Rafael LOBATO wins at the AUDI RS3 LMS debut
Rafael Lobato, at the wheel of the Audi RS3 LMS TCR sponsored by Ascendi, Crédito Agrícola, Ikimobile, Fibran XPS, Susazub, Renort, Murganheira, Tomeifel, Glassdrive, Clínica Beco com Saída, Anabela Alves Cabeleireiros, Fornima and Minfo, won Estoril Racing Weekend's first race for the TCR Portugal and TCR Iberian championships.
Scheduled for the Qualifying first session, Lobato was at top level. Despite some issues and aborting his best lap because of a small error, he managed to be second fastest only a mere 0,052s from pole position.
The driver coming from Vila Real got the first victory for Veloso Motorsport's Audi RS3 LMS after a race where he showed all his talent. Starting from first row kept second position for a few laps when he attacked the lider with an antology move at Turn 4.
Keeping a steady pace to preserve his tires Lobato felt the opponents aproach but a couple of fast laps where enough to control the lead and finish the race in the podium's highest place.
Rafael Lobato – “The race turned out to be easier than antecipated because after getting in the lead I benefited from the fight behind me for second place. I managed to get a good lead that I only had to defend for a couple of laps, and that was more than enough to control the race. I'm very happy for this season's first victory and for the championship lead.”
Leading both TCR Portugal and TCR Iberian competitions, Rafael Lobato was now dependent on the outcome of his team mate's race next day.
Returning to Touring Cars competitions this season, Patrick Cunha had an unfortunate race with the driver having to retire after a collision. The damage to the car's front left suspension where too extensive to allow him returning to the track.
Next round will be held from June, 10 to 11 at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimão.