Zhang Zhi Qiang does the double at Zhuzhou to take the points lead

Zhang Zhi Qiang does the double at Zhuzhou to take the points lead

24 October 2021

Zhang Zhi Qiang has won both races of the TCR Asia-China series on Sunday for Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Racing, and in doing so has taken a four-point lead in the drivers’ standings over his teammate Ma Qing Hua.
In the first race, Zhang led the way ahead of his teammate Ma, who was under attack from all three MG cars just after he was passed by one of the Chinese Super Cup cars.
The leading MG 6 was that of Saturday’s Race 2 winner Martin Cao Hong Wei, but as Cao and Ma made contact at the exit of Turn 2 on the second lap, Cao’s suspension collapsed just as it had in Race 1, and Cao was out of the race. With the Autohome Racing Team MG of Zhang Zi Yi also dropping oil on the track, an extended safety car period followed.
At the restart, Ma Qing Hua was struggling for pace, and was soon passed by the MG cars of Rodolfo Ávila and Zhang Zhen Dong, as well as his own teammate Sunny Wong. Wong was able to cede position back to Ma a lap later and the two drivers then passed Zhang Zhen Dong’s MG, when his car stopped with a suspension problem at the end of lap 11.
Up front, Zhang Zhi Qiang won the race comfortably ahead of Ávila, with Ma recovering to third.
For the reversed grid final race, the Lynk & Co of Sunny Wong started from pole position ahead of Zhang Zhen Dong’s MG, but while Wong was able to keep the lead into Turn 1 and 2, Zhang got past into Turn 3, with Wong soon dropping back behind his two Teamwork Motorsport teammates Ma and Zhang Zhi Qiang.
Wong was quickly passed by the MG cars of Ávila and Cao, while up front, Zhang Zhi Qiang overtook his teammate Ma for second at the final corner of lap three and began to quick eat into Zhang Zhen Dong’s three-second lead.
His charge was stopped when the safety car came out when one of the Super Cup class cars dropped oil at Turn 3 and the two Volkswagen cars of Samuel Qiu Wen Tao and Ruan Cun Fan slid off and collided with each other.
The race restarted on lap 11, with Zhang Zhi Qiang passing Zhang Zhen Dong at Turn 4, and then drove off into the distance. Meanwhile, Ma was struggling again, falling back behind the two MG cars of Cao and Ávila at the corkscrew on lap 12, before he was able to re-pass Ávila with two laps to go to secure fourth.
Zhang’s third win of the weekend meant he took the lead of the TCR Asia standings by four points over Ma Qing Hua, with four more races to go in the season. Rodolfo Ávila is third, 93 points back, and so while he’s mathematically in contention, realistically the title battle is between the two Teamwork drivers.
Ávila however leads the TCR China standings, though just ten points ahead of the Auto Home Racing Team MG of Wang Tao.
TCR Asia and TCR China will race together again in Tianma, November 6/7.


Zhuzhou – Race 3
1. Zhang Zhi Qiang (Shell Teamwork, Lynk & Co 03), 15 laps
2. Rodolfo Ávila (MG XPower, MG 6), 11.573
3. Ma Qing Hua (Shell Teamwork, Lynk & Co 03), 11.639
4. Wong Yat Shing (Shell Teamwork, Lynk & Co 03), 14.390
5. Yang Xiao Wei (Z.Speed, Audi RS 3 LMS), 22.866


Zhuzhou – Race 4
1. Zhang Zhi Qiang (Shell Teamwork, Lynk & Co 03), 15 laps
2. Zhang Zhen Dong (MG XPower, MG 6), 4.880
3. Cao Hong Wei (MG XPower, MG 6), 5.660
4. Ma Qing Hua (Shell Teamwork, Lynk & Co 03), 7.318
6. Rodolfo Ávila (MG XPower, MG 6), 9.056


TCR Asia - Championship standings
1. Zhang Zhi Qiang 171 pts; 2. Ma Qing Hua 167; 3. Rodolfo Ávila 78


TCR China - Championship standings
1. Rodolfo Ávila 113 pts; 2. Wang Tao 103; 3. Yang Xiao Wei 101 


Picture: Shell Teamwork

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