WestCoast Racing’s Mikhail Grachev claimed a third win of the season in the reversed-grid second TCR International Series race at the Sochi Autodrom, having taken the lead at the very start from third on the grid.
The Russian racer made a better start than B3 Racing pole man Attila Tassi and his team-mate Mat’o Homola, leading the race before the first corner.
The Honda driver was then able to open up a lead over his younger rivals, scoring a third victory of the season and moving up to ninth overall in the drivers’ championship standings.
Leopard Racing’s Jean-Karl Vernay took second, having started the race from eighth on the grid. The Frenchman then benefitted when Homola dropped down the order, before passing Craft-Bamboo Racing’s James Nash for third.
The Volkswagen driver then took Tassi for second on lap seven to claim a fourth podium of the season and remain in contention for the championship lead.
Tassi was then able to hold on to third, giving the youngster a first-ever podium in the TCR International Series, despite late race pressure from the Honda of Gianni Morbidelli.
Morbidelli himself then went out of the race a few laps later after hitting the wall when his suspension failed, dropping him out of fourth position and losing him valuable points in the title race.
That left Nash to take fourth, ahead of race one winner in Stefano Comini in fifth, giving the Swiss racer a one-point lead in the championship race.
Dušan Borković finished in sixth, after a quiet race for the B3 Racing driver, ahead of the leading Liqui Moly Team Engstler car of Davit Kajaia in seventh.
Russian racer Sergey Afanasyev made it into the points at his home event in eighth, with Mulsanne Racing’s Petr Fulín and B3 Racing’s Mat’o Homola completing the top ten, the latter having dropped down the order from fourth on the third lap of the race.
Russian débutant Vladimir Sheshenin, racing for Engstler Motorsport, just missed out on the points and took the chequered flag in 11th.
Former championship leader Pepe Oriola had to retire from the race with a steering issue, leaving him one point adrift of Comini in the drivers’ championship standings leaving Russia.
|1||8||Mikhail GRACHEV||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||11||26:14.025||2:22.553||3|
|2||2||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Leopard Racing||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||11||1.254||2:22.053||8|
|3||9||Attila TASSI||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||11||5.954||2:22.447||1|
|4||54||James NASH||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||11||6.589||2:22.639||4|
|5||1||Stefano COMINI||Leopard Racing||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||11||7.962||2:21.213||10|
|6||62||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||11||8.253||2:22.546||5|
|7||7||Davit KAJAIA||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||11||11.795||2:22.474||12|
|8||77||Sergey AFANASYEV||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||11||13.977||2:22.861||11|
|9||22||Petr FULÍN||Mulsanne Racing||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||11||16.128||2:22.245||6|
|10||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||11||20.603||2:23.011||2|
|11||19||Vladimir SHESHENIN||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||11||24.691||2:24.064||15|
|12||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||9||2 Laps||2:22.297||7|
|13||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||8||3 Laps||2:21.559||9|
|R||88||Michela CERRUTI||Mulsanne Racing||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||5||6 Laps||2:23.612||14|
|R||18||Ildar RAKHMATULLIN||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||3||8 Laps||2:28.897||13|