Teamwork Motorsport’s Kevin Tse and Bill O’Brien were unaffected by the hot and dry conditions that greeted them and their TCR Asia Series counterparts at the Shanghai International Circuit and a trouble-free weekend yielded a podium result (20-21 August).
The REVO Technik-backed outfit returned from a protracted summer hiatus with a stellar qualifying performance, as Tse would line-up fifth for race one and fourth for race two, in among racing veterans Andy Yan, Tin Sritrai and Henry and Michael Ho, with O’Brien in ninth.
The opening TCR Asia encounter of the weekend was held on a sunny Sunday morning. The entire field took off nicely and, while Yan snatched the win from Sritrai’s grasp, Tse defended fifth position in some hotly-contested battles while O’Brien brought his Volkwagen Golf TCR home in ninth place.
“It was a good and fun defensive race,” said Tse. “I had the pace to catch the car in front, but I also had Souza filling my mirror, so my attention switched and I had to go into a defensive mode. I looked forward to race two, because the top eight qualifiers are reversed on the grid and it gave me a chance of aiming for the overall podium.”
Hopes were as high as the temperatures in race two, with Tse starting fourth on the reserved grid. On lap two, the Macanese driver was blocked by a slower car and race one frontrunners Yan and Sritrai were able to make their moves, but Tse worked his way into third at the expense of Souza at mid-distance.
A technical problem caused a loss of pace for Sritrai and Tse shadowed Yan all the way to the chequered flag to finish second, VW Golfs dominating the podium places.
O’Brien, meanwhile, capitalised on Honda’s mechanical problems to achieve his best TCR Asia finish in sixth.
After six rounds of racing, Teamwork REVO driver Tse is now second in the overall TCR Asia Series points, with one other race weekend at Zhejiang Circuit in China (22-23 October) preceding the season finale at the Macau Grand Prix (17-20 November).