It was an excellent weekend for Teamwork Motorsport’s customer racing operation Fancy Teamwork in TCR China last weekend, with Geely Group Motorsport Development Driver Program (GDDP) graduate ZHU Yuan Jie winning both races at Zhejiang in the amateur class, with Macau specialist Paul POON also joining him on the podium in Race 3.
It was an exciting challenge on Friday, as the team had to quickly adapt to the wet conditions which arrived at the circuit from the second practice session on Friday afternoon.
Due to the strong number of entries in the TCR China championship this year, Qualifying 1 was split into two parts, Pro and Am, with the Am drivers following the Pros, where the track conditions continued to deteriorate due to the continuing rainfall.
ZHU Yuan Jie was able to put in a incredible time over two seconds clear of the field to claim the class pole before the session was red-flagged and ultimately abandoned due to the conditions. Unfortunately, this was before LIN Cheng Hua and Paul POON had a chance to set a lap time.
This meant that practice times set the grid for the rest of the field, with POON therefore relegated to 24th on the grid, and LIN 28th.
The rain was back for Saturday and TCR China’s double race feature, with the safety car holding the field back for three laps before the first race of the day was started.
The drivers’ main challenge was to keep the car on the track in the tricky conditions, which certainly proved to be a challenge too far for some competitors.
This worked out brilliantly for POON, who excelled in the rain to pass seven cars, despite the fact there was only four laps of green flag running, before the race was then placed behind the safety car until the finish following a two-car incident.
ZHU did a brilliant job to keep his Lynk & Co 03 TCR under control and in the lead of the Am-class, claiming his second ever class victory in only his second race weekend, now taking over the Fancy Teamwork car after making his debut at Shanghai in the sister Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Racing car.
LIN received a small penalty for an incident in the race which dropped him to tenth in the class at the finish line.
The weather had improved if only slightly for the second race, with just two safety car laps needed before setting the field free.
ZHU again started from the class pole position, and with the hard work done by the team in preparing the ideal racing set-up, he was able to have a safe and steady run to 13th overall, and to take his third consecutive Am-class victory, finishing over five seconds clear of his nearest rival.
It was a more difficult race for POON and LIN, with LIN stopping on circuit with two laps to go after an incident, and with POON also spinning in the difficult conditions and would not be able to finish the race.
At the end of the weekend, in an incredible feat, the team’s drivers ZHU, POON, and LIN are second, fourth, and sixth in the TCR China Am-class standings respectively, with ZHU’s points all coming from Zhejiang after he had to drop his points from Shanghai due to the technicality of changing teams.
Fancy Teamwork is delighted with the brilliant work of the mechanics, engineers, and its drivers in the face of adversity and very challenging conditions at Zhejiang, and is thrilled with the double-victory in the Am-class and with two drivers on the podium, and the team can’t wait to be back in action again at Zhuzhou next month.