Despite not carrying any success ballast in their JAS Motorsport built TCR Honda Civics, the WestCoast Racing Team left Austria with a sense of underachievement last weekend.
Despite initial fears of a lack of pace in race and Qualifying trims and two Free Practice Sessions that saw VW and SEAT lead the way, the ballast free Honda’s of Gianni Morbidelli and Kevin Gleason stepped up to lock out the front row in qualifying for race one with Series returnee Igor Skuz qualifying lower down.
In race one Morbidelli and Gleason lost places at the start to Stefano Comini, Andrea Belicchi and Pepe Oriola, although Morbidelli began to gather pace and fight back against the SEAT trio. Despite some interesting contact during the four way fight for the lead of the race, Morbidelli eventually found his way into second place and the fight with his season long rival Comini was on. With further touches and contact, Morbidelli took the lead but only for Comini to pass him back further on.
A wide line into the last turn and a moment off track from Comini at the start of the final lap gave Morbidelli the lead and the on track win. However a penalty was given for his contact during the race and he dropped to 11th place. Gleason fought understeer issues whilst fending off Afansyev and taking fifth place in the end with Skuz coming home in 12th.
Race Two was a much more damaging affair as the understeer issues caused furthe problems for the WestCoast Racing drivers. Gleason managed to salvage another fifth place despite the cars understeer issue whilst both Morbidelli and Skuz retired with braking issues from the proceedings.
The team now regroups over the summer break before the TCR International Series returns to action at the Singapore Grand Prix weekend on 19-20 September.