Jack Young and Andy Yan Cheuk Wai won the two TCR China races held at the Shanghai International Circuit, in two incident-packed and safety car-filled races, while Hyundai N’s Martin Cao Hong Wei emerged from the weekend with an extended 13-point lead over Young in the drivers’ championship. The 2021 champion Jason Zhang Zhi Qiang is still in third position with a gap of 29 points from the leader.
Race 1 - The Dongfeng Honda cars had dominated the pace through practice, and qualifying, with Young topping the two free practice sessions on Friday, but a mistake on his flying lap in Q2 on Saturday morning saw him qualify behind teammate Martin Xie Xin Zhe by just 34-thousandths, but they were a second clear of their nearest rival, which was Zhang Hong Yu. At the start, Xie led the way, while Young had a slow getaway and was able to hold second ahead of David Zhu who had a strong start. The race was suspended at the end of lap two, when the two Hyundai cars of Max Hart and Yan collided while fighting for seventh, with Hart’s Elantra spinning off to the inside after the two made slight side-to-side contact, and then shot across the corner and into the side of Yan’s car, with both out on the spot. When the race resumed, it was another inter-Hyundai battle that was the highlight, with Cao fighting to get past the Z.Speed-run entry of Zhang Zhen Dong. As the two battled for fifth, this allowed the Audi of Zhang Hong Yu to get involved, but he made a mistake and hit Cao’s Elantra, with Zhang Zhen Dong also caught up in the incident which allowed the ason Zhang Zhi Qiang past all three of them. Up front, Xie slowed on the final lap to allow title contender Young through to claim the win, with Zhu completing the podium.
Race 2 - On the reversed grid, pole-sitter Jason Zhang was passed into the first corner by Yan and Hart. Yan led while Hart slotted into second, before the race was held behind the safety car at the end of lap 1 after an incident between the Audi of Wu Yi Fan and Sunny Wong Yat Shin’s Lynk & Co. Young was already up to fourth from ninth on the grid before the safety car. The race restarted on lap five, but the safety car was out again after the Lynk & Co of Paul Poon Tak Chun was up on its roof following an incident with the Audi of Wu Wen Fa. The race was red-flagged and restarted behind the safety car. Young was threatening Zhang Zhi Qiang for third, before David Zhu lost control of his car at the exit of Turn 3 and collected Young, dropping the Northern Irishman down the order. Up front, Yan and Hart controlled the field, while Cao, who was promoted to fourth following the clash between Young and Zhu, was able to dive past Zhang Zhi Qiang claim the final podium position, with Young recovering to finish ninth thanks to the penalty imposed to Zhang Hong Yu who lost the fourth place.
The next event takes place at Zhuzhou International Circuit on October 27/29.
Shanghai – Race 1
Shanghai – Race 2