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Dušan Borković storms away to first TCR Series victory in Bahrain

Round four of the 2017 TCR International Series at the Bahrain International Circuit saw GE-Force’s Dušan Borković take a commanding maiden TCR victory in the Sahkir sunshine, making it four different winners from four different races so far this year.

It also saw the second race win for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta in a second successive weekend, with Lukoil Craft-Bamboo’s James Nash finishing behind the Serbian, ahead of team mate Hugo Valente, who fought hard with new championship leader Jean-Karl Vernay and race three winner, M1RA’s Roberto Colciago, for the final step on the podium.

With heavier winds and a lot of sand out on track being a main factor for the drivers to contend with, Borkovic would initially come under pressure from pole man Ferenc Ficza, Jean-Karl Vernay & Roberto Colgiaco, but would start to pull away from the battle that emerged not that far behind.

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WestCoast Racing’s Giacomo Altoe would end up retiring on lap 2, whilst there were multiple battles for position with entertaining side-by-side racing throughout the remaining 15 cars out on track.

Georgia’s Davit Kajaia would suffer a major engine failure in the final moments of the race, putting him into retirement for the second time in a row, as his Alfa Romeo dumped oil on the circuit off the racing line.

Pole man Ferenc Ficza was battling hard with multiple drivers, including defending champion Stefano Comini, with the Hungarian able to keep his Seat Léon TCR out of trouble to finish in sixth, ahead of Pepe Oriola.

Attila Tassi would finish in eighth place ahead of Comini, with the pair having been battling hard, with several drivers being investigated during the race for contact.

Gianni Morbidelli was one such driver under investigation for barging his way up the inside of Comini with just three minutes remaining, but the Italian had to settle for tenth, ahead of Pierre-Yves Corthals in the leading Opel.

Corthals’ Astra required a clutch change before the beginning of the race, but fared better than team mate Mat’o Homola who suffered a dreadful start that rounded off a bad weekend, finishing 13th behind Michela Cerruti, with Duncan Ende being the last of the classified finishers in the race.

The 2017 TCR International Series campaign heads back over into Europe in just two weeks’ time, as Spa-Francorchamps hosts round five and six of the championship.

Race result

1 62 Dušan BORKOVIĆ GE-Force Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 9 20:20.221 13.476 2
2 54 James NASH Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing SEAT León TCR 9 4.154 13.814 4
3 7 Hugo VALENTE Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing SEAT León TCR 9 4.861 14.293 8
4 2 Jean-Karl VERNAY Leopard Racing Team WRT Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 9 5.391 14.335 5
5 5 Roberto COLCIAGO M1RA Honda Civic Type-R TCR 9 5.690 14.290 7
6 55 Ferenc FICZA Zele Racing SEAT León TCR 9 9.161 15.042 1
7 74 Pepe ORIOLA Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing SEAT León TCR 9 14.967 14.946 12
8 9 Attila TASSI M1RA Honda Civic Type-R TCR 9 15.154 15.024 3
9 1 Stefano COMINI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 9 15.261 14.771 14
10 10 Gianni MORBIDELLI West Coast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 9 16.525 14.532 11
11 23 Pierre-Yves CORTHALS DG Sport Compétition Opel Astra TCR 9 17.494 15.755 9
12 88 Michela CERRUTI GE-Force Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 9 18.224 15.748 15
13 70 Mat’o HOMOLA DG Sport Compétition Opel Astra TCR 9 22.286 15.927 10
14 18 Duncan ENDE Icarus Motorsports SEAT León TCR 9 34.009 16.828 16
15 16 Davit KAJAIA GE-Force Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 9 + 1 LAP 14.498 6
R 21 Giacomo ALTOÈ West Coast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 4 DNF N/A 13
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