Team Mulsanne’s Ma Qing Hua says he is ready for his home round of the FIA World Touring Car Cup in China this weekend, where the Alfa Romeo driver will be gunning for victory on the Ningbo circuit.
Ma has already taken a victory in the current season, when he won at the Slovakiaring in May, and he also stood on the podium at the most recent event in Portugal, where he finished second over two months’ ago.
The Chinese driver is now focussed on a strong result at his home circuit, as he returns to the venue where he made his WTCR début last year.
“I am ready; there has been a lot of waiting but I’ve been keeping sharp, keeping training for two months,” said Ma. “Now the weekend is coming, it’s a short time in front but I am really excited and really looking forward to my home race.”
“It’s a very challenging circuit and everybody is quite close. We are in a good shape with our car, very comfortable and I’m really confident.
“It’s a difficult circuit with a lot of direction changes. It’s not high-speed but there are a lot of technical corners.
“Regarding the car set-up it’s going to be a lot of lose and gain and you have to balance in between. This presents the biggest headache for everyone, but for me I am comfortable and looking forward to drive my Alfa Romeo on this track.”
Ma believes that the Asian rounds of the championship present a very different challenge to the European events at the start of the year, and that he doesn’t feel any additional pressure about racing in front of a home crowd.
“In the first half of the season we found a lot of improvement in the car and I am building up my confidence with the team and my crew,” said Ma, who is currently 14th overall in the drivers’ standings. “The Asia season will be the next step for us to keep fighting in this championship, to keep positive.
“By regulation we cannot change the equipment, but we did some improvement of the set-up side but also some small things to my personal cockpit equipment, some little change to make me more comfortable.
“The Asian rounds are very specific, and we need to wait for the Chinese race to see if our new set-up is working. But we are very positive from the last race in Portugal where we had another podium.
“I am quite relaxed. When I am in a good position in a race, I try to enjoy the race, I am not trying to think of the pressure, the spectators, being in China for my home race.
“I am trying to enjoy, to fight, and just focusing on the pure racing, not thinking of too much.”