Zhuzhou, August 9, 2020 – Chinese privateer Yang Xi of Champ Motorsport made his mark on the opening weekend of the 2020 TCR China season, claiming an overall second place in race three ahead of a number of professional drivers at the Zhuzhou International Circuit. That finish earned him his second Am class win of the weekend after topping the category in race one. Fellow privateer and compatriot Wu Yifan of 326 Racing made it a clean sweep of the Am class for the Audi RS 3 LMS taking category wins in races two and four.
“Yang Xi, Wu Yifan, Champ Motorsport and 326 Racing equipped themselves very well across a packed weekend of racing to take home a nice haul of trophies with the Audi RS 3 LMS,” said Alexander Blackie, Manager of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “Race three in particular was the stand-out with Yang mixing it with his professional rivals and taking a hard-fought overall podium.”
Having qualified for the first grid of the season in fourth overall, Am driver Yang Xi was immediately on the hunt for an overall podium from the off, closing up to his Pro rivals ahead and pushing hard. Yang ultimately had to settle for fourth overall after 15 laps of racing, taking the Am class win in the process.
Wu Yifan made headway from a P7 start, the 326 Racing driver crossing the line sixth overall to take the final Am podium.
Starting from pole on the reverse grid, Wu got away well but was quickly pushed wide by the chasing Pros, falling quickly to second, then to fourth in the order.
Wu battled smartly after briefly losing the Am class lead on lap 10 to overhaul his rival and cross the line fourth overall, first in the Am class.
Yang Xi recovered from a disastrous start to the race, where he fell to the rear of the field, passing a number of rivals on his way to finishing second in the Am class and fifth overall after a thrilling 15-lap race.
Having aced Friday’s second qualifying session to set the fastest time overall, Yang Xi started the third race of the quadruple-header weekend from pole position. However, Wu Yifan faced a formidable task from P8 in the second Audi RS 3 LMS.
Yang made a good getaway but the storming Pros were close behind, filling his mirrors and looking to crowd him out. Yang briefly dropped down to second but quickly regained his pole advantage just a few turns later, crossing the line after the opening lap with a 0.735 second advantage.
The Champ Motorsport driver drove impressively to hold first place until two thirds distance. Yang eventually lost his valiant battle with the charging professional behind, falling to second place overall, which he held until the flag.
It was a tough race for Wu, however the 326 Racing driver stayed clear of trouble to cross the line sixth overall and climb the Am podium in third.
Both Wu and Yang got away well in the weekend’s final race, but the wet track brought drama when the car in front of Yang lost traction, skidding into his path and leaving him nowhere to go. The pair made contact, damaging both cars. Yang pitted and the Champ Motorsport crew rushed to repair the Audi RS 3 LMS, getting it back out on track in just minutes.
Wu had avoided the incident and continued to push hard at the front of the Am pack, quickly catching the Pros ahead. By lap eight, he had closed up on his nearest rival, diving past on the following lap to go fourth overall which he held claiming his second Am victory of the weekend.
The drama wasn’t over for Yang, however, who picked up a front right puncture in the closing stages of the race. He fought on though, taking the final Am podium place and finishing seventh overall.