Comtoyou Racing stablemates, Nathanael Berthon and Denis Dupont, were running side-by-side through the first sequence of corners in the battle for third place. However, Dupont’s car made contact with the rear of Berthon’s as the Frenchman turned right for the second corner, causing it to slide sideways. Miraculously, Berthon managed to avoid the wall and only lost a small number of positions. Dupont was in fact the driver who was most inconvenienced by the tussle, but importantly both cars survived.
A few laps in, the safety car would eventually be deployed though. At the tail end of the field, Tom Coronelcarried way too much speed into turn one and ended up tagging the rear of Fabrizio Giovanardi‘s Alfa Romeo. With only three wheels on his wagon, Giovanardi could do nothing to remove his stricken car from the circuit, and so the recovery team had to get to work.
The race got back underway shortly, and the battle for third was beginning to heat up. Clearly faster,Gordon Shedden was doing his best to fashion a way past the Honda of Yann Ehrlacher, but instead left himself vulnerable to attack from Frederic Vervisch. The Belgian was also unable to get an overtake done, however, and so Shedden’s attention would return to Ehrlacher’s Honda.
Just behind, Nathanael Berthon would attempt to pass Vervisch, but in doing so ran wide at turn one. This allowed the trio of Aurelien Comte, Kevin Ceccon and Esteban Guerrieri to all sneak past the Audi.
Shedden would finally get the overtake on Ehrlacher completed at the beginning of lap twelve. A neat and tidy manoeuvre on the inside line into turn one would promote the Scotsman up into third place.
Outside the top ten, Rob Huff and Mehdi Bennani were continuing their multi-event, inter-team rivalry. The pair have often tripped over each other throughout the season, and this race was no exception. On this occasion, the battling team-mates lost out to both Ma Qing Hua and Thed Bjork.
But out in front, Jean-Karl Vernay took a comfortable lights-to-flag victory. Gordon Shedden closed in on the Cupra of Pepe Oriola, but couldn’t pass the Spaniard in time. Nonetheless, this would be Shedden’s first ever podium result in WTCR, so was well worth celebrating.
Other notable performances include that of Aurelien Comte and Kevin Ceccon. Piloting the Peugeot and Alfa Romeo respectively, the duo did well to secure fifth and sixth position in cars that have been seen as underdogs throughout the year.
Source: Touring Car Times