Yang Xi takes Huffsport TM Audi RS 3 LMS to overall TCR China podium

05/09/2021

  • Am driver scores overall podium and Am class victory at Shanghai season-opener
  • Audi Am podium clean-sweep in TCR China season-opener led by Yang Xiaowei
  • Class podiums for Audi R8 LMS GT3 on GT Super Sprint Challenge debut

Beijing, May 9, 2021 – Yang Xi didn’t put a wheel wrong as the Am driver powered his Huffsport TM Audi RS 3 LMS to an overall podium in race two of the 2021 TCR China season-opener at the Shanghai International Circuit today. Starting from pole, Yang led the way for all but two of the 11-lap race, holding off several Pro drivers chasing him to claim both the final overall podium place and the Am class victory.

Saturday’s TCR China curtain-raiser also saw strong results for Audi customers, with Zheng Wancheng just missing out on an overall podium, and Z.Speed’s Yang Xiaowei leading home an Am class 1-2-3-4 finish for the Audi RS 3 LMS fleet of Huffsport TM’s Yang Xi, 326 MMK Racing Team’s Wu Yifan, and Yang Xi’s team mate, Ken Tian.

There were mixed fortunes for the Audi entrants in the new GT Super Sprint Challenge (GTSSC) as it embarked upon its maiden season. The opening sprint saw YC-Racing’s Ray Wu take an Am Masters podium with a second-place class finish in his Audi R8 LMS GT3 in a race hampered by a prolonged second safety car intervention period.

Race two saw the field get a longer run with just a single safety car period, with Xing Yangbin and Ray Wu taking second and third respectively in the Am Masters class, and Absolute Racing newcomer Hu Bo finishing fourth in the GT4 category in only his second race.

Top scorer in the Audi Sport Asia Trophy standings over the weekend was Yang Xi who earned 400 points over the two TCR China races, ahead of Wu Yifan on 225, with Yang Xiaowei and Ken Tian on taking 175 points apiece. For the GTSSC drivers, Xin Yanbin’s seventh overall finish in race two earned him 165 points, with Ray Wu taking 132 for eighth. Hu Bo’s fourth place in GT4 category earned him 176 points to the Trophy.

The GT Super Sprint Challenge continues next month, with round two at the Zhuzhou International Circuit in Hunan Province on June 12-13. TCR China heads to the same track for its second event of the season from June 11 to 13.

GT Super Sprint Challenge

Race 1
It was a rollercoaster start to China’s newest GT championship for the Audi contingent, with all four drivers gaining positions as the field was released for the first time.

YC-Racing’s Xing Yanbin secured the Am Masters pole in the single qualifying session, and had climbed to eight overall at the first of two safety car interruptions. However, Xing dropped down the order after the restart and was unable to make any headway before the flag, finishing fourth in class. Xing’s team mate Ray Wu, meanwhile, improved from a P4 class start to finish second in the category.

Absolute Racing’s Hu Bo made a solid debut until an error during the second and protracted safety car period saw his race end prematurely.

Race 2
Xing Yanbin and Ray Wu, as well as Hu Bo in the GT4 class, had all made gains from their grid positions when the safety car was called out mid-way through the 27-minute race two. At the restart, Wu continued to climb moving up to eighth overall by the flag, but a last-lap push from Xing saw him finish ahead of Wu to claim second in the Am Masters class, seventh overall.

Newcomer Hu Bo finished fourth in the GT4 class in just his second race in the Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4.

TCR China

Race 1
Audi RS 3 LMS Am entrant Yang Xiao Wei took the first-class victory of the year for Z.Speed and lead home a 1-2-3-4 finish for Audi in the category. Joining Yang on the podium were Huffsport TM’s Yang Xi and 326 MMK Racing Team’s Wu Yifan, while Huffsport TM’s Ken Tian finished fourth.

After a nine-lap race twice interrupted by red flag periods, the second of which saw the field return to pit lane for a protracted stoppage. Pro driver Zheng Wancheng of 326 MMK Racing Team entered into podium contention in the dying moments of the race. However, Zheng’s third overall finish was snatched away just metres from the flag.

Race 2
Starting from pole for race two, Yang Xi pulled clear of his Pro rivals, set a series of fastest sector times in his Audi RS 3 LMS, and held the lead into opening series of tricky turns.

As the field passed the finish line for the first time, Yang had pulled out lead of more than a second from his closest challenger, increasing his advantage to more than three seconds by the half way mark. However, in the closing laps the Pro drivers reeled in the Huffsport TM Am pilot. Yang didn’t put a wheel wrong until he eventually conceded the race lead, dropping to third overall on the final lap. Yang Xi’s defending skills earned him an overall TCR China podium and the Am class victory.

326 MMK Racing Team’s Wu Yifan took third in the Am class ahead of Huffsport TM’s Ken Tian. Pro driver Zheng Wancheng finished seventh overall with 326 MMK Racing Team.

Results

GT Super Sprint Challenge

Race 1
Am Masters
2. 55/Ray Wu/YC-Racing/Audi R8 LMS GT3
4. 68/Xing Yanbin/YC-Racing/Audi R8 LMS GT3
DNF
77/Markus Engel/YC-Racing/Audi R8 LMS GTC
16/Hu Bo/Absolute Racing/Audi R8 LMS GT4

Race 2
Am Masters
2. 68/Xing Yanbin/YC-Racing/Audi R8 LMS GT3
3. 55/Ray Wu/YC-Racing/Audi R8 LMS GT3
GT4
4. 16/Hu Bo/Absolute Racing/Audi R8 LMS GT4
DNF
77/Markus Engel/YC-Racing/Audi R8 LMS GTC

TCR China

Race 1
Overall
4. 777/Zheng Wancheng/326 MMK Racing Team/Audi RS 3 LMS
5. 17/Yang Xiaowei/Z.Speed/Audi RS 3 LMS
6. 3/Yang Xi/Huffsport TM/Audi RS 3 LMS
7. 51/Wu Yifan/326 MMK Racing Team/Audi RS 3 LMS
8. 15/Ken Tian/Huffsport TM/Audi RS 3 LMS

Race 2
Overall
3. 3/Yang Xi/Huffsport TM/Audi RS 3 LMS
6. 777/Zheng Wancheng/326 MMK Racing Team/Audi RS 3 LMS
8. 51/Wu Yifan/326 MMK Racing Team/Audi RS 3 LMS
9. 15/Ken Tian/Huffsport TM/Audi RS 3 LMS
12. 17/Yang Xiaowei/Z.Speed/Audi RS 3 LMS