The battle for the second season TCR International Series title will be decided on Macau’s street circuit.
Two pairs of teammates – James Nash and Pepe Oriola of Craft-Bamboo Lukoil, and Stefano Comini and Jean-Karl Vernay of Leopard Racing – will face off in a four-way “tango” on the way to the championship finale.
SEAT’s Nash goes into the last two rounds of the season with a lead of 17 points over last year’s champion, Comini.
In third and fourth, with 16 points of difference between them are Oriola and Vernay the latter of whom is 39 points off the lead. Both Oriola and Vernay know that the title will probably escape them this year, and so both will likely be tasked with helping their teammates try to secure the title.
But mathematic possibilities are not real possibilities, and in a circuit like Macau where a small race event might result in a serious complication, it is expected that Oriola and Vernay think that they are not out of the fight yet, and they will be waiting for the right opportunity to prove it.
Comini sees a big task ahead of him, as the current championship leader Nash will be the only driver carrying “Success Ballast” during the Macau events.
Nash will see 30 extra kilos added to his SEAT León as he emerged as scored the best in the previous race meeting held in Sepang, Malaysia.
Nash’s SEAT will weigh 1345 kg, against the 1315 kg of the Honda Civic and other SEAT cars, while the Volkswagen Golf cars weigh only 1285 kg.
Last year, Comini was crowned the first ever TCR champion in a thrilling final round during which plenty of action was seen both on the track and in the pits.
As on previous occasions, the Season finale will attract guest drivers. This time Portugal’s Tiago Monteiro will leave his other Civic (WTCC) to be in the third WestCoast Racing Honda while British driver Josh Files will bring to Macau the Target Competition Honda with which he won this year’s TCR Germany title.
TCR cars are set to hit the Guia Circuit this morning (November 17) for a 30-minute free practice session.
A second practice session will follow tomorrow, while the qualifying session will run on the morning of Saturday with a Q1 session of 25 minutes followed by a Q2 session of 15 more minutes (reserved for the 12 fastest during the Q1).
The two back-to-back races will take place on Sunday morning with the finishing order of Race 1 determining the grid for Race 2. The prize will be the 50 points that will determine the 2016 Season King.