WestCoast Racing are keeping their ambitions for positive results in check for this weekend’s two TCR International Series races at the Sochi Autodrom in Russia.
After Kevin Gleason took Pole Position and the victory in race one at the Salzburgring in Austria and with championship leader Gianni Morbidelli being the second highest points scorer in Austria behind Gleason, these two drivers will carry 30kg and 20kg of success ballast respectively at Sochi in their JAS Motorsport built Honda Civic TCRs. This means that the squad are being realistic about their targets and ambitions this weekend.
WestCoast Racing is buoyed by its recent run of success at both Monza and the Salzburgring and that Morbidelli now holds the initiative in the Drivers’ Championship, but the Swedish team isn’t resting on its laurels in the concluding part of the TCR International Series’ European leg in Russia. The Sochi circuit offers a unique challenge to the TCR field and the teams three drivers of Gleason, Morbidelli and Igor Skuz, with its long fast straights connected to some tight and twisty technical sections and added in to give a street circuit feel are the closeby concrete walls.
Team Principal Greger Petersson explains how the challenge ahead of the team with no previous data and two of their cars are heavy ballasted.
“The Sochi Autodrom is completely unknown territory for us and it’s hard to judge the circuit based on what we’ve studied. In addition to that, we have to consider the fact that we will be carrying the most ballast of any TCR team having performed the best at the Salzburgring, so we will go for good points finishes in Russia. I think it’s a very even game and there are as many as eight drivers who are consistently quick and are capable of winning. We will need some luck and good fortune to reach the podium on this occasion, but we will obviously try our best.”
WestCoast Racing Team Manager, James Nixon, is well aware that there is no advantage for the Hondas at Sochi.
“I don’t think Sochi Autodrom is going to play to our advantage. As much as everybody likes to push the fact that we’re quicker than the competition along the straights, we’re not. We’re quickest through the high-speed corners and we expect Sochi’s technical sections to suit the SEATs, but we will be working to find a suitable balance in the high and low-speed sections. Having said that, we have no information or driver feedback to go on and we start from zero.”