The Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing team are looking to secure podium finishes on home ground in Russia for their driver Sergey Afanaysev as the TCR International Series head to the Sochi Autodrome this weekend.
It will be another weekend of hard work for the Lukoil sponsored squad, who are fielding four cars this weekend for Afanaysev, Jordi Gene, Pepe Oriola and for FIA WTCC driver Alexsei Dudukalo. After being the third highest points scorer in Austria last time out, Pepe Oriola will carry 10kgs of success ballast in his SEAT Leon Racer, however he does not feel that this will impede the performance of the car, at a track that should prove competitive for the team.
Pepe Oriola hopes to step up his challenge for the TCR Drivers’ Title in Russia.
“Being so close in the championship is great after somewhat tough races in Italy and Austria, and if we do well this weekend, I’m hoping to move up into second place overall and close the points gap to the leader. We are just over halfway in the championship and I need to focus on picking up consistent results every race from now until the end of the season.”
Sergey Afanaysev had an exciting second race in Austria, where he fought hard to finish fourth and is looking forward to taking a haul of points on home ground.
“It feels great to be home in Russia after such a busy season and to be given the chance to race here with LUKOIL is an amazing feeling. I really want to put on a great show for the fans and will be pushing this weekend to get the best results. I have yet to drive the circuit so it is going to be a challenge but I can’t wait to get out there and start racing.”
Jordi Gene has no success ballast to carry this weekend and is looking for a win to move closer in the drivers championship.
“The Sochi Autodrom looks like a fantastic circuit to race on and features a spectacular long arching corner, its layout should also suit the SEAT Leon and now that I do not have to contend with any ballast, I will be fighting hard for the win.”
Team Principal Richard Coleman is hoping to take victory on home ground for Lukoil, Afanaysev and Dudukalo in the team’s expanded lineup.
“Arriving in Russia has been a fantastic experience; it is the home of our driver Sergey Afanaysev and also our title sponsor Lukoil. The Sochi Autodrom provides a more conventional circuit layout than the two previous rounds, so I expect that we will be challenging for some top results this weekend. We are further supported this weekend by the RTCC LUKOIL team who will run Alexsei Dudukalo in a 4th Red and white SEAT TCR international entry.”