Gianni Morbidelli scored his second TCR International Series win of the season in the opening race at Monza, as the eventful race featured a number of clashes and incidents.
Morbidelli, who started the race from pole, dropped down to third by the end of the opening lap as a result of a poor start. The Italian’s slow getaway allowed Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Pepe Oriola to take the lead, with Target Competition duo Andrea Belicchi and Stefano Comini also getting by, although the latter would be re-passed before the end of the opening lap.
A fierce battle then evolved, with Comini getting back into third on lap two, before Belicchi and Comini were passed by Morbidelli, who was up to second by lap four.
The Honda driver then made his move for the lead on lap five, passing Oriola and the Italian was never headed thereafter, opening up a 1.2 second advantage to keep the SEAT driver at bay.
Oriola had to settle for second, ahead of Target’s Belicchi. Comini was forced to retire on lap nine when he went off the track at the second Lesmo corner, possibly as a result of a rear puncture.
Jordi Gené finished fourth in the second Craft-Bamboo SEAT, ahead of the Opel Astra of Fernando Monje in fifth, who took the team’s best result of the season so far.
Kevin Gleason brought the second WestCoast Racing Honda home in sixth, posting the fastest lap of the race in the process. The third car of Igor Skuz pulled into the pitlane after seven laps with technical problems.
Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Lorenzo Veglia finished in eighth, ahead of Zengő Motorsport newcomer Zsolt Szabó in eighth.
Completing the top ten were Antonio D’Amico and Tom Boardman, who scored the first points for the new Onyx Engineering-built Proteam Racing Ford Focus.
A big crash late in the race between the SEATs of Craft-Bamboo’s Sergey Afanasyev, Engstler Motorsport’s Mikhail Grachev and Target Competition’s Michel Nykjær resulted in all three failing to finish, with Nykjær picking up heavy damage.
|1||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||11||22:31.918||2:01.801||1|
|2||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León Racer||11||1.198||2:02.242||3|
|3||33||Andrea BELICCHI||Target Competition||SEAT León Racer||11||3.504||2:02.107||5|
|4||88||Jordi GENÉ||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León Racer||11||3.884||2:02.145||8|
|5||19||Fernando MONJE||Campos Racing||Opel Astra OPC||11||5.056||2:02.176||6|
|6||24||Kevin GLEASON||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||11||5.702||2:01.523||15|
|7||7||Lorenzo VEGLIA||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||SEAT León Racer||11||12.037||2:02.019||11|
|8||46||Zsolt Dávid SZABÓ||Zengő Motorsport||SEAT León Racer||11||20.16||2:02.819||13|
|9||36||Antonio D’AMICO||B.D. Racing Motorsport||SEAT León Racer||11||20.748||2:02.843||9|
|10||71||Tom BOARDMAN||Proteam Racing||Ford Focus ST||11||68.621||2:06.860||14|
|R||77||Sergey AFANASYEV||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León Racer||9||2 Laps||2:02.482||4|
|R||8||Mikhail GRACHEV||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||SEAT León Racer||9||2 Laps||2:02.757||10|
|R||17||Michel NYKJÆR||Target Competition||SEAT León Racer||9||2 Laps||2:02.655||12|
|R||25||Stefano COMINI||Target Competition||SEAT León Racer||8||3 Laps||2:01.972||2|
|R||20||Igor SKUZ||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||7||4 Laps||2:03.110||7|
|NS||90||Davide RODA||Zengő Motorsport||SEAT León Racer||–||DNS||N/A||16|