Mikhail Grachev celebrated his fourth win of the TCR International Series season in the second race in Singapore, which elevated the WestCoast Racing driver to eighth overall in the drivers’ standings.
Grachev led the entirety of the reverse-grid second race, claiming his fourth win of the year, all of which have come since switching to the Honda Civic machinery after three meetings.
The win elevates him above his compatriot Sergey Afanasyev in the championship, with the Russian now just three points behind Dušan Borković overall.
Grachev admitted that he didn’t expect to win on the streets of Singapore, with the Honda struggling with the tight nature of the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win here at Singapore, I am very happy,” said Grachev. “I did not expect to be in a position to win, a track which does not really suit the Honda. We have a lot of understeer in all 90-degree corners.
“Today, the car felt better than yesterday, but clearly, the good thing was to start from the front row. I knew that if could take a good start and stay at the front, I had a chance and that’s what happened.
The race was hit by two safety car periods, which ultimately meant that Grachev finished the race one lap early under yellow-flag conditions, and he only had to endure six laps of full-throttle racing, out of a scheduled ten.
“The two safety-car periods eventually also helped,” he added. “It’s my fourth win of the season, so it’s not such a bad year for me.”
With so much success having come after switching teams – Grachev previously claimed just one point out of six races in the Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf – the 28-year-old has been left to wonder what could have been had he raced the car all year.
“People ask me what could have happened if I had switched to WestCoast Racing and Honda earlier, but it is useless to speculate on that.
“I just took the decision that I thought was the right one at that moment, and it turned out to be a good choice.”
WestCoast Racing Team Manager James Nixon praised Grachev’s drive from the front of the grid.
“That’s a great result for Mikhail with his fourth win since joining us at Imola,” said Nixon. “He made a great start and controlled the pace from the front. A great drive.”