Aleksey Dudukalo drove his Lukoil Racing Audi RS 3 LMS to victory in Race 2 at Nizhniy Novgorod’s NRing, taking a lights-to-flag victory ahead of the reigning TCR Russia champion Dmitry Bragin in a Hyundai i30 N.

Dudukalo made a great start and led from Lev Tolkachev’s CUPRA going into Turn 1, but there was contact between the LADA of Kirill Ladygin and Ibragim Akhmadov’s Volkswagen Golf GTI that saw Akhmadov forced to retire despite limping back to the pits while Ladygin managed to recover and finish 15th after a pit stop for repairs.

Bragin, who had started from fifth on the grid, passed Tolkachev on Lap 1 and set off in pursuit of Dudukalo. Lap 2 then saw contact between Klim Gavrilov and Andrey Maslennikov while the pair was batting for seventh position. Maslennikov dropped outside the top ten as a result of the incident, but steadily worked his way back into tenth place on Lap 5, while Ivan Lukashevich passed Mikhail Mityaev for fifth place on the same lap. Mityaev’s challenge then began to fade, with the CUPRA losing places to Ivan Chubarov and Grigoriy Burlutskiy on Lap 6 and Mikhail Grachev and the recovering Maslennikov on the following lap.

While the leading trio had opened up comfortable gaps, there was a six-car train contesting fourth to ninth positions. There were also some great battles outside the top ten, with Marat Sharapov and Anton Badoev fighting for twelfth and Pavel Yashin and Pavel Kalmanovich scrapping for fourteenth.

There then followed several fairly processional laps until Timur Shigabutdinov and Chubarov made contact at the start of Lap 15, following an ill-judged dive by Chubarov up the inside of Lukashevich. The incident brought out the safety car for two laps while Chubarov’s car was recovered, with Shigabutdinov managing to limp back to the pits where he retired.

Following the restart, Burlutskiy passed Lukashevich for fourth place and Minnakhmetov snatched eighth position from Mityaev. That’s how things remained until Lap 20, when Maslennikov made contact with Grachev at Turn 2 while the pair was fighting for sixth. Grachev’s LADA ended in the barriers and the safety car was called into action once again. Grachev’s car couldn’t be recovered in time and so the race finished behind the safety car, with Dudukalo taking the victory from Bragin, with Tolkachev completing the podium.

Bragin has re-taken the championship lead, four points over Dudukalo, while Ladygin dropped from first to third, nine points behind.

The next round of TCR Russia will take place at the Smolensk Ring, 22/23 June.

Race 2

1. Aleksey Dudukalo (Lukoil Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS), 22 laps

2. Dmitry Bragin (TAIF Motorsport, Hyundai i30 N), 0.367

3. Lev Tolkachev (RUMOS Racing, CUPRA), 2.158

4. Grigory Burlutskiy (Carville Racing, Volkswagen Golf GTI), 2.968

5. Ivan Lukashevich (Lukoil Racing, Hyundai i30 N), 3.130


Championship points

1. Bragin 67 pts; 2. Dudukalo 63; 3. Ladygin 56