Teamwork Motorsport’s Jason Zhang took victory in another rain-affected TCR Asia / China race at Shanghai, with MG’s Rodolfo Avila and Teamwork team-mate Ma Qing Hua completing the podium.
As the lights went out, on a damp circuit under dark grey skies, front-row starter Samuel Qiu stalled his Volkswagen Golf, forcing several drivers to take evasive action, as reverse-grid pole-sitter Jason Zhang Zhi Qiang made a clean getaway.
Liu Zi Chen held second at the start, just ahead of the Teamwork Motorsport Lynk & Co of Sunny Wong, who had moved from seventh on the grid to third by the first corner.
MG’s Zhang Zhendong claimed third from Wong at Turn 7 on the opening lap, as further back Saturday’s race winner Ma Qing Hua was up to seventh by halfway around the opening tour.
Zhang Zhendong then passed Liu for second as the field started the second lap, with the rain beginning to intensify at the Shanghai circuit, with Jason Zhang at this stage holding a lead of several seconds.
Wong took third from Liu at Turn 6 on the second lap, with MG’s Rodolfo Avila following through, but at this stage the rain was becoming torrential in places.
Ma, meanwhile, had worked his way up to fourth at this point and went around the outside of Avila for fourth at Turn 1 on lap three, although Avila reclaimed the place at Turn 9 later in the lap.
In by now torrential conditions, Wong then aquaplaned into Zhang Zhendong at the Turn 14 hairpin on lap three, taking both out of the race and bringing out a lengthy safety car intervention.
Yifan Wu also aquaplaned his Audi off at the end of the third lap.
After four laps behind the safety car, racing resumed on lap eight for a three-lap dash to the finish, with Jason Zhang leading Avila, Ma, Martin Cao’s MG and Yang Xi’s Audi.
Teamwork Huff Motorsport’s Xi was then biffed out of fifth on the penultimate lap at Turn 1 by the CTCC-spec Volkswagen Lamando of Nathan Lu, dropping Xi to 12th.
Little changed at the front in the final laps, with Jason Zhang going on to claim his first TCR China win since the season finale in Macau last year.
Avila was initially the best MG in second, but he was later given a post-race ten-second penalty for overtaking Ma under the safety car, dropping him to fourth. Championship leader Ma thus inherited second, with Martin Cao completing the podium in his MG.
Avila was ultimately classified in fourth, ahead of Lu in fifth and Z.Speed’s Yang Xiao Wei in sixth.
The next TCR China / Asia event takes place at the ZhouZhou International Circuit on 7 – 10 October for a double-header event with four races.
Amended* race results
|1||36||ZHANG Zhi Qiang||Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Racing||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||10||30:34.765||2:33.076||1|
|2||55||MA Qing Hua||Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Racing||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||10||5.101||2:35.088||10|
|3||88||Martin CAO Hongwei||MG XPOWER||MG6 TCR||10||6.300||2:36.932||22|
|4||20||Rodolfo AVILA*||MG XPOWER||MG6 TCR||10||12.770*||2:35.168||9|
|5||63||Nathan LU Wenhu||SAIC Volkswagen 333 Team||Volkswagen Lamando CTCC||10||14.041||2:37.431||18|
|6||17||YANG Xiao Wei||Z.Speed||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||17.062||2:37.374||5|
|7||11||LIU Zi Chen||326 MMK Racing Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||18.422||2:40.493||3|
|8||26||SUN Chao||SAIC Volkswagen 333 Team||Volkswagen Lamando CTCC||10||22.407||2:38.164||11|
|9||15||Ken TIAN||Huffsport TM||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||26.126||2:38.369||16|
|10||601||Tao WANG||AHRT Autohome Racing Team||MG6 TCR||10||26.439||2:37.744||12|
|11||7||YAN Chuang||MG XPOWER||MG6 TCR||10||27.494||2:38.941||13|
|12||3||Yang XI||Huffsport TM||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||34.291||2:36.206||6|
|13||66||CHEN Ze Xun||Z. Speed||CUPRA TCR||10||39.190||2:41.489||19|
|14||100||Liang QI||AHRT Autohome Racing Team||MG6 TCR||10||39.430||2:39.088||20|
|15||22||Xiaole HE||SAIC Volkswagen 333 Team||Volkswagen Lamando CTCC||10||41.301||2:40.055||17|
|16||77||Samuel QIU||Z. Speed||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||43.497||2:40.815||2|
|17||10||MAI Yi Bo||Elegant Racing Team||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||47.082||2:39.578||21|
|18||16||RUAN Cun Fan||ZZRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||48.932||2:40.744||15|
|R||92||ZHU Yuan Jie||SAIC Volkswagen 333 Team||Volkswagen Lamando CTCC||8||DNF||2:43.276||14|
|R||18||Zhendong ZHANG||MG XPOWER||MG6 TCR||3||DNF||2:34.257||8|
|R||12||Sunny WONG Yat Shing||Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Racing||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||2||DNF||2:36.177||7|
|R||51||Yifan WU||326 MMK Racing Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||2||DNF||2:37.926||4|