Leopard Racing’s Stefano Comini says he finds it ‘difficult’ to be positive after the TCR International Series races in Thailand, after the Volkswagen racer scored just two fourth-placed finishes and lost the points lead.
Both reigning champion Comini and team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay had a relatively uneventful first race, with the duo finishing in fourth and fifth position respectively. For Comini, he made no progress from his grid position, having started the race in fourth.
In race two, whilst Comini was able to make progress from seventh on the grid up to fourth once again, Vernay ended up finishing the race where he started in eighth after a fierce battle in the lower part of the top ten.
Comini admits that he finds it difficult to be positive about the weekend, which has seen him go from leading the championship to ten points behind new leader James Nash.
“It was a weekend for being number four, in qualifying and then in both races,” said Comini. “It’s difficult therefore to feel too positive about the result, finishing just off the podium, with the 30 kg penalty I was carrying, even though we worked miracles to get there.
“The races were spectacular, especially the second one, where we fought side by side, while always looking after the cars and the rules of the game.
“My heartfelt thanks to Charles, my engineer and all the team who did an excellent job of finding a way for the car to cope with those extra 30 kilos.”
Vernay is looking forward to being able to shed the 10 kg of success ballast which he was forced to carry at the Chang International Circuit.
“It wasn’t a good day, both in terms of points for the championship and also because I didn’t feel in great shape, especially in the first race where I tried to maintain my position,” said Vernay, who is a further 31 points behind Comini in the drivers’ championship standings.
“In the second, it was a struggle but I managed to get up to fifth, but another driver pulled a move on me that was really on the limit and I lost it.
“My engine was also overheating and I think that in the final battle that prevented me from maintaining my position.
“Now, we will no longer have the kilos of ballast penalty and we will try to do much better next time.”
The next round of the TCR International Series takes place in Singapore from the 15th to 18th September 2016.