +9.938
6 – S. Comini / SWI / Comtoyou Racing / Audi RS3 LMS / +16.300
7 – M. Homola / SVK / DG Sport Competition / Opel Astra / +16.794
8 – J. Van Lagen / NED / Leopard Racing Team WRT / VW Golf GTI / +16.992
9 – D. Kroes / NED / Ferry Monster / Seat Leon / +23.892
10 – F. Vervisch / BEL / Comtoyou Racing / Audi RS3 LMS / +27.858
Results – Race2:
1 – G. Morbidelli / ITA / West Coast Racing / VW Golf GTI / 15 Laps
2 – M. Homola / SVK / DG Sport Competition / Opel Astra / +0.434
3 – J.K. Vernay / FRA / Leopard Racing Team WRT / VW Golf GTI / +0.716
4 – D. Lloyd / GBR / Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing / Seat Leon / +0.908
5 – S. Comini / SWI / Comtoyou Racing / Audi RS3 LMS / +16.1274
6 – F. Vervisch / BEL / Comtoyou Racing / Audi RS3 LMS / +27.291
7 – D. Ende / USA / Icarus Motorsaport / Seat Leon / +31.037
8 – J.R. Moller / DNK / Reno Racing / Honda Civic Type-R / +1’06.803
9 – D. Kajaia / GEO / GE-Force / Alfas Romeo Giulietta / +1’12.429
10 – F. Ficza / HUN / Zengo Motorsport / KIA cee’d / +1’12.429
1 – J.K. Vernay 153 p.
2 – A. Tassi 151 p.
3 – R. Colciago 145 p.
4 – S. Comini 144 p.
5 – P. Oriola 110 p.
6 – J. Nash 86 p.
7 – D. Borković 82 p.
8 – Morbidelli 77 p.
9 – M. Homola 69 p.
10 – F. Vervisch 62 p.
14 – R. Huff 44 p.
1 – M1RA 308 p.
2 – Lukoil Craft-Bamboo 275 p.
3 – Comtoyou Racing 212 p.
4 – Leopard Racing WRT 209 p.
5 – GE-Force 145 p.