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Jean-Karl Vernay happy with weekend despite contact with rivals

Jean-Karl Vernay says he is happy with his weekend in the first TCR International Series event of the year in Georgia, despite being involved in several incidents of contact with his rivals.

Vernay was involved in a controversial clash in the first race of the day, when it took no more than two corners for the Leopard Racing driver to make contact with former team-mate Stefano Comini.

Whilst Vernay went on to finish sixth, three places behind his rival, he caught up with the Swiss on the slowing down lap and contact was controversially made between the pair.

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For the Frenchman the damage was superficial, and he was able to start race two from seventh on the grid.

Contact again came in Turn 1 in race two, this time from Gianni Morbidelli, but Vernay was not out of position this time and he went on to finish the race in fourth, which later became third when Hugo Valente was given a post-race penalty.

“It’s been a tough and long day with also some special conditions,” said Vernay. “I think it was good for us because we are always really quick on the wet.

“The [first] race started badly as Stefano hit me really hard in the second corner, so the car was damaged and I lost a few positions. After that I wasn’t able to go back to the front of the race – the car wasn’t perfect anymore, so I thought the best thing to do was to score good points.

“We ended up in P6 but we were frustrated as we are always really quick on the rain. I think we messed up a bit with the set-up and that’s not good, so I am disappointed also because of Stefano’s move at the start.

“In race two I started in P7, I had a decent start and got hit once again in the first corner, but I did not lose any position. Then I made my way up to P5 and ready to battle for P4 but I couldn’t fight with [Attila] Tassi as the Honda has so much torque on the straight. They were really flying, so it was just not possible for me to overtake.

“The results are pretty good, with a lot of points for the championship – 25 in total, which is much better than last year, when I left Bahrain with zero points.

“Overall it has been a good weekend and I am happy also for the great effort from the team. Everybody did a fantastic job and I am really happy about that.”

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