Mikhail Grachev took victory in the second TCR International Series race at Imola, with the WestCoast Racing driver finishing ahead of B3 Racing’s Mat’o Homola and Leopard Racing’s Stefano Comini.
At the start of the race it was Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Jordi Gené who initially led, after pole-sitter Attila Tassi got off to a very poor start, dropping down to third.
Grachev then stayed with Gené throughout the opening laps of the race, passing the Spaniard for the lead on lap three, which he would keep for the remainder of the race.
By finishing in second, Homola scored his first-ever podium in TCR, whilst Comini’s third keeps him in contention to defend his title.
Crucially for Comini, the Swiss racer was able to stay with points leader Pepe Oriola in the race, eventually passing the Craft-Bamboo Racing driver for the final podium position at the penultimate corner on lap 11.
The second Leopard Racing Volkswagen Golf of Jean-Karl Vernay then followed past Oriola along the start / finish straight to take fourth, leaving Oriola to settle for fifth.
Gené eventually dropped down the order to finish in sixth, with the Spaniard losing a trio of positions on the fifth lap of the race when Homola muscled past at the final sequence of turns.
Tassi ultimately finished in seventh, with the B3 Racing driver enjoying a late-race battle with Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Davit Kajaia and Target Competition’s Jordi Oriola.
WestCoast Racing’s Alain Menu completed the top ten, scoring his first TCR points after a determined drive from the back of the grid, which came as a result of his team having to break parc fermé conditions to repair his car after race one.
Gianni Morbidelli’s day went from bad to worse, when the Italian retired from the race after just one lap, reporting brake issues. The result means that Morbidelli has now dropped 31 points Oriola in the championship battle.
It was a disastrous race for Craft-Bamboo’s other drivers, with Sergey Afanasyev pulling off at the start of the warm-up lap with a suspected driveshaft failure. James Nash failed to even make it to the grid after his engine issues from race one, which will require a complete engine change in his SEAT.
|1||8||Mikhail GRACHEV||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||13||13 LAPS||1:55.041||5|
|2||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||13||1.795||1:54.945||4|
|3||1||Stefano COMINI||Leopard Racing||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||13||2.438||1:54.791||6|
|4||2||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Leopard Racing||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||13||2.946||1:54.771||10|
|5||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||13||3.807||1:55.054||8|
|6||52||Jordi GENÉ||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||13||8.698||1:55.523||2|
|7||9||Attila TASSI||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||13||11.521||1:55.506||1|
|8||7||Davit KAJAIA||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||13||11.789||1:55.576||7|
|9||33||Jordi ORIOLA||Target Competition||Honda Civic TCR||13||12.807||1:54.582||16|
|10||40||Alain MENU||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||13||13.38||1:54.759||15|
|11||41||Carlotta FEDELI||B.D. Racing Motorsport||SEAT León TCR||13||33.045||1:56.897||11|
|12||42||Alessandra NERI||B.D. Racing Motorsport||SEAT León Cup Racer||13||41.073||1:57.987||12|
|R||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||1||12 LAPS||00.000||13|
|R||77||Sergey AFANASYEV||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||0||DNF||N/A||3|
|NS||62||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||–||DNS||N/A||9|
|NS||54||James NASH||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||–||DNS||N/A||14|