Zhang Zhi Qiang claims both pole positions at Zhuzhou
22 October 2021
Zhang Zhi Qiang has claimed both pole positions for this weekend’s double-header TCR Asia-TCR China weekend at the Zhuzhou circuit, putting his Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Racing 03 ahead of teammate Ma Qing Hua in both qualifying heats. The two poles are Zhang’s first in TCR competition.
On Friday morning, after setting the third fastest time in Q1 which safely put his Lynk & Co 03 into Q2, the Chinese driver then set the best lap of 1:45.316 on a drying track to put himself in the best place for the first race on Saturday.
His teammate and current TCR Asia points leader Ma Qing Hua was second fastest in the TCR class, and third overall, just over half a second behind.
The closest to them was Rodolfo Ávila in fourth overall, with the Macanese driver also securing pole in the TCR China class in his MG XPower-run MG 6.
While it was one of the China Super Cup class drivers who was tenth fastest and therefore took pole for the reversed grid race, with Sunny Wong in the third of Teamwork Motorsport’s Lynk & Co cars ninth, he therefore secured himself a front row spot for Race 2, and will be the best-placed of the TCR runners, with Yang Xi’s Huffsport TM Audi RS 3 LMS set to start right behind him.
The afternoon’s qualifying session would set the grid for Sunday’s encounters.
Ávila had topped the first qualifying session with a time of 1:45.868 in his MG, just ahead of the two Lynk & Co cars of Ma and Zhang.
The Macanese driver then set a low 1:45s early in Q2, which was the benchmark until the final minutes of the session, when both Zhang and Ma’s Lynk & Cos jumped to the front, both drivers going under 1:45, with Zhang’s time of 1:44.506 good enough to secure him his second consecutive pole position.
Martin Cao in his MG emerged as the closest threat to the Lynk & Co cars, putting his MG second on the TCR grid, and also on top of the TCR China class, the only other driver to get under 1:45.
The Teamwork Motorsport squad again took the reversed grid pole in the TCR class, with Sunny Wong setting the tenth fastest time.
Races 1 and 2 will take place tomorrow at 08:45 and 13:25 local times (02:45 and 07:25 CEST). Live streaming at www.tcr-series.com.
Zhuzhou – Qualifying for Race 1
1:45.316 Zhang Zhi Qiang (Shell Teamwork, Lynk & Co 03)
1:45.842 Ma Qing Hua (Shell Teamwork, Lynk & Co 03)
1:45.875 Rodolfo Ávila (MG XPower, MG 6)
1:46.042 Cao Hong Wei (MG XPower, MG 6)
1:47.125 Wang Tao (Auto Home Racing Team, MG 06)
Zhuzhou – Qualifying for Race 3
1:44.506 Zhang Zhi Qiang (Shell Teamwork, Lynk & Co 03)
1:44.719 Cao Hong Wei (MG XPower, MG 6)
1:44.722 Ma Qing Hua (Shell Teamwork, Lynk & Co 03)
1:45.162 Rodolfo Ávila (MG XPower, MG 6)
1:45.993 Wang Tao (Auto Home Racing Team, MG 06)
TCR Asia - Championship standings
1. Ma Qing Hua 110 pts; 2. Zhang Zhi Qiang 81; 3. Yang Xiao Wei 37
TCR China - Championship standings
1. Yang Xiao Wei Xi 53 pts; 2. Yang Xi 51; 3. Rodolfo Ávila 48
Picture: Shell Teamwork
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