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TCR Asia title showdown in endurance weekend
04
October
2018

TCR Asia title showdown in endurance weekend

The fourth season of the regional TCR Asia Series will conclude at Shanghai International Circuit on October 4-5 with four drivers in the title fight with a mathematical chance of victory. Ultimately it will take a minor miracle for anyone to prevent the two drivers who have been the standouts this year - Luca Engstler and Mitchell Cheah - from claiming Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s third consecutive Drivers and Teams championship crowns.
 
Engstler - the reigning TCR Middle East champion and new vice-champion of TCR Germany - comes into the Chinese round with an 11-point lead over team-mate Cheah who has been a standout since his debut win at home in Malaysia all the way back in April. Between them the two young Volkswagen drivers share five wins from the eight rounds so far concluded, and they hold a significant lead over Hong Kong’s third placed Honda driver Lo Sze Ho.
 
Lo too has been an outstanding addition to the field, however due to the sale of his 2018 TCR Asia mount after Korea and a date clash with events in China, there is every likelihood the Bangsaen round winner will miss the final stop of the season, elevating round four winner Diego Moran to a guaranteed third place in the championship, a scenario which will hand the Liqui Moly Team Engstler operation a memorable 1-2-3 in the championship.
 
Sadly for the popular Ecuadorian - who started as one of the pre-season favourites - a string of tough luck has kept him out of the title race, and he starts the Chinese round 49-points back from championship leader Engstler with just 55 points left on the clock. Nothing short of divine intervention will hand Moran the title, but as a two-time podium finisher at Shanghai in 2017, he will be hoping to close his 2018 account with another win or two and could be odds-on favourite to achieve just that.
 
As it did in 2017, the final round of the 2017 TCR Asia Series will conclude alongside TCR China, with an even split of teams all looking for valuable championship points. Whilst they won’t compete for TCR Asia points, the TCR China competitors are well versed with the Shanghai circuit and are embroiled in their own championship hunt, so will mix things up at the front of the field.
 
12-months ago at Zhejiang former TCR Asia regulars TeamWork Motorsport and 2016 TCR Asia champion Andy Yan were right in the battle at the front of the field, and whilst 2017 TCR China champion Yan will not be on the grid, experienced TeamWork Motorsport team-mates Sunny Wong and Alex Hui will be front and centre as they look to cement their 2018 championship position, the pair currently nine points of the title lead.
 
Points leaders Henry Ho - a past contender in TCR Asia - currently leads the TCR China points [100] alongside team-mate Eurico de Jesus in a season where they have dominated by winning every sprint race (six rounds), whilst their TeamWork Volkswagen rivals Wong and Hui have so far won every 60-minute round of the season (three rounds).
 
Whilst the outright battle for the 2018 TCR Asia Series Drivers championship will likely go down to the final race of the year, in the TCR Cup, Elegant Racing Team driver KK Wong is already 47-points clear of his nearest rival Douglas Khoo heading into the final two races of the year and looks set to claim the team’s maiden TCR Asia title, although the determined Viper Niza Racing team boss will do everything he can to close out the season with a victory.
 
WHO TO WATCH OUT FOR
Luca Engstler comes into the Shanghai round having recently claimed second overall in TCR Germany, adding to his 2017 ‘Rookie-of-the-Year’ title, and his TCR Middle East win earlier in the season, so he has plenty of experience to draw on as he goes toe-to-toe with title rival Mitchell Cheah.
 
Like his race-winning Malaysian team-mate, Engstler starts Shanghai as a rookie at the Chinese Grand Prix venue, but both could be expected to dominate the top of the time standings.
 
Cheah has been a revelation since the season-opener at Sepang International Circuit, the young Malaysian holding on to the TCR Asia points lead for much of the year, a technical issue in Korea last time out allowing Engstler to regain the points lead and break clear of his team-mate after claiming back-to-back wins in the often challenging conditions.
 
Despite Engstler’s credentials, Cheah showed from the opening race of the year that he was not phased by his experienced German team-mate, and will no doubt carry that attitude through to the final round where he will once more enjoy the support of Malaysia’s former Formula 1 star Alex Yoong, the experienced open-wheel and GT campaigner on hand to assist Cheah’s challenge for the title.
 
Whilst the TCR China regulars will put their Shanghai experience to good use, the two young Volkswagen stars will also need to keep a keen eye on team-mate Diego Moran. A race winner again in season 2018, Moran played tail-gunner to 2017 team-mate Kantadhee Kusiri at Shanghai last season as the young Thai looked to build a championship advantage heading into the final round of the year at Zhejiang. Unencumbered this year by his team duties, Moran will look to add to his winning tally and could look to take advantage of his younger rivals battling for the title. 
 
Having dominated every race at Shanghai since their 2016 TCR Asia Series debut, it’s almost a given that Liqui Moly Team Engstler will claim the two round wins this weekend, but as to which of their three drivers will emerge victorious will have to be determined on track, and that’s just the way we like it!
 
The TCR Asia and TCR China teams will get their first laps of Shanghai International Circuit at speed during testing on Thursday, ahead of qualifying early Friday morning and both 30-minute races to close out the 2018 TCR Asia Series season. 
 
On Sunday a number of TCR teams will contest the inaugural SIC888 endurance race, an 888-kilometre (163-lap) journey of Shanghai International Circuit, an event sure to gain international renown as a new jewel in the crown for the Asian motorsport industry.
 
You can keep up to date with all the action from Shanghai’s TCR Asia Series finale and the SIC888 event LIVE on the TCR Asia Series Facebook page.
 
Details of the streams and broadcast times will be available through social media; www.facebook.com/TCRAsiaSerieswhere there will also be news, video clips, images and updates. You can also get involved in the conversation on www.twitter.com/TCRAsiaSeries 
 
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SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT
Jiading, Shanghai, China
Shanghai International Circuit (China)
Track length: 5.453-kilometres
Corners: 16
Rotation: clockwise
Designer/Circuit first opened: Hermann Tilke, 2004
TCR Asia Series lap record:
Qualifying: 2:17.209 (Kantadhee Kusiri, Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR - Q1, 26 August, 2017)
Race: 2:17.456 (Kantadhee Kusiri, Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR - R1, 26 August, 2017)
Number of times TCR Asia Series has competed at Shanghai previously: 2 [2016-2017]
 
Website: www.asia.tcr-series.com
 
TCR ASIA SERIES AND SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT;
The TCR Asia Series will return to Shanghai for just the third time in four seasons, the home of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix seeing Andy Yan dominate the two races in 2016, before his replacement in the Liqui Moly Team Engstler operation did exactly the same 12 months ago to effectively put the championship out of reach. This is an ominous sign perhaps for the Engstler team’s rivals coming into Shanghai this year, but which of the team’s three race winning drivers will be successful this time around!?
 
HOW THINGS PLAYED OUT LAST TIME AT SHANGHAI..
2017 TCR Asia Series - Rnd#9 (10-laps) - 26 August
Pole position: Kantadhee Kusiri (Liqui Moly Team Engstler VW Golf GTi TCR) - 2:17.209
1. Kantadhee Kusiri (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswgen Golf GTi TCR)
2. Diego Moran (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswgen Golf GTi TCR) +12.658
3. Terry Huang (NewFaster Audi RS3 LMS TCR) +16.005
 
2017 TCR Asia Series - Rnd#10 (10-laps) - 27 August
1. Kantadhee Kusiri (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswgen Golf GTi TCR)
2. Diego Moran (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswgen Golf GTi TCR) +5.422
3. Sunny Wong (TeamWork Motorsport Volkswgen Golf GTi TCR) +13.816
 
2016 TCR Asia Series - Rnd#5 (12-laps) - 21 August
Pole position: Tin Sritrai (Team Thailand, Honda Civic TCR) - 2:19.210
1. Andy Yan (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswgen Golf GTi TCR)
2. Tin Sritrai (Team Thailand Honda Civic TCR) +1.539
3. Henry Ho (Champ Motorsport Honda Civic TCR) +10.279
 
2016 TCR Asia Series - Rnd#6 (12-laps) - 21 August
1. Andy Yan (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswgen Golf GTi TCR)
2. Kevin Tse (TeamWork Motorsport Volkswgen Golf GTi TCR) +13.079
3. Filipe de Souza (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswgen Golf GTi TCR) +14.391
 
TCR ASIA SERIES - SHANGHAI ENTRIES;
3. Alex Liu (Elegant Racing Team Cupra TCR)*
6. Ian Leong/Wai [Eric] Lam (Son Veng Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR)#
8. Kin Kong/Ka Lam (MacPro Racing Honda Civic FK7 TCR)#
11. Alex Hui/Sunny Wong (TeamWork Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR)#
22. Ivan Szeto (Maximum Racing Honda Civic FK TCR)*
26. Filipe de Souza/Ryan Wong (TA Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR)#
29. Mitchell Cheah (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR)
30. Kelvin [KK] Wong (Elegant Racing Team Cupra TCR SEQ)*
32. Diego Moran (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR)
60. Chen Zhen/Chang Shuai (Hexin Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR)#
65. Douglas Khoo (Viper Niza Racing Cupra TCR SEQ)*
68. Tian Li Ying/Xue Li (Liqui Moly HE Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR)#
88. Henry Ho/Eurico de Jesus (MacPro Racing Honda Civic FK7 TCR)#
108. Luca Engstler (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR)
* TCR Asia Cup / #TCR China Series
 
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Rnds 9/10 - 2018 TCR Asia Series- schedule
Shanghai International Circuit, China (5-7 October, 2018)
 
Friday, 5 October
9:00am - TCR Asia/TCR China Official Practice (15-minutes)
9:50am - TCR Asia/TCR China Qualifying#1 (15-minutes)
10:15am - TCR Asia/TCR China Qualifying#2 (15-minutes)
11:50am - TCR Asia/TCR China Race#1 (10-laps/30-minutes)
2:25pm - TCR Asia/TCR China Race#2 (10-laps/30-minutes)
 
Saturday, 6 October
9:00am - SIC888 Official Practice#1 (60-minutes)
11:00am - SIC888 Official Practice#2 (60-minutes)
4:30pm - SIC888 Qualifying#1 (20-minutes) - TCR/TP1/TP2
5:00pm - SIC888 Qualifying#2 (20-minutes) - GT3/GTM/GTC/GT4
 
Sunday, 7 October
10:30am - SIC888 (163-laps)
 
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TCR Asia Series Driver’s Championship points (after eight rounds of ten)
1. Luca Engstler (143-points), 21. Mitchell Cheah (132), 3. Lo Sze Ho (98), 4. Diego Moran (94), 5. Kelvin Wong (92), 6. Alex Liu (69), 7. Douglas Khoo (61), 8. Abdul Kaathir (22), 9. Clement Him (16), 10. Akash Nandy (13), 11. Ivan Szeto (6)
 
TCR Asia Series Cup Driver’s Championship points (after eight rounds of ten)
1. KK Wong (173-points), 2. Douglas Khoo (126), 3. Alex Liu (123), 4. Clement Him (29), 5. Ivan Szeto (18)
 
TCR Asia Series Team’s Championship points (after eight rounds of ten)
1. Liqui Moly Team Engstler (330-points), 2. Elegant Racing Team (169), 3. Maximum Racing (123), 4. Viper Niza Racing (67), 5. R Engineering (37)
 
TCR Asia Series Car Model of the Year Championship points (after eight rounds of ten)
 1. Volkswagen (332-points), 2. Seat/Cupra (212), 3. Honda (146)
 
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2018 TCR Asia Series - calendar
Rnd#1/#2, 30 March-1 April - Sepang, Malaysia*
Rnd#3/#4, 1-3 June - Buriram, Thailand*
Rnd#5/#6, 13-15 July, Bangsaen, Thailand*
Rnd#7/#8, 25-26 August - Korea International, South Korea
Rnd#9/#10, 5-6 October - Shanghai, China
INVITATIONAL, 7 October - Shanghai, China [SIC888 - endurance]
* South-East Asia Cup
 
#TCRAsiaSeries
 
 

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Section 12/18
Petaling Jaya 46200
Malaysia

 

 

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