Craft-Bamboo Racing score double podium to claim teams’ championship lead in Bahrain
Hugo Valente was the man of the weekend, taking podiums in both races during his first time at the Sakhir Circuit.
Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing scored a hard-fought double podium during round two of the TCR International Series competition in Bahrain that allowed them to take the overall lead in the teams’ championship. Hugo Valente was the man of the weekend, taking podiums in both races during his first time at the Sakhir Circuit.
A strong qualifying session allowed the Frenchman to start P2 in race one where he would drive a faultless stint to claim second place. It was his race two performance that was most spectacular though, taking six places to finish once again in P2. His results would catapult him from 13th in the drivers’ championship up to sixth place where he is now firmly in the running for the title. James Nash had a strong weekend in the points, finishing race one in P7 after some big battles before going on to score his first podium of the season in race two after starting from fourth on the grid.
Nash now sits eighth in the standings and has succesfully gotten his championship campaign underway. Pepe Oriola had a challenging weekend in Bahrain, the two-time winner did a fantastic job to fight back from P12 on the grid and finish P6 in race one and P7 in race two. His performance allowed him to take home valuable points that have kept him at the sharp end of the drivers’ standings where he now sits in fourth place.
Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing: “Very solid weekend for the team to achieve podiums in both races and an excellent point haul for Hugo which kick starts his championship campaign. As I said pre-season, all three drivers will be contenders for the championship this year. It was an unlucky weekend for Pepe, which was always going to be difficult after qualifying but we are in our stride now and looking forward to the next round in Spa. It is very rare that I speak about BoP but there are certainly some issues that need to be resolved. I trust in the organizers to deal with this before the next race.”
Hugo Valente, #7 Driver: "Very happy to score a P2 for race one in my first time around the circuit. It was hard in the sense that I always aim to win the race starting from the front row so I was a bit disappointed with second, but seeing the bigger picture second is still a lot of points. Race two was awesome! It's exactly what we needed to bounce back from Georgia. It's a long season and scoring top five results at every race is the key. Congratulations to James as he had a great race two, the team has also done an awesome job all weekend long and we know it wasn't easy with those crazy high temperatures.”
James Nash, #54 Driver: “Very happy to be properly back in the points this weekend and to have a second-place podium in race two was fantastic for my championship. It was a tough weekend thanks to the high temperatures but the team did a brilliant job to ensure we had a competitive car and I can’t wait to get to Spa to continue the fight.”
Pepe Oriola, #74 Driver: “After a less than ideal qualifying I think we did a good job, even in the second race we could do better but we had some problems with the car due to the temperature. It just wasn’t working as well as it could have been. Happy to have finished in the points in both races though and I am still in the fight for the drivers’ championship which is the main thing, so I am hoping for some better luck in Spa.”
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