Roberto Colciago says he had to work hard for his second win in the TCR International Series in Bahrain, despite the M1RA driver taking victory over Hugo Valente with a commanding 5.5-second margin.
Colciago’s decisive move in the race came at the very start, when the Italian dropped the clutch on his Honda Civic Type R quicker than his rivals to squeeze between front-row men Pierre-Yves Corthals and Valente.
It is the TCR Italy champion’s second win at the top level of TCR, after he previously took victory at Sepang last year.
Colciago says that one of the keys to him being able to control the race was not pushing too hard early on, to ensure he had life left in his tyres in the final tours of the nine-lap race.
“It might have looked easy, but it wasn’t,” insisted Colciago. “The start was really good and after four or five laps, there was a good gap behind me.
“I didn’t push so hard at the beginning of the race so my tyres were still good for the second part. It’s really important not to make any mistakes at this circuit – I made one small mistake when I braked at the end of the straight, but afterwards I made no more.”
Colciago has now marked himself definitely as one of the title contenders, as the 49-year-old takes a joint lead of the drivers’ championship standings together with Jean-Karl Vernay.
“In the championship, there are many, many good drivers and we are always within two or three tenths, so it is much too early to be thinking about that.”
Race two takes place on Sunday at 13:00 local time (11:00 BST / 12:00 CEST).