Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil will be focused on delivering some good results this weekend, with the aim of further closing the gap in both the drivers’ and teams’ championships. The TCR International Series continues its tour of Europe and has arrived in Italy at the famous Autodromo di Monza, less than a week after the Algarve round in Portugal where Jordi Gené scored a double podium. Unfortunately, his teammates Sergey Afanaysev and Pepe Oriola were not so lucky, both suffering a retirement each after receiving heavy contact from other competitors.
Thanks to Jordi Gené’s success in Algarve, where he scored a total of 37 points, he will be carrying the 30kg of Success Ballast. This will prove to be extra challenging for the Spanish driver at Monza, but Gené will be fighting his way up the leader board where he is currently only one point behind third.
Pepe Oriola drove a strong race two in Algarve to capture fourth, giving him enough points to take second place in the drivers’ championship, only 12 points behind the leader. Without the 30kg of ballast this round, he will be using his increased performance to his advantage but understands that Monza’s high speed layout will be a testing environment.
Teammate, Sergey Afanaysev, has suffered some bad luck recently; several incidents of contact have prevented him from challenging for the podium; an issue made more frustrating by the Russian’s proven on track pace. Hoping for a clean race, Afanaysev will be joining his teammates to try and close the 26 point gap separating them from the top of the teams’ championship.
Free test sessions will be held on Friday, May 22nd, with practice and qualifying scheduled for Saturday, 23rd of May 15:00-15:35 (Q1+Q2). Race one coverage will begin on Sunday, 24th of May from 12:35-13:05 (Local Time), while race two will be held in the afternoon, 14:05-14:35. Both races will follow the format of 11 Laps, with live streaming from Monza, Italy, available on the series’ official website www.tcr-series.com.
The pursuit of the inaugural TCR international title would not be possible without the support of LUKOIL, Gravity, Team Dynamics and Orangebus.
Pepe Oriola, #74
“I am only 12 points behind Comini, so this weekend I am really focusing on closing the gap between us. I am excited to be racing here at Monza; it is such a historical circuit and a fantastic race to have on the TCR International Series calendar.”
Sergey Afanaysev, #77
“This weekend I am hoping for a clean race, I continue finding myself being caught up in contact with other drivers which has been affecting my challenge. The team has been doing a fantastic job with my car and I am confident that some good results will be possible here. It will be really great to see the TCR cars competing here and I hope my teammates and I can take the team championship lead this weekend.”
Jordi Gené, #88
“I really want to build on the success I had in Algarve and score as many points as possible, as I am only one point behind third place Morbidelli. It is a high speed circuit with a few long straights so it should make overtaking a little easier but I will be pushing hard in qualifying to give myself the best shot at a good start. However, I am carrying the 30kg of success ballast this weekend so it will make my challenge extra difficult.”
Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing
“The team has done an excellent job over the last month in what has been an incredibly busy European schedule. We are now at famous Monza, but it is going to be a challenge because we know that the Hondas will be quick around this high speed circuit. I hope that we have some clean racing and the drivers can come away with some results.”