Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil’s Gordon Shedden led an Audi 1-2-3 in the final World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) race in Wuhan, taking his first win in the series ahead of Comtoyou Racing duo Frédéric Vervisch and Denis Dupont.
Shedden, who had to have his steering rack changed after damage picked up in race two, took a lights-to-flag win in a twice safety car interrupted race on the Chinese street circuit, sustaining pressure from Dupont and latterly Vervisch in the race which ended in twilight conditions.
At the start Shedden saved a slide through Turns 1 and 2 after being tagged by Dupont, who attempted to pass the Scot at the first corner.
Further back Shedden’s team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay made contact with the Peugeot of Aurélien Comte at Turn 6, which pitched the DG Sport driver into the barriers on the exit of the corner. That then caused a chain reaction which also eliminated Comte’s team-mate Mat’o Homola, the Volkswagen of Rob Huff, the Honda of Timo Scheider and the CUPRA of Zsolt Szabó and also brought about a seven-lap safety car stoppage.
When the racing resumed on lap nine Dupont was pressuring Shedden for the lead and two laps later the young Belgian attempted a pass at the chicane, but a mis-judgement meant he clobbered the tyres and knocked into Shedden, although both were able to continue, with Dupont losing a place to Vervisch in the process.
The incident also dislodged the tyre stack and necessitated another three-lap safety car pause as the errant rubber was repositioned.
With damage to his car, Shedden then hold on to take a first WTCR win, ahead of Vervisch and Dupont, making the Scot the 13th different race winner this year.
Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri held on to take fourth, despite sustaining hard pressure from the Comtoyou Racing’s Nathanaël Berthon late in the race, and the Argentine also having to contend with his exhaust hanging off his Honda.
Guerrieri had earlier made his way into second at the start, but he was instructed to give positions back to Dupont and Vervisch after cutting the chicane in avoiding action.
Campos Racing’s Pepe Oriola was sixth, having been passed by Berthon’s Audi on lap 18 at the first corner, ahead of the Honda of Boutsen Ginion Racing’s Ma Qing Hua in seventh.
Team Mulsanne’s Kevin Ceccon took eighth to score his third top ten finish of the season in his Alfa Romeo, whilst race two winner Mehdi Bennani and YMR’s Thed Björk completed the top ten.
Björk was in fact the only Hyundai driver to score a point in the race, and only the second all weekend.
Championship leader Gabriele Tarquini remains at the helm of the standings with a seven point lead over Björk, despite the Italian taking no points away from his Wuhan weekend.
Having been adjudged to have been at fault in the first lap incident with Comte, Vernay was handed a drive-through penalty and could only finish in 15th position.
Campos Racing’s John Filippi failed to start the race due to the damage his CUPRA sustained when he hit Björk in the second race.
The series resumes at Suzuka in Japan on the 26 – 28 October.
|1||52||Gordon SHEDDEN||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||23||40:35.882||1:24.091||1|
|2||22||Frédéric VERVISCH||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS||23||0.558||1:23.990||2|
|3||20||Denis DUPONT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||23||5.018||1:24.072||3|
|4||86||Esteban GUERRIERI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||23||8.475||1:24.444||5|
|5||23||Nathanaël BERTHON||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||23||8.813||1:24.266||6|
|6||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Oscaro by Campos Racing||CUPRA TCR||23||9.827||1:24.776||7|
|7||55||MA Qing Hua||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||23||11.047||1:24.927||9|
|8||31||Kevin CECCON||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||23||11.296||1:24.975||12|
|9||25||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||23||12.304||1:24.963||10|
|10||11||Thed BJÖRK||YMR||Hyundai i30 N TCR||23||13.905||1:25.024||14|
|11||21||Aurélien PANIS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||23||14.627||1:25.051||11|
|12||68||Yann EHRLACHER||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||23||15.402||1:24.773||21|
|13||30||Gabriele TARQUINI||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||23||15.928||1:24.860||16|
|14||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||23||21.125||1:25.088||22|
|15||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||23||24.642||1:24.071||4|
|16||8||Norbert NAGY||Zengő Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||23||29.783||1:25.251||23|
|17||9||Tom CORONEL||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||18||+ 5 LAPS||1:25.583||24|
|R||48||Yvan MULLER||YMR||Hyundai i30 N TCR||14||DNF||1:25.914||15|
|R||88||Fabrizio GIOVANARDI||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||14||DNF||1:25.462||25|
|R||42||Timo SCHEIDER||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||1||DNF||N/A||18|
|R||66||Zsolt Dávid SZABÓ||Zengő Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||1||DNF||N/A||19|
|R||7||Aurélien COMTE||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||0||DNF||N/A||8|
|R||12||Rob HUFF||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||0||DNF||N/A||13|
|R||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||0||DNF||N/A||20|
|NS||27||John FILIPPI||Team Oscaro by Campos Racing||CUPRA TCR||–||DNS||N/A||17|