Andy Priaulx was relieved to finally claim his maiden FIA World Touring Car Cup win in the final race in Macau, with the Guernseyman also making his first visit to the podium in the series.
Priaulx, starting alongside Rob Huff on the front row of the grid, got the jump on the SLR driver when the lights went out to lead before Turn 1, and the Lynk & Co driver was never significantly challenged for the lead thereafter.
Whilst Huff was able to keep close to the Cyan Racing driver, the straightline speed advantage of the Lynk & Co through the first sector proved to be enough to allow Priaulx to stay out in front and take the win.
It marks Priaulx’s first win in front-wheel drive machinery since he took victory in the BTCC at Knockhill in 2002, whilst also being his first in Macau since 2007.
“I’m really pleased to get that one out of the way,” said Priaulx. “I had Rob behind me all the way and that guy is pretty special around here, so I was working hard the whole race.
“But I’m delighted to win my first race of the year. I had a big disappointment in Ningbo, led for nearly the whole race and lost in the last two laps, but anyway…
“Thanks to everybody and to the team for supporting me. It’s nice to get it. It’s a tough championship and I’m really happy to have manage to win a race.”
Priaulx was pleased not to have to yield to team orders, which Cyan Racing employed throughout the weekend, with the 45-year-old having had to cede position to Thed Björk in race one.
“There’s always a concern [of team orders], but I’m just very proud that the team supported me. Christian [Dahl, Cyan Racing Team Principal] is a racer and he wants to be number one. That’s what he wants most of all.
“To be leading here was special, with Rob pushing me all the way and JK [Vernay] just behind, so I had to push like hell, and I didn’t think of anything else.”