WestCoast Racing cap off 2017 TCR International campaign with strong P2

Publicerad 21 november 2017, 15.10 av WestCoast Racing.

The very final round of the 2017 TCR International campaign at Dubai Autodrome on Saturday (21 November) saw WestCoast Racing secure a sensational second position with Gianni Morbidelli at the wheel of the Tegera Infinity sponsored Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.

Morbidelli was joined for rounds 19 and 20 by Benjamin Leuchter, who arrived at the team with bags of Volkswagen experience courtesy of his programme in the TCR Germany series in 2016. He duly impressed the team throughout the weekend with his commitment, pace and enthusiasm.

The opening race of the weekend proved to be tough for both Leuchter and Morbidelli however. Following great qualifying runs where the duo qualified third and fifth respectively, the start saw the former run wide at the first turn in avoidance of Jean-Karl Vernay in a sister Golf GTI TCR.  Morbidelli meanwhile was soon cruising back to the pits having picked up a front left puncture after contact, but this would later prove significant to his success in the second race.

Having pitted for fresh tyres, Morbidelli re-joined at the tail of the field. While not in contention for points, the team completed a simulated race and used that data to tweak the car and tyre pressures for the final race. Leuchter finished in 13th after a puncture on the final lap after a spirited drive that could have yielded more.

The season concluded with Morbidelli chasing Stefano Comini across the line in a fine second position in the final race. The start saw Morbidelli move third from the outset while teammate Leuchter ran a little wide. Morbidelli was pushing hard and took the position on lap two of the race to run second to Attila Tassi, but Comini fought back to regain the place.

Tassi was soon given a drive through penalty for a jump start and that moved Comini and Morbidelli to first and second but despite the best efforts of the WestCoast racer, he had to be content with the runner-up position with teammate Leuchter shining on his debut with sixth on what was another great performance from the Swedish-based outfit.

“It was another good weekend for us,” stated team manager James Nixon. “We had issues in the first race with both Gianni and Benny getting punctures but this allowed us to do a long run with Gianni and really get a great balance on the car for the second race.

“Both made good starts in race two and Gianni did a great job, especially with the 20 Kilos of ballast he was carrying to get the second position. Benny was a pleasure to work with and he fitted in well with the team and we’d love to welcome him back one day. He really wanted to get the results and clearly loved the experience. We like that attitude as a team!”

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