Pepe Oriola endured a mixed weekend in the TCR International Series in Thailand, taking victory in race one in the ‘suffocating’ heat before enduring a point-less race two due to a tyre failure.
Oriola led the entire opening race from position to briefly take the lead of the championship, driving a masterful race that saw the Spaniard make no mistakes on his way to a fourth win of the season.
“After taking pole position, I was conscious that I had a good opportunity to win again in Thailand, just like a year ago,” said Oriola. “I had a good start and, despite the suffocating heat, I was able to keep [Gianni] Morbidelli at bay.”
Unfortunately for the Craft-Bamboo Racing driver, he suffered from a tyre failure early on in the second race and, despite pitting for a replacement, was unable to break back into the top ten.
“It was a shame that, in the second race, because of a tyre failure during the first lap, I had to recover from last position
“There are still three rounds to go and everything is up for grabs. It’s going to be an interesting end of the year for the fans.”
Oriola leaves the Chang International Circuit just seven points behind team-mate James Nash in the drivers’ championship.
The Spaniard has now taken more wins than any other driver in the championship, and his win in race one came despite an injury which he picked up in training.
The next round of the TCR International Series takes place in Singapore, supporting the Formula One race in three weeks’ time.