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Charles Ng pleased with progress so far

Liqui Moly Team Engstler driver Charles Kaki Ng is keeping his expectations in check for Sunday after qualifying in 19th for tomorrow’s races.

Hong Kong driver Ng made his début in the World Touring Car Championship at the end of 2011 when he contested races in Japan, China and Macau. For 2012 the former Drift ace will be contesting a full season of the WTCC with the German-based team and Ng, who has never raced in Europe before, is expecting a challenging start to the year.

“The most important thing was that I really started to get up to speed during the first practice,” said Ng to TouringCars.Net. “Honestly we haven’t had much testing during the off season, so I did most of the testing last Thursday and we were trying different setups. I was learning the track and working with the engineer to make the car more driveable for myself. So the setup was off in the beginning and then we got down to the point where I felt comfortable with driving the car.”

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Ng’s lap times have proved testament to this – since testing on Thursday he has improved his lap times by 2.5 seconds. Poleman Tarquini, in comparison has improved by just one second.

“During practice I knocked off one second in each session and during qualifying I knocked off another second so that now I’m in the 1:59 range,” added Ng. “I would say I’m quite satisfied with the result but I know there’s more time in myself and the car – maybe half to one second – so I think I can do it tomorrow. But we just need to see how things go because in the race luck is a huge factor and hopefully I make it through the first corner.

“I haven’t done any European circuits so this year will be a steep learning curve but I’m ready for the challenge – that’s what I’m here for!

Former investment banker Ng has also made a significant commitment to his team, including moving to Germany.

“For the first half of the season I now stay with the team in Germany so I get to work with the engineers and mechanics and hopefully do more testing in Germany between rounds. I like it a lot, it’s colder, but it’s a good start for the season – the people are nice so I like it.”

Ng is keeping his expectations realistic for the first race of the season, adding: “I would say first of all to finish the race but also to climb three or four positions would be my goal for tomorrow.”

Ng is also looking forward to getting used to his team and car during the first half of the season so that by the time the series heads to Asia he is ready to challenge for higher positions. “I’m hoping that by the Chinese round this year I am going to be in the top ten consistently or at least to get on the podium for the independent trophy- that’s my ultimate goal.”

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