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Pepe Oriola critical of ‘professional’ nature in TCR International

After a significant start-line crash caused a red flag stoppage in the first few hundred metres of the second TCR International Series race at Oschersleben, Craft Bamboo Lukoil’s Pepe Oriola was one of seven drivers eliminated, having been collected along with team mate James Nash in the process.

“Obviously, I tried to avoid the contact with [Roberto] Colciago, but he was coming backwards and when you have a crash like this you cannot predict if the car is going to go forwards or backwards,” said the Spaniard, who is currently fifth in the standings as of the red flag stoppage on the very first lap.

“It was too late to avoid him – I tried – but I was going too fast and I crashed into him.”

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All TCR International Series cars are due to be loaded for transportation to Asia on Wednesday next week, ahead of the eight race weekend of the season, which takes place in September.

But the Spaniard, who celebrates his 23rd birthday today, is unsure if the car will be in the container when scheduled.

“Now let’s see if the car is repairable. We’ll have to see how we do it for the rest of the season and how the team can repair the car in time for the trip to Asia.”

He also voiced his opinion about the professional nature of the series itself, in respect of decisions regarding incidents out on track.

“The stewards and the race director didn’t look at the footage as I did, because obviously that corner where I pushed Van Lagen is flat-out and I even broke my radiator, so it means that the differential on speed was quite high.

“The incident with him was seen differently to my point of view, so I am disappointed.

“We have to make this championship a little bit more professional, otherwise it won’t grow as fast as we are growing together.”

The TCR International Series takes a seven-week hiatus, as it now heads to the final leg of the championship, with Thailand’s Buriram International Circuit setting the backdrop. Oriola will go there in fifth place overall on 110 points, having only scored a single point in qualifying this weekend.

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