The front four cars in Super Touring 5 were all within sight of one another and battling back and forth all race long. It was as tight as racing gets. Eric Waddell managed to keep Thai Diep and Cagri Yilmaz behind him for the whole race.
“Man that was hard work. That was hard work,” Waddell said. “They did not give me one second to rest. Never did I get a nice lead.”
For most of the race, Yilmaz and Diep hounded Waddell, who won a championship in 2012 at Mid-Ohio. There was a bit of argy-bargy and Yilmaz dropped back a few spots, leaving Diep in second. Yilmaz ended up finishing third.
When the double-yellows came out on lap 14, the field bunched up again behind the pace car. When the race restarted, Waddell held on for the win and kept Thai Diep one place behind him. Diep finished in second in the only Mazda RX-8 in the ST5 field.
“Yeah, I was trying to pace myself, you know, just a hang back and stay clean and then, you know, at the end they tried to rush through the traffic there. But you know, there was a, an incident that happened in the Keyhole,” Diep said. “I managed to get around all those guys, but I lost a couple of spots, too. And then the white flag came out. I was like, ‘Oh, crap. Now, I don’t have that much time to rush through the traffic again.’ But I did manage to get up to second place.”
Cagri Yilmaz was involved in an incident later in the race, but he hung on to take third place.