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Jordi Gene takes lights-to-flag win in Race Two

Jordi Gene marked his racing comeback with a lights-to-flag victory in the second TCR event of the weekend in Sepang, as Craft-Bamboo Racing took a 1-2 finish.

Gene lead away from the start under enormous pressure from Hungarian teenager Ferenc Ficza, but the veteran Spaniard was soon able to build a rhythm, leaving Ficza to defend from Pepe Oriola and Gianni Morbidelli’s Honda.

As the front four began to break away from the chasing pack, Oriola made his move into turn four, forcing Ficza wide over the run-off and allowing an opportunistic Morbidelli to take third.

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Oriola then considered making a challenge for the lead, but after a brief spell of pressure was content to settle for second, behind an elated Gené.

“I am really very happy, I never expected to win in this opening event,” said Gené. “I haven’t been racing at this level for two years, then because it was a new circuit for me, and also because in practice and in qualifying I had some power issue in my car due to the heat. But everything went perfectly today.”

As Ficza drifted backwards to an eventual tenth, Target Competion team-mates Andrea Belicchi and Stefano Comini advanced to fourth and fifth places behind Morbidelli. Belicchi managed to make a move stick on the final lap, only to leave the door open at the final corner; Morbidelli didn’t need to be asked twice, with Saturday-winner Comini also managing to pass on the short run to the flag.

Honda team-mates René Münnich and Kevin Gleason kept out of trouble to finish sixth and seventh.

After the chaos of race one, the field at least managed to keep it clean until turn four, when Michel Nykjær barrelled into Lorenzo Veglia, Saturday podium finisher Sergey Afanasyev and the luckless Mikhail Grachev. At least this time the Audi would make it to the finish in eighth, from Frank Yu and Ficza.

Top ten result

1 88 Jordi GENÉ Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL SEAT León Racer 10 23:53.256 2:21.544 1
2 74 Pepe ORIOLA Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL SEAT León Racer 10 0.752 2:21.735 3
3 10 Gianni MORBIDELLI West Coast Racing Honda Civic TCR 10 2.366 2:21.627 5
4 25 Stefano COMINI Target Competition SEAT León Racer 10 2.594 2:22.098 8
5 33 Andrea BELICCHI Target Competition SEAT León Racer 10 3.57 2:21.336 9
6 23 René MÜNNICH West Coast Racing Honda Civic TCR 10 9.603 2:22.043 6
7 24 Kevin GLEASON West Coast Racing Honda Civic TCR 10 10.859 2:21.712 10
8 8 Mikhail GRACHEV Liqui Moly Team Engstler Audi Sport TT Cup 10 12.067 2:22.216 11
9 99 Frank YU Craft-Bamboo Racing SEAT León Racer 10 33.56 2:23.608 15
10 55 Ferenc FICZA Zengő Motorsport SEAT León Racer 9 NCF 2:21.705 2

Complete race results

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