Pepe Oriola headed Craft-Bamboo Racing team-mates Jordi Gené and Sergey Afanasyev in the opening TCR International Series race in Thailand, as pole man Gianni Morbidelli was handed a drive-through penalty for a jump start.
Morbidelli led the race early on from pole, but the Italian made a clear jump start when the lights went out, forcing him to cede the lead of the race after a handful of laps.
That left Oriola in the lead of the race, with his team-mates Gené and Afanasyev behind, having also got off to strong starts to pass Morbidelli’s West Coast Racing team-mate Kevin Gleason.
Thereafter it was a fairly straightforward race for the Craft-Bamboo trio, with Oriola’s two team-mates not mounting any challenge for the lead to allow the Spaniard to move into the drivers’ championship lead.
Having lost out at the start, Gleason held on to finish fourth as the top Honda, ahead of Target Competition’s Stefano Comini in fifth, who limited the loss of points to rival Oriola by making up four places in the race. His team-mate Loris Hezemans brought the second Target Competition SEAT home in sixth.
Liqui Moly Team Engstler duo Lorenzo Veglia and Tomas Engström finished in seventh and eighth, having enjoyed a scrap for the position late in the race.
West Coast Racing’s René Münnich and Morbidelli completed the top ten, the latter salvaging a solitary point after his earlier penalty.
Thai racer Munkong Sathienthirakul beat compatriot Tin Sritrai to head the field of TCR Asia Series competitors, with the duo finishing just outside the points in 11th and 12th positions respectively.
Problems for the Top Run Motorsport Subaru of Alain Menu saw him stop out on the track, with smoke coming from his car. There were also overheating issues for the Campos Racing of Hugo Valente, who came into the pits late in the race.
The Volkswagen Golf of Mikhail Grachev suffered transmission problems early on in the race and retired, along with the Ford Focus of FRD’s Robb Holland, who was also involved in a spin at the start when both Grachev and Valente stalled on the grid ahead of him.
|1||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León Racer||14||24:34.075||1:44.532||2|
|2||88||Jordi GENÉ||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León Racer||14||1.369||1:44.807||5|
|3||77||Sergey AFANASYEV||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León Racer||14||2.649||1:44.633||4|
|4||24||Kevin GLEASON||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||14||3.517||1:44.777||3|
|5||25||Stefano COMINI||Target Competition||SEAT León Racer||14||7.684||1:45.175||9|
|6||15||Loris HEZEMANS||Target Competition||SEAT León Racer||14||10.52||1:44.899||8|
|7||7||Lorenzo VEGLIA||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||SEAT León Racer||14||13.677||1:44.984||7|
|8||4||Tomas ENGSTRÖM||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf TCR||14||15.558||1:45.012||13|
|9||23||René MÜNNICH||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||14||15.932||1:45.094||11|
|10||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||14||16.347||1:44.121||1|
|11||80||Munkong SATHIENTHIRAKUL||Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León Racer||14||19.201||1:45.040||12|
|12||31||Tin SRITRAI||Asia Racing Team||SEAT León Racer||14||26.213||1:45.875||14|
|13||69||Kevin PU||Asia Racing Team||SEAT León Racer||14||37.257||1:46.157||18|
|14||66||Filipe Clemente DE SOUZA||Roadstar Racing Team||SEAT León Racer||14||47.633||1:46.504||24|
|15||38||Kenneth LAU||Prince Racing Hong Kong||Honda Civic TCR||14||60.504||1:46.875||19|
|16||67||Johnson HUANG||Roadstar Racing Team||SEAT León Racer||14||61.203||1:47.528||21|
|17||56||Samson CHAN||Roadstar Racing Team||SEAT León Racer||14||61.572||1:47.462||22|
|18||68||Michael CHOI||Prince Racing Hong Kong||Honda Civic TCR||14||63.662||1:46.655||16|
|19||65||Douglas KHOO||Niza Racing||SEAT León Racer||14||118.21||1:51.380||23|
|20||52||Alain MENU||Top Run Motorsport||Subaru STi TCR||12||2 Laps||1:46.784||15|
|21||45||Hugo VALENTE||Campos Racing||Opel Astra OPC||12||2 Laps||1:45.475||10|
|22||35||Rafaël GALIANA||Target Competition||SEAT León Racer||10||4 Laps||1:45.575||17|
|R||27||Robb HOLLAND||FRD Ford HK Racing Team||Ford Focus ST||6||DNF||1:47.433||20|
|R||8||Mikhail GRACHEV||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf TCR||1||DNF||N/A||6|