Jean-Karl Vernay of Leopard Racing claimed the 2017 TCR International Series Drivers’ title by finishing third in a race that was dominated by Pepe Oriola.
The Spaniard’s winning move was a perfect start that propelled him from fourth on the grid to first at Turn 1, ahead of the pole sitter Gordon Shedden and his teammate Vernay.
For the rest of the race, Oriola was very focused and managed to never offer Shedden the lesser gap to try an overtaking manoeuvre.
Behind them, Gabriele Tarquini elbowed his way through the field, from 21st on the grid up to third, only to retire on the penultimate lap with a puncture.
The title fight drew attention as Vernay was lying in fourth position, closely chased by Attila Tassi. The Frenchman kept his cool, driving without mistakes and eventually settled the matter by moving up to third and placing Nash between him and Tassi.
The second race will start at 15:35 local time; Tassiwill sit on pole aiming to finish the season on a high note. The race will be streamed live at www.tcr-series.coand www.tcr-series.tv.
Grid – Tarquini was dropped at the back of the grid following an engine change
Start – Shedden and Oriola take a great start, but the Spaniard overtakes the Scotsman at T1 and takes the lead
Lap 1 – Oriola leads from Shedden, Vernay, Nash, Comte and Tassi
Lap 2 – Tarquini climbs to 12th, Menu and Morbidelli pit after clashing
Lap 3 – Nash overtakes Vernay for third, Comte pits with an engine issue
Lap 4 – Tarquini overtakes Vervisch for 8th; Vervisch and Leuchter make contact
Lap 5 – Tassi and Files are chasing Vernay; Tarquini overtakes Comini for 7th; Lloyd hits the barrier after a contact with Colciago
Lap 6 – The safety car is deployed; Colciago pits for repairs
Lap 9 – Racing resumes
Lap 10 – The top-ten are covered by three seconds
Lap 11 – Tarquini overtakes Files for 6th
Lap 12 – Dupont stops on the track after a contact
Lap 13 – Tarquini overtakes Tassi for 5th
Lap 14 – Tarquini overtakes Vernay for 4th
Lap 15 – Tarquini overtakes Nash for third
Lap 16 – Vervisch receives a drive-through penalty for track limits
Lap 18 – Tarquini slows down with a flat tyre; the fight for third between Nash, Vernay, Tassi and Files, is going to decide who’s the champion between Vernay and Tassi
Lap 19 – Oriola wins from Shedden; Vernay overtakes Nash for third and secures the Drivers’ title