Gabriele Tarquini put in an impressive performance at Zhejiang Circuit, recovering from 13th on the grid to first under the chequered flag and giving the Hyundai i30 N TCR a victory in its maiden race in the International Series.
However, as the Korean car has been accepted under a temporary homologation form, the 25 points for the championship were awarded to Jean-Karl Vernay who finished second in the Leopard Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI. The Frenchman was followed by two other Volkswagen drivers: his own teammate Rob Huff and WestCoast Racing’s Gianni Morbidelli.
Pepe Oriola salvaged a fifth place, after having led for most of the race and having been involved in a couple of controversial collisions with Vernay and Morbidelli.
The results helped Vernay to stretch his leadership in the Drivers’ championship to 26 points ahead of M1RA’s Attila Tassi who finished 11th (and 10th of the scorers9 after having been pushed wide after the start.
The second race will start at 16:05 local time; Vervischwill sit on pole with Davit Kajaia alongside him. The race will be streamed live at www.tcr-series.com and www.tcr-series.tv.
Grid – Homola and Jiang are at the back of the grid following engine change and grid penalty for a parc fermé infringement respectively
Start – Huff takes a bad start from the pole, Oriola squeezes between Huff and Vernay to take the lead; Menu hits Dupont and sends him crashing into the pit wall
Lap 1 – Tassi is pushed wide at Turn 2; Oriola leads from Vernay, Morbidelli, Vervisch and Huff; Tarquini overtakes Lloyd for sixth; Borković stops with a pierced radiator
Lap 2 – Tarquini overtakes Huff and Vervisch moving up to fourth
Lap 3 – Tarquini overtakes Morbidelli for third; Lloyd pits and retires after a contact
Lap 4 – Huff overtakes Morbidelli for fourth; Menu overtakes Vervisch for sixth
Lap 5 – Menu is given a drive through for the collision at the start
Lap 6 – Tarquini overtakes Vernay for second
Lap 7 – Zhang and Homola make contact
Lap 9 – Oriola is chased by Tarquini, Vernay and Huff
Lap 11 – Tarquini overtakes Oriola for the the lead
Lap 12 – Vernay and Oriola make contact, Oriola drops to fourth behind Vernay and Huff
Lap 13 – Oriola and Morbidelli clash on the pit straight, Morbidelli moves up to fourth
Lap 14 – Kajaia overtakes Nash for eighth
Lap 19 – Tarquini wins the race, but Vernay, Huff and Morbidelli score the points for the top three positions in the championship