Zhang Zhi Qiang wins a wet second race at Shanghai
12 September 2021
Zhang Zhi Qiang scored his first win of the 2021 TCR Asia series season in the second race at Shanghai, leading all the way in his Teamwork Motorsport Lynk & Co 03 in another rain-hit affair, with a long safety car intervention.
Zhang started from pole position ahead of the Z.Speed Volkswagen Golf GTI of Samuel Qiu, who almost stalled at the start and was quickly passed by Liu Zi Chen’s 326 MMK Audi and Sunny Wong’s Teamwork Lynk & Co.
Wong was quickly caught and passed by the MG 6 XPower of Zhang Zhen Dong at Turn 10, before Zhang then took second place from Liu by the end of the first lap.
Wong, along with Rodolfo Ávila’s MG and Ma Qing Hua’s Lynk & Co, all passed Liu on lap two, just as the intensity of the rain started to increase. Wong was now under attack from Ávila at the end of the lap, but as Wong defended this allowed Ma to get ahead of Ávila into Turn 1, albeit briefly, as Ávila was able to get back ahead of the championship leader at Turn 9.
Wong then lost control of his car in the treacherous conditions at the end of the long back straight, and aquaplaned into Zhang Zhen Dong’s MG at Turn 14, eliminating both cars from the race and causing the safety car to be deployed.
The race was held behind the safety car for four laps, followed by a three-lap sprint for the finish, with Zhang leading Ávila and Ma, while Martin Cao’s MG was close behind.
The four held station to the finish, with Zhang following up his 2020 Macau victory with his second win for the team.
Yang Xi was running well in fifth in the Huffsport TM Audi before he was spun out by one of the China Super Cup class cars on the penultimate lap, which promoted Yang Xiao Wei’s Z.Speed Audi to fifth in his place.
Ávila was classed as the winner in the TCR China class with second overall, but his second place in TCR Asia is under investigation over a possible pass of Ma Qing Hua behind the safety car.
In TCR Asia, Ma’s championship lead is now 29 points over his teammate Zhang; in the TCR China standings, Yang Xiao Wei has moved into first place, two points ahead of Yang Xi, while Ávila is third, three further points adrift.
TCR Asia and TCR China will run together again at Zhouzhou, on October 7/10, in a double header event with four races.
Shanghai – Race 2
1. Zhang Zhi Qiang (Shell Teamwork, Lynk & Co 03), 10 laps
2. Rodolfo Ávila (MG XPower, MG 6), 2.770
3. Ma Qing Hua (Shell Teamwork, Lynk & Co 03), 5.101
4. Cao Hong Wei (MG XPower, MG 6), 6.300
5. Yang Xiao Wei (Z.Speed, Audi RS 3 LMS), 17.062
TCR Asia - Championship standings
1. Ma Qing Hua 100 pts; 2. Zhang Zhi Qiang 71; 3. Yang Shiao Wei 36
TCR China - Championship standings
1. Yang Shiao Wei 51 pts; 2. Yang Xi 49; 3. R. Ávila 46
Picture: Shell Teamwork
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