Hong Kong racer Jasper Thong secured the first-ever victory for the Audi RS3 LMS in any TCR series worldwide in the first TCR Asia Series race in Zhuhai, beating the Volkswagen Golf of Kantadhee Kusiri.
Phoenix Racing Asia’s Thong led the race from lights-to-flag to take the win ahead of Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Kusiri in the 14-lap race.
Kusiri did his best to keep the pressure on the 17-year-old at the front however, with the Thai racer ultimately finishing just over a tenth behind.
Huang Chu Han made it two Audis on the podium by finishing in third in his Tianshi Racing RS3, ahead of championship leader Diego Moran in fourth.
Tin Sritrai, who has this weekend switched back to Honda machinery after contesting the season opener in a Volkswagen, finished in fifth and added a healthy points haul to his championship challenge.
After the race, Thong was delighted to have made his mark in history by claiming the first Audi RS3 win in TCR globally.
“I’m really happy to be able to represent Audi Hong Kong and take the stunning new Audi RS3 LMS TCR to it’s first ever victory in TCR,” said Thong. “I can’t thank Marchy [Lee, Phoenix Racing Asia Team Principal], Rene [Koneberg], my parents, the team and all my supporters enough for giving me this incredible opportunity.
“Marchy was incredible, he’s such a great mentor and he was able to give me very wise counsel on what I should do which allowed me to just focus on the job at hand.”
Three drivers failed to finish the race, including the high-profile third Phoenix Racing Asia car of Alex Fong, who spun out on cold tyres at the first corner of the first lap.
Tong Siu Ka also retired after two laps when contact which occurred on the opening lap caused him to spin into the gravel just two laps later.
Race one result
|1||5||Jasper THONG||Audi Hong Kong||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||14||24:56.663||1:45.613||1|
|2||2||Kantadhee KUSIRI||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||14||0.145||1:45.676||4|
|3||66||HUANG Chu Han||Tianshi Racing Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||14||2.595||1:45.293||5|
|4||32||Diego MORAN||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||14||9.187||1:46.104||10|
|5||9||Tin SRITRAI||Team Thailand||Honda Civic TCR||14||15.589||1:45.151||6|
|6||23||Abdul KAATHIR||R Engineering||Honda Civic TCR||14||15.973||1:46.656||8|
|7||26||Filipe Clemente DE SOUZA||Macau David Racing Team||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||14||25.341||1:45.893||7|
|8||39||LAI Wee Sing||R Engineering||Honda Civic TCR||14||37.725||1:46.535||2|
|9||99||Alex LIU Lic Ka||Elegant Racing Team||SEAT León TCR||14||45.353||1:47.513||9|
|10||98||Eric K||Elegant Racing Team||SEAT León TCR||14||54.409||1:48.349||14|
|11||65||Douglas KHOO Kok Hui||Viper Niza Racing||SEAT León TCR||13||+ 1 LAP||1:47.223||11|
|R||88||David CHEN Wei An||Tianshi Racing Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||5||DNF||1:45.325||3|
|R||8||TONG Siu Kau||Phoenix Racing Asia||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||2||DNF||1:59.854||12|
|R||6||Alex FONG Lik Sun||Audi Hong Kong||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||0||DNF||N/A||13|