Diego Moran claims first victory of 2018 in Thailand race two

Diego Moran claims first victory of 2018 in Thailand race two

Diego Moran
Photo: TSS

Diego Moran claimed his first win of the season in the second TCR Asia race at Buriram in Thailand, coming from ninth on the reverse-grid to head team-mate Luca Engstler in a 1-2 finish for Liqui Moly Team Engstler.

At the start it was Viper Niza Racing’s Douglas Khoo who led into the first corner, but the Malaysian regular would soon be overcome by several drivers after the first few corners, with TCR Thailand’s Chariya Nuya leading at the end of the first lap.

Moran, meanwhile, had got up to third on the opening lap and by lap two was reeling in Nuya’s initial 2.5 second lead. By lap four the Ecuadorian had got onto the back bumper of the leading Honda and he made his pass for the lead.

Engstler had made a slightly slower start than Moran and found himself in ninth at the end of the first lap. But the German fought back and by lap six was right behind his team-mate at the front of the field.

Despite determined attempts to pass, Engstler could not find a way past Moran in the remaining nine laps and had to settle for second.

Nuya completed the podium in third, after TCR Asia championship leader Mitchell Cheah pitted with mechanical problems whilst running in the final podium position.

Although Cheah rejoined the race, allowing him to take crucial points for finishing, his points lead to Engstler has been cut to 15 as a result.

TCR Thailand drivers filled the next three places just off the podium, with Vattana Motorsport’s Pattarapol Vongprai in fourth ahead of Alphafactory Racing’s Jakraphan Davee in fifth and Morin Racing’s Nattanid Leewattanavaragul in sixth.

Elegant Racing’s Kelvin Wong was seventh, ahead of early leader Khoo in eighth, who quickly disappeared from the front-running drivers to end the race almost half a minute off the lead.

TBN MK’s Nattachak Hanjitkasem was ninth, ahead of Maximum Racing’s Clement Tong in tenth.

Elegant Racing’s Alex Liu Lic Ka was the only non-finisher after retiring to the pits at the end of lap four.

Cheah still leads the standings after Thailand with 83 points, ahead of Engstler on 68 and Moran on 58.

The next TCR Asia round takes place on the streets of Bangsaen in Thailand on the 14 – 15 July.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 32 Diego MORAN Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 15 26:28.398 1:44.566 9
2 8 Luca ENGSTLER Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 15 0.277 1:44.415 10
3 15 Chariya NUYA Billionaire Boy Racing (BBR) Honda Civic TCR 2017 15 14.772 1:46.184 5
4 59 Pattarapol VONGPRAI Vattana Motorsport Honda Civic TCR 2017 15 16.220 1:45.581 4
5 133 Jakraphan DAVEE Alphafactory Racing Team by Pulzar SEAT León TCR DSG V3 15 18.362 1:46.218 6
6 96 Nattanid LEEWATTANAVARAGUL Morin Racing Team by Sunoco SEAT León TCR DSG V3 15 22.385 1:45.744 11
7 33 Kelvin WONG Kiang Kuan Elegant Racing Team SEAT León TCR SEQ V2 15 26.763 1:46.518 2
8 65 Douglas KHOO Kok Hui Viper Niza Racing SEAT León TCR SEQ V3 15 29.742 1:46.295 3
9 66 Nattachak HANJITKASEM TBN MK ihear Racing Team Honda Civic TCR 2017 15 40.257 1:46.750 13
10 5 Clement TONG Yat Him Maximum Racing Honda Civic TCR 2017 15 44.810 1:46.953 1
11 29 Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 + 1 LAP 1:44.878 8
12 28 LO Sze Ho Maximum Racing Honda Civic TCR 2016 14 + 1 LAP 1:45.185 12
R 3 Alex LIU Lic Ka Elegant Racing Team SEAT León TCR SEQ V2 4 DNF 1:46.585 7