Nykjaer Secures Victory in Austrian TCR Race Two

Michel Nykjaer managed to take his second TCR International Series race win in 2015 in Race Two at the Salzburgring after a perfect start off the line. Like Kevin Gleason in race one, Nykjaer led all the way through the race, taking a lights-to-flag victory.

As Nykjaer drove his Team Target Competition SEAT past Igor Skuz, the Russian driver lost more time and places as he and Mikhail Grachev touched at the chicane forcing them both to take the escape road. Nykjaer led from Andrea Belicchi and Stefano Comini to begin with, whilst Jordi Gene, Pepe Oriola and Mikhail Grachev were close behind Gianni Morbidelli, Lorenzo Veglia, Skuz and Sergey Afansayev completed the top ten on the first of 15 laps. Markus Ostreich started from the pitlane as the Astra had further issues that would lead to retirement later on.

Skuz managed to rejoin in tenth place but his race ended on lap two as he hit the barriers after trying to pass Bas Schouten. Schouten continued on whilst Skuz would go on to retire. Stefano Comini was adjudged to have made a jump-start and he was awarded a drive through penalty. On lap five Morbidelli and Afanasyev passed Grachev for sixth and seventh places respectively as Gleason moved up to harry the Engstler Motorsport driver. This fight would go on to the final lap.

Nykjaer led on lap seven from Belicchi as Comini took his drive through penalty, dropping him down the field, allowing Oriola into third place ahead of Gene, Veglia, Morbidelli, Afanasyev, Grachev and Gleason, with Comini rejoining in 11th place behind Ostreich in the Opel. However the Astra would retire with an oil leak a few laps later.

Lorenzo Veglia made a dive past Jordi Gene at the chicane on lap eight, however he out braked himself and overshot the chicane and came back on after a trip through the gravel. Contact with Gene as he rejoined allowed Morbidelli and Afanasyev past for fourth and fith positions respectively. Gene would pit on lap nine for the team to replace his front left tyre, whilst Gleason would pass Grachev on the back straight.

Belicchi slid on the oil left by Ostreich’s stricken Opel, allowing Oriola, Morbidelli, Afanasyev and Veglia through as Morbidelli would launch his attack on Oriola for second place over the final few laps. Lorenzo Veglia recieved a drive through penalty for his move on Gene and jumping over the chicane.

Nykjaer took the win ahead of Oriola and Morbidelli. Afanasyev followed with Belicchi finishing in fifth place ahead of race one winner Gleason. Grachev finished in seventh with Comini making it back up to eighth ahead of Bas Schouten and Jordi Gene.

In the Drivers’ Championship, Gianni Morbidelli leads from Stefano Comini by 18 points with Pepe Oriola a further 4 points back as the series heads to Sochi in Russia in three weeks time.