Josh Files won the second race of the TCR Middle East Series in Bahrain to claim the inaugural title in the finale after rocketing his Lap57 Honda Civic into the lead from fifth on the grid.
The reigning TCR Germany champion made an astounding start and took the lead on the first lap as Davit Kajaia tried to hold on to second place in his Alfa Romeo Guilietta.
As Files romped away the Georgian Kajaia came under intense pressure from the two Engstler Motorsport Volkswagon Golfs of championship contenders Brandon Gdovic and Luca Engstler, with the third Golf of Giacomo Altoe holding station.
Engstler’s title push finished on lap four as a technical problem forced him to stop and caused a safety car.
When the race restarted it was clear Kajaia had problems, with Gdovic passing for second and Altoe following his teammates lead by passing the little Alfa a lap later.
The sixteen year old Italian would then set about closing in on his American stablemate as he looks to build on experience before his International Series debut, but could not make a move.
Kajaia’s problems were compounded when he was forced to retire just five laps from the end, leaving Files to take the flag and the championship ahead Gdovic and Altoe.