For the second consecutive year, Leopard Racing WRT has been crowned World Champion of the TCR Internacional Series! The French driver secured the title in Race-1 with a 3rd place under the chequered flag, right behind teammate Gordon Shedden.
Leopard Racing WRT's Jean-Karl Vernay has won the 2017 TCR International Series Drivers’ title by finishing third in Race-1 of the UAB round! Spain’s Pepe Oriola won the race following a perfect start that saw him fly from 4th on the starting grid to 1st at turn 1, right in front of the VW Golf GTi cars of pole-sitter Gordon Shedden and teammate J.K. Vernay.
Behind the leading group, Gabriele Tarquini fought his way up through the field to reach 3rd place, but the Italian was forced to retire on the penultimate lap because of a puncture. At that point Vernay was lying in 4th position, closely chased by title rival Attila Tassi. However, the French ace kept his cool in the final part of the race, making no mistakes and eventually overtaking also Nash to claim 3rd and celebrate his triumph in the championship from the podium of the Dubai Autodrome.
Race2 saw the victory of former TCR champion Stefano Comini ahead of Gianni Morbidelli and Josh Files, with Shedden and Vernay finishing 7th and 15th respectively.
Gordon Shedden (2nd):
“Being my first race in TCR, with this car and this tyres, I am happy with the result. My start wasn’t terrible but not very good either, clearly I lack some experience with TCR cars, but after, I could keep a good pace, trying not to do anything stupid. The car performed well, although I lost an aero part at some point, and I am very happy the team secured the title already in Race 1. Now we can have fun in Race2.”
Jean-Karl Vernay (2017 Drivers’ champion):
“I don’t know yet how I feel… but obviously, it is great to be champion. I am very happy for Leopard Racing, WRT and Volkswagen. Everybody did a great job in a season that was quite tough. My start today was poor, although we had trained that during practice, so the race wasn’t easy. Strategy did not work, as there was another car between Shedden and me, so I had to do things on my own… I fought with Nash, who had passed me at the beginning, and had Tassi pushing behind me, so it wasn’t that easy, but I remained calm. Towards the end, Nash was slower because his tyres were gone, so I knew I could pass him, but waited until the last lap, in order not to create a new fight. It was a close move, but I also knew James is a very fair contender. Personally, this title means a lot to me, as it comes after titles in LMP, GT and single-seaters, so it proves I can will with all sorts of cars.”
1 – P. Oriola / SPA / Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing / SEAT León V3 / 17 Laps
2 – G. Shedden / GBR / Leopard Racing WRT / Vw Golf GTI / +4.445
3 – J.K. Vernay / FRA / Leopard Racing WRT / Vw Golf GTI / +6.410
4 – J. Nash / GBR / Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing / SEAT León V3 / +7.451
5 – A. Tassi / HUN / M1RA / Honda Civic Type-R / +7.632
6 – J. Files / GBR / M1RA / Honda Civic Type-R / +8.024
7 – S. Comini / SWI / Comtoyou Racing / Audi RS 3 LMS / +11.326
1 – S. Comini / SWI / Comtoyou Racing / Audi RS 3 LMS / 17 Laps
2 – G. Morbidelli / ITA / WestCoast Racing / Volkswagen Golf GTI / +1.1190
3 – J. Files / GBR / M1RA / Honda Civic Type-R / +5.008
4 – F. Vervisch / BEL / Comtoyou Racing / Audi RS 3 LMS / +6.815
5 – B. Leuchter / GER / WestCoast Racing / Volkswagen Golf GTI / +9.232
6 – A. Menu / SWI / BRC Racing Team / Hyundai i30N / +9.483
7 – G. Shedden / GBR / Leopard Racing WRT / Vw Golf GTI / +11.453
1 – J.K. Vernay 226 p.
2 – A. Tassi 197 p.
3 – S. Comini 196 p.
4 – P. Oriola 164 p.
5 – R. Colciago 161 p.
6 – Morbidelli 132 p.
7 – J. Nash 129 p.
8 – D. Borković 118 p.
9 – R. Huff 106 p.
19 – G. Shedden 31 p.
29 – J. Van Lagen 8 p.
1 – M1RA 439 p.
2 – Lukoil Craft-Bamboo 377 p.
3 – Leopard Racing WRT 375 p.
4 – Comtoyou Racing 289 p.
5 – West Coast Racing 201 p.
6 – GE Force 196 p.
7 – DG Sport Competition 103 p.
Model Car of the Year
1 – Volkswagen Golf GTi 520 p.
2 – Honda Civic Type-R 515 p.
3 – Seat Leon 435 p.
4 – Audi RS3 LMS 320 p.
5 – Alfa Romeo Giulietta 214 p.
6 – Opel Astra 154 p.
7 – KIA Cee’d 3 p.