Macau GP / TCR China

Ma Qing Hua wins the title, Jason Zhang wins Macau

Ma Qing Hua has won the 2020 TCR China drivers’ championship after a podium finish on Saturday, while Jason Zhang has won the 2020 Macau Guia Race, the first Chinese driver to ever win the iconic event in its 49-year history.

Ma Qing Hua was confirmed as the champion after Race 1, in a weekend in which the Chinese driver took the fight to Macau master Rob Huff – while Jason Zhang won the main race on Sunday, after Rob Huff was handed a 30-second penalty after he was found to have taken Ma Qing Hua out of the race.

In qualifying, Huff took pole ahead of Ma, but Ma made a great start and took the lead into Turn 1. Huff battled back at Lisboa, before the yellow flags were soon out for an incident in the mid-field, depriving Ma of a chance to take the lead back. Ma’s chief rival was also involved in one of the many incidents which saw the race red-flagged and run largely behind the safety car.

Jason Zhang finished where he started in fourth, while Sunny Wong made up two spots from his grid position to take the chequered flag in fifth, with all three of the Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport cars finishing Race 1 in the top five.

In Race 2, Ma again launched into the lead from the outside of the front row, and this time he kept the lead throughout the first lap. On lap two, Ma was then tapped into a spin following contact from Huff at the super-fast Mandarin corner, and slammed into the barriers hard, destroying his 03 TCR as well as the barriers, with the race red-flagged.

The race resumed after a long delay, with Jason now in second, and Sunny in fourth. Sunny was up to third but was passed by Andy Yan’s car into Lisboa just after the safety car was deployed. The race only lasted one more lap before it was red-flagged again after two Audis crashed out at Mandarin, with the race aborted after just six of the scheduled 12 laps.

In the post-race stewards investigation, Huff was handed a penalty for the incident with Ma Qing Hua, while Andy Yan was also given a penalty for overtaking Sunny Wong under yellow flags, which promoted Jason Zhang and Sunny Wong to first and second in the race.

Zhang’s win is the first victory for a Chinese driver in the Macau Guia Race, and the first for an Asian driver in the event since 1993.

Ma Qing Hua said:

“I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved this year, winning the title in what’s been a very difficult year for everybody. I’d like to say thank you to Teamwork Motorsport, and to Geely Group Motorsport for the fantastic car that helped us win this title.

“I was able to get ahead of Rob in Race 1, but he was able to get back ahead of me at Lisboa. And that was pretty much it, as the race was all safety cars after that.

“In Race 2, I was able to stay ahead and led the first lap, but we made contact at Mandarin, and I hit the barriers. The car was destroyed, but I’m OK and very thankful to the safety standards of the Lynk & Co TCR car and the Macau circuit.

Sunny Wong said:

“I’m really happy with my performance this weekend, and in my first time racing this car.

“I had a really good start in both races and made up some positions, but unfortunately in the second race, I dropped what would have been a podium position after I ran through the debris after Ma’s crash.

“Fifth and second are my best results at the Guia Race, and I’m also really happy to have finally got a chance to race this year, and also race a car as fantastic as the Lynk & Co.”

Jason Zhang said:

“I’m really happy to be here and to be able to do the Macau Guia Race with Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport, and most of all to have won the Guia Race

“In the past here I’ve been really unlucky. These races were also very tricky, with so many safety cars and red flags.

“In the second race, after Ma and Rob came together, I was just behind them so I was lucky to avoid it. I was also quite worried about Ma, but my team manager said he was OK, and when I came by I could see him standing by the car which made me more relaxed.

“To win the race is an amazing feeling. It’s been a tough year for everybody, to be here with the team and win the Macau race and also see them win the drivers’ championship, it’s an incredible feeling.

Ken Lyu, team manager, said:

“It’s been a crazy Macau as always, but we’re all really pleased to have been able to achieve our target of winning the drivers’ championship with Ma Qing Hua, and also to have won the Guia Race with Jason Zhang.

“It’s a shame we were caught in a big accident in Race 2, but thankfully we’d already secured the title on Saturday. The Lynk & Co 03 TCR has been a brilliant car to work with. It’s unfortunate we weren’t able to fight for the teams’ and models’ titles, but with only two cars up until this weekend with our rivals running four, it was almost an impossible challenge.

“We’re already looking forward to 2021, and hopefully things will be more normal and we can have a full and exciting race season ahead of us.”