Reigning TCR International Series champion Stefano Comini enjoyed an ‘excellent weekend’ at the Sochi Autodrom, with victory in race one and fifth in race two handing him the drivers’ championship lead.
Ahead of the weekend the Volkswagen Golf had been handed a further adjustment by the series organisers, with the minimum ride-height of the car being dropped by an additional 10 mm.
Comini then took a commanding pole position in qualifying on Saturday – the first-ever for the Volkswagen Golf TCR car – before converting it into a lights-to-flag win in the first race.
The Swiss racer then took a solid fifth position in race two to move into the lead of the championship, as his main rival Pepe Oriola had to retire with steering problems.
“I had an excellent weekend and I certainly did not expect to go away from Russia with such a close situation in the standings,” said Comini, who is just one point ahead of Oriola. “I must say the car here was working perfectly.
“It is the first time I have the feeling that we are exploiting to the fullest the potential of the car. For sure, lowering the height of the car by 10 mm helped, but the team also did a fantastic job.
“Following yesterday’s pole, I really put all my chances on race one, so we had four new tyres, and everything went well. I took a good start and focused during the first laps in building a sufficient gap. That’s what happened.”
“Everything went well and I pushed hard right from the start and was able to pull out a gap on the others, who normally have a better top speed than us.
“In race two, with the reversed grid, things got complicated, but what mattered for me was to bring home championship points.
“I tried to stay out of trouble, which can be difficult in these races, but all in all, this weekend turned out well.”