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Roberto Colciago ‘not yet out of title race’

M1RA’s returning Roberto Colciago insists that he is not yet out of the title fight in the TCR International Series, despite missing the previous round, although he concedes that it will be difficult to remain in contention.

Colciago was involved in a big start-line accident in the second race at Oschersleben in July, which caused the Italian to miss the races in Thailand last month due to injury – he picked up three cracked ribs.

Despite missing two races though, the 49-year-old remains in contention for the overall title, 35 points adrift, in part thanks to neither Attila Tassi or Jean-Karl Vernay scoring wins in the two races he missed.

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“Of course, the championship is not gone,” said Colciago to TouringCars.Net. “But it’s difficult now, because there are a lot of points that I am missing.

“It was really hard [missing the races], and I didn’t really enjoying watching the races in Thailand on television, but I couldn’t do the race because my ribs really hurt me, so there was nothing to do.”

Colciago would not be drawn on whether he would help team-mate Tassi in Sunday’s races in China, should his own title charge end at the Zhejiang International Circuit, with the Italian preferring there to be no team orders and politics in the racing.

“I’m racing for M1RA Honda, and yes they really want to win the championship,” added Colciago. “This project has been really good for me, and if there is the opportunity for me to win then I am still at the point where I can win.

“But I don’t think Attila needs help from me to have the opportunity to win the championship. I enjoy it when there is clear racing and the best that he can do is win without any help.

“He is a really good driver in a good team and car, and he can have this opportunity [to win the title] without me. But for sure if he needs it then I can help, like in the other teams.”

Like other drivers, Colciago, who was just ninth fastest in free practice, pointed to the need for a strong qualifying session in order to deliver strong results, with the twisty nature of the Zhejiang circuit likely to make overtaking a challenge.

“I can tell you that this track is not the best for our car, because we prefer faster corners on a fast circuit.

“There is no relaxing here, and I think it’s hard to overtake someone on this track, because there is no space.

“I hope everything is clear [in qualifying] because it’s easy to find someone who doesn’t realise that you’re behind them – I hope it goes smoothly.”

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