Race 1 via TCR-Series
Vladimir Sheshenin claimed his second victory of the season in TCR Russia, as he led home his LADA Sport Rosneft teammate Kirill Ladygin in Race 1 at the Smolenskring.
Reigning champion Dmitry Bragin drove his TAIF Motorsport SEAT León to finish in third position ahead of the Lukoil Racing’s duo of Aleksey Dudukalo and Nikolay Karamyshev.
Bragin maintained the lead in the standings, however Sheshenin has managed to reduce the gap to 15 points, while Dudukalo lies third a further 6 points adrift.
At the start, Sheshenin made good use of the pole position and took the lead, despite Bragin’s attempt to pass on the outside line at Turn 1. Soon afterwards, Ladygin overtook Bragin for second. A couple of incidents during the opening lap eliminated Denis Grigoryev and saw Lev Yashin punted into a spin by Roman Golikov.
On lap 3, the safety car was deployed to recover Timur Shigabutdinov’s Audi that had stopped on the track.
When action resumed, Bragin tried to put the pressure on the LADA duo, while immediately behind them Dudukalo and Karamyshev were in a close fight with Vitaliy Dudin.
In the second half of the race, Sheshenin and Ladygin were able to pull away and Bragin settled for third. On the final lap, Ladygin stuck on the rear bumper of Sheshenin’s Vesta, but the leader managed to cross the finish line with a margin of two tenths.
Lukoil Racing’s Klim Gavrilov grabbed his maiden victory in TCR Russia at the end of an eventful race at the Smolenskring.
Reigning champion and current points leader Dmitry Bragin (TAIF Motorsport) finished again on the podium and stretched his margin in the standings to 29 points ahead of Vladimir Sheshenin (LADA Sport Rofnet), while Aleksey Dudukalo (Lukoil Racing) slipped down to third, 38 points behind the leader.
At the start, Irek Minnakhmetov sprinted from pole position and kept Gavrilov and Vitaliy Dudin at bay. Behind the leading trio, Bragin, Dudukalo and Nikolay Karamyshev had a tough fight for third. During the first lap Marat Sharapov and Pavel Yashin made contact and the latter crashed, promoting the safety car on the track.
When the race resumed, Bragin overtook Dudin for third, they made contact and Dudin dropped down, while Dudukalo, Sheshenin and Karamyshev moved up to fourth, fifth and sixth. On lap 6, Sheshenin overtook Dudukalo for fourth, but on the following lap the LADA driver was hit by Dudin and spun off.
On lap 8, Minnakhmetov made a mistake and handed the leadership to Gavrilov. Positions froze for a few laps, then Dudukalo, Karamyshev and Kirill Ladygin began fighting for the fourth position; on lap 14, Ladygin and Dudukalo clashed and the latter dropped down and eventually retired with a broken front suspension. On lap 15, Ladygin went wide and Karamyshev overtook him for fourth.
With two laps to go, Bragin managed to overtake Minnakhmetov and finished second behind Gavrilov.
The championship will resume in two weeks at the Moscow Raceway.