Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Kantadhee Kusiri claimed a dominant win in race one of the joint TCR Asia and TCR China Series races in Shanghai, ahead of team-mate Diego Moran and NewFaster’s Huang Chu Han.
At the start it was pole-man Kusiri’s fellow front-row starter, Andy Yan, who got off to the best start, with the Audi driver leading into Turn 1.
Further back, Elegant Racing’s Eric Kwong made a mistake under braking and crashed into TCR China racer Deng Bao Wei, putting both drivers out of the race on the spot.
Further around Turn 1 there was also contact between TCR Asia title contenders Lai Wee Sing and Jasper Thong, who spun in front of the rest of the pack.
Thong was able to continue in the race, albeit down the order, whilst Lai was forced to limp back to the pits with a damaged front-right wheel, although he was able to later rejoin.
At the front, Kusiri kept up the pressure on early leader Yan, before mounting a move on lap three at Turns 12 and 13. The Thai racer performed a well-calculated switchback to complete the pass going down the back straight.
Kusiri was then unchallenged to be able to open up a 12.6 second lead by the end of the race to take his second win of the season and move back into title contention, after suffering a dismal weekend last time out at his home event.
Ecuador’s Moran completed a perfect result for Engstler Motorsport by taking second, with a similar move to Kusiri on Yan half-way through the race.
Huang Chu Han, making his second appearance in a TCR Asia race this year but this time being classified as a TCR China entrant, finished in third, having passed ailing team-mate Yan on lap eight.
Tin Sritrai finished in fourth after passing Yan on the final lap and with it moves to the top of the championship standings, taking over from Lai at the top of the table.
Yan himself was able to limp home in fifth, ahead of fellow TCR China racers Sunny Wong and Samuel Hsieh in seventh and eighth respectively.
The second TCR Asia / TCR China race takes place at 10:30 local time (03:30 BST, 04:30 CEST) on Sunday.
Race result (* denotes TCR China entrant)
|1||2||Kantadhee KUSIRI||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||10 LAPS||TBC||1|
|2||32||Diego MORAN||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||12.658||TBC||4|
|3||81||HUANG Chu Han*||NewFaster||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||16.005||TBC||15|
|4||9||Tin SRITRAI||Team Thailand||Honda Civic TCR||10||24.209||TBC||5|
|5||82||Andy YAN Cheuk Wai*||NewFaster||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||25.111||TBC||2|
|6||62||Sunny WONG / Alex FUNG*||Teamwork Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||28.399||TBC||6|
|7||26||Samuel HSIEH / Filipe de SOUZA*||Teamwork Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||30.329||TBC||8|
|8||991||WONG Kiang Kuan||Elegant Racing Team||SEAT León TCR||10||37.063||TBC||14|
|9||23||Abdul KAATHIR Mohamed Mustaffa||R Engineering||Honda Civic TCR||10||43.590||TBC||20|
|10||21||WANG Hao / LIN Li Feng*||NewFaster||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||44.831||TBC||9|
|11||791||Qi Pei Wen / ZHOU Hao Wen*||AVM Racing||SEAT León TCR||10||48.725||TBC||17|
|12||58||HE Xiao Le / LU Chuan*||HE Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||56.880||TBC||16|
|13||5||Jasper THONG Wei Heen||Audi Hong Kong||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||1:01.050||TBC||10|
|14||65||Douglas KHOO Kok Hui||Viper Niza Racing||SEAT León TCR||10||1:14.473||TBC||11|
|15||77||HU Hao*||LEO109 Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||1:44.545||TBC||19|
|NC||39||LAI Wee Sing||R Engineering||Honda Civic TCR||8||NCF||TBC||13|
|R||66||BAI Ya Xin / CAI Hong Yu*||TrackFun-Linky Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||2||DNF||TBC||7|
|R||31||Alex HUI / MA Qing Hua*||Teamwork Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||2||DNF||TBC||3|
|R||9||DENG Bao Wei / Li LIN*||LEO109 Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||0||DNF||TBC||18|
|R||98||Eric KWONG||Elegant Racing Team||SEAT León TCR DSG||0||DNF||TBC||12|