Maximum Racing’s Lo Sze Ho took a convincing victory in the second TCR Asia / TCR Thailand race on the streets of Bangsaen in Thailand, with Liqui Moly Team Engstler team mates Diego Moran and Mitchell Cheah completing the podium.
At the start of the race, reverse grid pole sitter Kelvin Wong got off to a poor start as he stalled his SEAT, allowing team mate Alex Liu Lic Ka to lead.
However Lo also got a strong start from fourth on the grid and a few corners later moved into third, as Cheah put pressure on Liu at the front. Cheah then made a move for the lead at the last corner of the lap, but light contact saw Liu knocked into the tyres on the exit of the corner, dropping the Elegant Racing driver to the tail of the top ten.
Cheah then lead the field for a number of laps, with Lo looking aggressive behind the Volkswagen, even trying the outside line on lap three.
Lo then lost second to a hard charging Luca Engstler on lap three, but just two laps later the German seemingly outbraked himself and went straight on into the tyres and out of the race.
Later around the same lap, Lo got by Cheah for the lead at the final corner, and immediately began to open up a comfortable lead with the pace he had been unable to demonstrate in the pack.
Lap 11 required a safety car intervention when Vattana Motorsport’s Pattarapol Vongprai hit Alphafactory Racing’s Chakraphan Davee at Turn 2, taking the former out of the race and requiring his Honda to be rescued.
When the race resumed no one had an answer for Lo, who had a lead of almost eight seconds before the safety car, and the Hong Kong racer secured his first TCR Asia win.
Ecuadorian racer Moran was second, having got past Cheah us the before the safety car, leaving Cheah to complete the podium.
Davee was fourth and the best of the TCR Thailand drivers, ahead of Kelvin Wong in sixth. Nattanid Leewattanavaragul could have taken sixth, and second in TCR Thailand, but she spun out behind the safety car, although whether she had assistance was not clear.
In the end, Liu failed to finish the race after crashing out and damaging his front left wheel on lap six.
The result means Cheah moves back to the top of the championship standings with 100 points, with Lo now in second on 97. Engstler’s retirement cost him dear and the German is now third on 88 points.
TCR Asia resumes in South Korea on 25 – 26 August.
|1||28||LO Sze Ho||Maximum Racing||Honda Civic TCR 2016||15||30:40.260||1:44.551||8|
|2||32||Diego MORAN||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||15||2.673||1:45.988||5|
|3||29||Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||15||5.513||1:46.041||3|
|4||133||Jakraphan DAVEE||Alphafactory Racing Team by Pulzar||SEAT León TCR DSG V3||15||10.193||1:46.273||4|
|5||33||Kelvin WONG Kiang Kuan||Elegant Racing Team||SEAT León TCR SEQ V2||15||12.976||1:46.514||1|
|6||66||Nattachak HANJITKASEM||TBN MK ihear Racing Team||Honda Civic TCR 2017||15||13.348||1:47.827||10|
|7||96||Nattanid LEEWATTANAVARAGUL||Morin Racing Team by Sunoco||SEAT León TCR DSG V3||15||32.711||1:45.409||7|
|8||65||Douglas KHOO Kok Hui||Viper Niza Racing||SEAT León TCR SEQ V3||15||33.283||1:51.269||11|
|9||15||Chariya NUYA||Billionaire Boy Racing (BBR)||Honda Civic TCR 2017||11||54.489||1:47.103||12|
|R||59||Pattarapol VONGPRAI||Vattana Motorsport||Honda Civic TCR 2017||10||DNF||1:46.059||6|
|R||3||Alex LIU Lic Ka||Elegant Racing Team||SEAT León TCR SEQ V2||5||DNF||1:46.157||2|
|R||8||Luca ENGSTLER||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||4||DNF||1:46.048||9|
|NS||22||Ivan SZETO Wing Shun||Maximum Racing||Honda Civic TCR 2016||–||DNS||N/A||13|