The third race meeting of the TCR Asia series delivered a fifth and sixth different winners out of the six races held so far.
At Zhuhai, Mohammed Kaathir (R Engineering Honda Civic) and Eric Kwong (Elegant Racing Team SEAT León) shared victories in two races that were full of thrilling moments and saw the championship leaders being hit by the bad luck.
As a consequence, Kaathir’s teammate Lai Wee Sing took the lead of the standings with 93 points, four and eight points ahead of the Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s duo of Diego Moran and Kantadhee Kusiri, while Kaathir lies fourth with a gap of 12 points from the lead.
Race 1 - Pole sitter Kusiri stalled at the start and got going at a walking pace due to an electrical bug. The Honda cars of Kaathir and Lai were fighting for the lead, but Kaathir ran wide at Turn 4 and dropped to third behind Lai and Jasper Thong. At the end of the first lap Kusiri’s Volkswagen Golf revived and the Thai driver was able to rejoin.
On lap 3 Shaun Thong overtook Kaathir for second; the leading quartet of Lai, the Thong brothers and Kaathir was covered by only 1.5 seconds.
On lap 6 Jasper Thong had to pay a drive through penalty for a grid infringement and rejoined at the back. On lap 9 Sritrai pitted and retired with a flat front tyre while he was chasing Moran for fourth place.
On the last lap Shaun Thong attacked Lai, they ran abreast, made contact and went off together, which handed the lead back to Kaathir. Thong’s Audi remained stranded onto the gravel, while Lai rejoined to finish second behind Lai and ahead of Moran and J. Thong.
Race 2 – Viper Niza Racing’s O’Brien and Douglas Khoo fill the front row on the reverse grid as a the rain hits the track. Khoo, Kusiri and Moran pit at the end of the warm lap for wet tyres.
O’Brien takes the lead, but goes off during the first lap; the Elegant Racing Team duo of Kwong and Liu – on wet tyres – overtake Lai and J. Thong and pull away.
On lap 3 Sritrai goes off and retires, J. Thong pits for wet tyres, while his brother Shaun climbs to fifth and then to third overtaking Khoo and Lai. However, Kwong and Liu have built too big a gap and manage to make a 1/2 finish for SEAT and the Elegant Racing Team.
The TCR Asia will resume at Bagsaen, Thailand, on 13 and 14 May.