Dominant victory for Kantadhee Kusiri in Korea race one

Dominant victory for Kantadhee Kusiri in Korea race one

Kantadhee Kusiri
Photo: TCR Asia

Kantadhee Kusiri took a dominant victory in the opening TCR Asia race at the Korea International Circuit, with the returning champion taking the win ahead of Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Luca Engstler in the rain.

At the start it was the Volkswagen Golf of Engstler who took the lead, despite contact from Chariya Nuya’s Honda sending him into a slide through the first corner.

Engstler’s title rivals Lo Sze Ho and Mitchell Cheah also followed past on the run up to Turn 2, with Kusiri forced down into fourth for the first lap.

Engstler had to withstand heavy pressure from his Malaysian team-mate during the first lap, but it did not last long as Cheah spun out of second on the following tour, giving the German breathing space at the front.

Kusiri took advantage of the spin to move into second past Lo, and by lap four had caught Engstler, before making his move for the lead on the same lap.

Thereafter Thai racer Kusiri was able to simply scamper off into the lead, eventually taking victory by a comfortable margin of over ten seconds.

Engstler took second, and maximum TCR Asia points as Kusiri is registered as a guest entry, ahead of the leading TCR Korea driver of Andrew Kim in third, who had got his Volkswagen Golf into the podium position early on in the race.

Teamwork BrandNew Racing’s Alex Hiu was fourth in his Volkswagen, ahead of Elegant Racing duo Kelvin Wong and Alex Liu in fifth and sixth respectively.

Title challenger Lo retired from the race after ten laps when he slowed with technical troubles on his Maximum Racing Honda Civic.

Victory in the TCR Asia ranking for Engstler gives him a four-point lead in the series over team-mate Cheah, who finished a lap down after making an unscheduled pit stop as rain came down harder later in the race.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 1 Kantadhee KUSIRI Viper Niza Racing SEAT León TCR 14 35:07.922 2:22.227 1
2 8 Luca ENGSTLER Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 10.367 2:23.645 2
3 20 Andrew KIM BrandNew Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 37.821 2:24.853 7
4 11 Alex HUI Ka Tai Teamwork BrandNew Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 1:03.550 2:25.914 18
5 33 Kelvin WONG Kiang Kuan Elegant Racing Team SEAT León TCR SEQ V2 14 1:04.956 2:26.039 6
6 3 Alex LIU Lic Ka Elegant Racing Team SEAT León TCR SEQ V2 14 1:06.447 2:24.942 8
7 101 KIM Byoung Hyun DreamRacer Racing Team Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 14 1:09.996 2:26.583 13
8 66 Nattachak HANJITKASEM TBN MK ihear Racing Team Honda Civic TCR 2017 14 1:19.246 2:27.725 14
9 97 CHO Hoon Hyun Indigo Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 14 1:37.166 2:28.170 12
10 87 Charlie KANG Byung Hui Indigo Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 14 1:43.126 2:28.033 10
11 16 LEE Do Hyeon E-Rain Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 14 1:48.322 2:29.298 16
12 15 Chariya NUYA Billionaire Boy Racing (BBR) Honda Civic TCR 2017 14 2:18.452 2:30.834 4
13 65 Douglas KHOO Kok Hui Viper Niza Racing SEAT León TCR SEQ V3 14 2:25.394 2:31.626 15
14 29 Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 13 + 1 LAP 2:24.352 3
R 28 LO Sze Ho Maximum Racing Honda Civic TCR 2016 10 DNF 2:24.446 9
R 32 Diego MORAN Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 10 DNF 2:23.791 11
R 103 KANG DongWoo KMSA Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 4 DNF 2:28.321 10
NS 5 Clement TONG Yat Him Maximum Racing Honda Civic TCR 2017 DNS N/A 17