Published on April 3rd, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Pepe Oriola Wins at Race 1 of First 2016 TCR Round in Bahrain With SEAT
The 2016 TCR International Series kicked off with a breath-taking night race during the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The 2015 vice-champion Pepe Oriola started his new campaign on a high note; with a spotless performance the young Spaniard drove his SEAT León of Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil to claim an authoritative victory in Saturday’s Race 1. Oriola got the better of his team-mates James Nash and polesitter Sergey Afanasyev during the first lap, then was able to control Nash’s attacks in the early stages and the return of Gianni Morbidelli’s Honda Civic in the final laps.
The Italian driver put in a strong effort to recover from fourth to second, jumping ahead of Afanasyev and Nash who finished in the order.
The race included a major incident involving the four cars of Stefano Comini, Kevin Gleason, Jean-Karl Vernay and Aku Pellinen.
The reigning champion Comini was classified seventh and best of the Volkswagen drivers.
None of the 18 cars retired for technical reasons, although Gleason and Vernay did not finish because of the incident.
Race winner Pepe Oriola said after the race, “It’s definitely a good way to start the season. It was a pretty good race for me, although not easy. I did only one mistake at the beginning, when I attacked too hard my team-mate James Nash. Other than that, the only real trouble is that the tyres started to get consumed by mid race, which brought massive understeer. That allowed Gianni to close the gap a bit, but I don’t think he was as fast as us today.”
Race 2 will take place later today at 5.35pm (Malaysia time).