Estoril TCR: Nash eases to first victory

TCR newcomer James Nash was in complete control in the second International Series race at Estoril, converting a reverse-grid front row start into a maiden win.

Estoril TCR: Nash eases to first victory
James Nash, Team Craft-Bamboo, Seat León TCR
James Nash, Team Craft-Bamboo, Seat León TCR
Gianni Morbidelli, West Coast Racing, Honda Civic TCR
Stefano Comini, Leopard Racing
Gianni Morbidelli, West Coast Racing, Honda Civic TCR

With poleman Loris Hezemans' car breaking down immediately as he got off the line, fellow SEAT driver Nash led the field into Turn 1.

And the Briton was then allowed to rapidly establish a sizable gap as Leopard Racing teammates Jean-Karl Vernay and Stefano Comini dueled for second, the latter eventually edging ahead.

It would be an uneventful race for both Nash and Comini from that point on, the reigning champion finishing runner-up, 2.3s behind the Briton.

Vernay, however, struggled to keep up and soon had to worry about keeping Sergey Afanasyev at bay.

The Russian couldn't find a way past Vernay's VW Golf and eventually surrendered fourth place to Honda's Gianni Morbidelli.

On Lap 12, Morbidelli dived down the inside of Vernay into Gancho and, while the Frenchman managed to stay side-by-side with the Honda driver throughout the next section, the pass was eventually completed at Turn 12, Morbidelli securing his third podium from four races.

Taking advantage, Afanasyev got a better exit out of Turn 13 and passed Vernay as well.

Aku Pellinen took sixth, ahead of Davit Kajaia, Mat'o Homola and Francisco Mora.

Erstwhile points leader Pepe Oriola had a nightmare race, tumbling down the order with a car that appeared to be unstable under braking. The Spaniard could only manage 10th.

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Estoril TCR: Morbidelli outduels Homola for Race 1 win
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Team Craft-Bamboo score a win in challenging weekend at Estoril

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