After extending their lead in both championships at Imola, Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil has arrived in Austria and is focused on a return to the winning form that was seen in the opening rounds of the season. Pepe Oriola is focused on defying success ballast for another round in the hopes of furthering his lead in the drivers’ championship and gaining a greater edge on the rest of the field. After a tough last round, James Nash and Sergey Afanasyev will be mounting an all-out championship point assault as they aim to close the gap on their teammate and help increase the trio’s lead in the teams’ championship.
After successfully combating ballast in Imola to score the second most points of any competitor, Oriola will once again have to carry an extra 20kg of success weight at the Salzburgring. He has demonstrated that he can punch above his weight and with a podium at the circuit last year; Oriola has the experience to come away with more podiums this weekend. Knowing how great of an effect the ballast has on performance later in the race, it will be imperative for Oriola to set a good qualifying lap in order to get a jump on the rest of the grid.
Nash is looking for a huge comeback at the Salzburgring after his weekend at Imola was marred by engine trouble. Sitting in P4 in the championship, Nash will be concentrating on a big haul of points to move his way back up the standings. With a new engine for this round and no ballast to deal with, Nash is sure to be back to the rapid level of performance that he displayed in the opening two rounds.
Afanasyev is fired up for his return to the Austrian track and is confident that he will be able to storm ahead of his rivals and onwards to a top result. With a great race one at Imola under his belt but no chance to follow it up after some bad luck on the grid in race two, Afanasyev is now even more determined to build on the form that was seen in the last round. The Russian driver is at the top of his game and will be fighting to claw back some positions in the championship with a load of points.
The pursuit of the 2016 TCR International Series title would not be possible without the support of LUKOIL, Gravity, Orangebus, Tunewear, freem and Team Dynamics.
Timetable – Local Time (GMT +2)
Saturday, 4th of June
10.00 - 10.30: 30' TCR International Series Free Practice 1
12.00 - 12.30: 30' TCR International Series Free Practice 2
15.00 - 15.20: 20' TCR International Series Qualifying (Q1)
15.25 - 15.35: 10' TCR International Series Qualifying (Q2)
Sunday, 5th of June
12.35 - 13.05: 30' TCR International Series Race 1 (15 Laps -Standing Start)
14.05 - 14.35: 30' TCR International Series Race 2 (15 Laps -Standing Start)
Races will be available to stream live at www.tcr-series.tv
James Nash, #54 Driver
“After such a poor round in Imola with engine problems from the start of the weekend, I'm looking forward to putting it behind me and getting back out on track. We missed out on big points for the drivers’ and teams’ championship and we can't let this happen again.”
Pepe Oriola, #74 Driver
“It is going to be difficult as the current weather forecast says there is a lot of rain coming. I am confident though because I have a lot of experience at this circuit in the rain. It is where I took 2nd in the ETCC championship under very adverse weather conditions, so hopefully this weekend I can manage the 20kg ballast and get a lot of points for my championship.“
Sergey Afanasyev, #77 Driver
“It is good to be returning to a circuit that we have raced at last year and I believe this will be a good experience. After the issues at the previous races and losing so many available points, my main target is to collect enough points and gain back what I lost. So let’s keep on pushing, I believe all the guys will do another great job.”
Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing
“The Salzburgring in Austria holds a special place in the company’s heart as it was the first win at a world championship event. We are more confident here than we were in Imola and we hope to get Nash’s championship back on track and score some heavy team points this weekend.”