It was an interesting weekend for Fancy Teamwork squad at the fourth round of the TCR China championship at the Shanghai International Circuit, with a double-podium on Saturday followed by another podium result and overall top ten finish on Sunday, marred only by a dramatic roof landing for Paul POON in his Lynk & Co.
While qualifying didn’t go quite to plan, with ZHU Yuan Jie the best-placed of the team’s drivers as the Geely Group Motorsport development driver switched back from the Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Racing car to the Fancy Teamwork-run car for the second time this year, things would improve for the race.
ZHU qualified 16th on the grid in his Lynk & Co, while LIN Cheng Hua’s Audi and Paul POON’s Lynk & Co would start 20th and 21st.
Despite very little green flag running due to a incident up front, ZHU and POON were able to make great progress in the race, and found themselves battling with the front-runners.
POON crossed the line 12th overall, just one spot behind the Am-class winner and so secured second in class in the race, with ZHU two spots behind in 14th, with ZHU completing the Am-class podium.
The second race was even more dramatic, stopped behind the safety car on lap one before it was restarted on lap five.
POON had been again working his way forward in his newly re-liveried bright yellow 03 TCR, but was involved in a crazy incident when the #6 Audi of WU Wen Fa spun right in front of him and POON hit the nose of the car, launching his Lynk & Co into the air and landing on its roof.
No one was hurt in the incident, but given the car needed extra help to be recovered, the crash did result in the race being red-flagged before it was restarted one last time.
After which ZHU cruised to another brilliant third-in-class finish in his #92 Lynk & Co.
The incident was definitely a set back in POON’s chances to win the Am-class drivers’ title, but he remains firmly in second place, 23 points clear of third place.
ZHU would be leading the class if it wasn’t for the regulation that drivers who switch teams lose the points scored to-date, and since Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Racing and Fancy Teamwork are separate programmes, ZHU has to start from scratch each weekend.
The team’s looking to prepare for the final stretch of races when the championship resumes at the Zhuzhou International Circuit on October 27-29.