Ma Qing Hua claims maiden win in El Pinar’s Race 2

Ma Qing Hua claims maiden win in El Pinar’s Race 2

20 August 2023

In the second joint race of the Kumho TCR World Tour and TCR South America at El Pinar, Ma Qing Hua repeated what his teammate Santiago Urrutia had done in Race 1. From the pole position, Ma scored his maiden win in the World Tour; Mikel Azcona finished second, ahead of Yann Ehrlacher averting another 1-2 finish for Lynk & Co.

However, Ehrlacher has stretched his leading margin in the standings to 20 points over Michelisz, while Azcona has retaken the third position, eight further points behind.

In TCR South America, Esteban Guerrieri emerged victorious scoring his first victory in the series and the first for Toyota in the current season, with Juan Ángel Rosso securing a 1-2 finish to the Japanese brand. As far as the title fight is concerned, Ignacio Montenegro is till on top of the standings despite his withdrawal, 41 points ahead of Juan Manuel Casella.

At the start Ma rejected an attack from Ehrlacher who was alongside him on the front row. The pair made contact, and this allowed Azcona to move into P2 ahead of Ehrlacher. Further down the order, a skirmish for P7 saw Thed Björk and Urrutia passing Néstor Girolami. In the battle for TCR South America, Casella was leading from Guerrieri, Montenegro and Rosso, but in lap 4, Guerrieri passed Casella.

One lap later, Girolami overtook Urrutia for P8, then Enrique Maglione hit the tyre stack in Turn 8 causing a safety car intervention. At the restart, Ma rejected an attack from Azcona, while Rob Huff tried to put the pressure on Ehrlacher. In lap 12, Girolami passed Björk for P7, while Montenegro lost the front left wheel and retired. In lap 17, there were several contacts between Michelisz, Girolami and Björk while they were fighting for P6; in the commotion both Girolami and Michelisz lost a few places with Björk moving into sixth.

The safety car was deployed again in lap 18, when Gonzalo Reilly’s Peugeot pulled up with a technical issue. Racing resumed for the two final laps, but there were no changes in the top positions, with Ma victorious ahead of Azcona and Ehrlacher. In TCR South America, Rosso and Rafael Suzuki passed Casella to finish second and third behind Guerrieri. After the race, Björk was given a 5-second penalty for the incident with Michelisz and dropped from sixth to ninth.

Kumho TCR World Tour and TCR South America will join again next weekend in Argentina at the Autódromo Internacional José Carlos Bassi, La Pedrera.


El Pinar – Race 2 overall

1. Ma Qing Hua (Cyan Racing, Lynk & Co 03 FL), 20 laps

2. Mikel Azcona (BRC Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N), 0.685

3. Yann Ehrlacher (Cyan Racing, Lynk & Co 03 FL), 2.344


El Pinar – Race 2 TCR South America

1. Esteban Guerrieri (Bratton Bessone Team, Toyota Corolla GRS), 20 laps

2. Juan Ángel Rosso (Paladini Racing, Toyota Corolla GRS), 1.757

3. Rafael Suzuki (PMO Motorsport, Lynk & Co 03), 2.339


Championship points – TCR World Tour

1. Y. Ehrlacher, 235 pts; 2. N. Michelisz, 215; 3. M. Azcona, 205 


Championship points – TCR South America

1. I. Montenegro, 303 pts; 2. JM: Casella, 262; 3. B. Llaver, 247 


Picture: TCR South America/Hernán Capa


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