Teamwork Motorsport had a great start at the opening round of the 2023 Geely Super Cup Pro series at the Zhuhai International Circuit, with Geely Group Motosport Development Driver Program (GDDP) driver LIU Xiaohua scoring a race victory and a podium across the three races.
It was a brilliant display of strategy, and of course “teamwork” during the weekend, with the engineers, strategists, mechanics and drivers all working together to build momentum throughout the meeting, resulting in a thrilling victory for LIU Xiaohua, as well as front-running performance from the team’s star female racer, Cherry CHEUNG.
Qualifying started strongly, with LIU placing his Geely Super Cup car sixth on the grid, with Cherry CHEUNG qualifying well in 11th.
LIU would finish the first race a steady fifth. After this, the team dug down into the data, worked on the set-up and race strategy and came up with a new plan of attack for the next races, which paid off for the GDDP driver.
While LIU dropped two spots to seventh position at the start of Race 2, he quickly began to regain ground, regaining his fifth place by the end of lap two.
Another perfectly executed pass into Turn 1 on the fourth lap put him up to fourth place, and then with just seven minutes to go, LIU made his final move of the race into Turn 1, powering into third position.
Sadly, he didn’t have enough time to close down on the leading pair before a safety car was called following an incident, which unfortunately also involved Cherry CHEUNG, with the race finishing behind the safety car.
In Race 3, LIU took a dominant victory in the feature length 45-minute race. LIU started from third, and while he was swamped into Turn 1, he luckily was able to avoid contact between two cars ahead of him at Turn 2, but lost significant time in the melee.
LIU was now down to fifth, but brilliantly picked his way forward to take fourth place at Turn 2 at the start of Lap 2, and then began to close down the near-five second gap to the leading trio.
With just half the race to go, LIU was up to third, and by the time of the pit stops, LIU managed to cycle through into the lead, while CHEUNG was up to second, so Teamwork Motorsport’s cars were running 1-2 in the race.
LIU sprinted away to win by over four seconds, while CHEUNG sadly was forced to stop with an electrical issue with four laps to go.
LIU’s results mean he now leads the Geely Super Cup Pro drivers’ standings on 20 points, two points clear of his nearest rival.
It was a great weekend for the team, with Xiaohua and Cherry both getting to show their racing prowess, while the team’s personnel, team managers, data engineers, and mechanics all banded together to help achieve the excellent results of the weekend.
With Teamwork Motorsport’s mission to cultivate young talent at all levels, not just in the driver’s seat but in the garage as well, the weekend was a fantastic showcase.
Whether it’s supporting professional drivers, customer racing, or working as it does with Geely Group Motorsport to assist with driver development and selection, Teamwork Motorsport is not just about winning titles, but to be an all round racing operation – just as it has shown this weekend in the Geely Super Cup Pro series, where its goal is to provide track enthusiasts the opportunity to grow into prospective world champions, while first succeeding in China’s leading domestic single-make touring car series.
What the drivers said
LIU Xiaohua #21
I’m really happy with the start of the season. The races were tough, but we were able to fight through and score some great results.
I didn’t make the most of the starts, but I had great race pace and the team gave me an excellent set-up and I was able to fight my way forwards in every race with the result getting better every time.
It’s a great feeling to start the season with a win and the lead of the championship, but it’s going to be a close season.
Cherry CHEUNG #10
I had a good weekend at Zhuhai and had great pace, but unfortunately the results don’t really show that.
I had problems with other cars in the first two races, and was very unlucky to come across a car which had spun out in Race 2.
Race 3 was going really well, and I was all the way up into second place before we had to stop, but sometimes that’s racing.
I learned a lot this weekend, and can’t wait to be back out again.