A race win for ZHANG Zhi Qiang, and a podium for MA Qing Hua means the team have now secured the drivers’, teams’ and manufacturers’ championship titles at Shanghai with one round still to go.
The team had great pace from the start of the weekend, with MA Qing Hua leading the way through practice, but come qualifying, it was ZHANG Zhi Qiang who put his Lynk & Co 03 TCR on pole position, just ahead of MA.
At the start of the first race, ZHANG had the perfect launch from pole, while MA had a technical problem and fell to the back of the pack, and was soon into the pit lane.
Sunny WONG made a fantastic start, and was up to third in his car, before a handling problem saw him slide down the order, but he’d hold on to eventually finish the race in fifth.
ZHANG was having a perfect race however, with the championship leader extending his lead with victory, nearly 51 seconds clear of his nearest rival on track.
ZHANG and WONG’s first and fifth was enough to secure the Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Racing the teams’ and manufacturers’ titles with three races to go, and ZHANG and MA were far enough of the third place driver to ensure that it would be a Teamwork Motorsport driver who would win this year’s drivers’ championship.
The second race was also exciting, with Sunny WONG launching into the lead at the start, and he’d lead for three laps before he dropped to second, from where he dropped back to help his team-mates, as MA Qing Hua and ZHANG Zhi Qiang fought their way forwards, battling through the MGs and Volkswagens to work their way up to second and fourth place at the finish, further adding to the teams points tally this year.
The final round of the championship takes place at the iconic Circuito da Guia in Macau, where the team will be looking to end the year in style, and to try and defend ZHANG’s 2020 Macau Guia Race victory at the 50th anniversary of the race.
WHAT THE DRIVERS SAID
MA Qing Hua #55
RACE 1: P9 | RACE 2: P2
“It’s a fantastic achievement to be part of, to have helped Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Racing complete a clean sweep of all three titles this weekend with still a race to go.
“We’ve had amazing pace all weekend, it was a shame we couldn’t show it in Race 1, but to get to second from the reversed grid in Race 2 shows we could have been right up there. There’s just 20 points between ZHANG and I, which sounds like a lot, but as they say, anything can happen in Macau.”
ZHANG Zhi Qiang #36
RACE 1: P1 | RACE 2: P4
“Pole and Race 1 win, you can’t win the teams’ championship in any better way. We had incredible pace all weekend, and even though we got involved in a few scraps in the second race, we still did a great job to pick up fourth and keep a good lead in the drivers’ championship.
“Knowing that it’s a Teamwork driver that will win the title is comfort, now I’m really looking forward to fighting for my first touring car championship title with MA at Macau, and also to try and defend my Macau Guia Race victory.”
Sunny WONG #12
RACE 1: P5 | RACE 2: P5
“I’m really pleased with my performance this weekend. To play my part in supporting my team-mates in Race 2, and secure two top five finishes has helped my championship as well. The aim is to break into the top five at Macau, where I finished in second place last year.
“Most importantly, it’s fantastic that the team have been able to secure the three championship titles early, so we can go to Macau with at least some of the pressure off.”