2016 TCR Asia Series: South Korea…

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As well as giving the ADAC TCR Germany series its own focus on the blog during 2016, the Tintop Guru Blog will also do the same for the 2016 TCR Asia Series as it enters its second season of competition.

Heres how the first weekend in South Korea worked out…

TCR ASIA KICKS OFF-SEASON TWO IN SOUTH KOREA

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In 2015, TCR Asia was the first regional series to embrace the new concept and ran successfully over four events, with three of them (Singapore, Thailand and Macau) run together with the International Series. Hong Kong’s Michael Choi was crowned the first champion in a Honda Civic of Prince Racing.

The 2016 season will start at the Korea International Circuit with a strong field of entries that includes a number of the leading Asian Touring Car drivers. Eleven cars were entered for the opening round.

The strongest combination appears to be that of the Liqui Moly Team Engstler VW Golf GTI cars, driven by multiple China Touring Car champion Andy Yan and Macau’s Filipe de Souza. The Volkswagen brand will also be represented by TeamWork Motorsport, with Kevin Tse and Hong-Kong-based American Bill O’Brien. 2015 race winner Tin Sritrai will switch from SEAT to a Honda Civic campaigned by Team Thailand, whilst Henry Ho – who was a strong campaigner at Macau at the end of last year – returns in a Honda for Champ Motorsports alongside Michael Ho.
The field will be completed by three SEAT cars: Douglas Khoo of Viper Niza Racing and RoadStar Racing’s Terence Tse and Cheong Yu.

TIN SRITRAI CLAIMS POLE IN TCR ASIA OPENING

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Tin Sritrai and his Team Thailand Honda Civic have claimed the first pole position of the season in the TCR Asia Series.

At Yeongam’s Korea International Circuit, the Thai driver had already topped the time sheet in yesterday’s three testing sessions and this morning’s first practice. During qualifying Sritrai posted a fastest lap of 2:22.714 in Q1 and then significantly improved him in Q2, clocking a 2:21.137 that was by far the fastest of the field and granted him pole position for tomorrow’s Race 1.

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Two Volkswagen drivers qualified in second and third: Kevin Tse of TeamWork Motorsport (2:22.295) and Andy Yan of Liqui Moly Team Engstler (2:22.856), while Henry Ho placed his Champ Motorsport Honda Civic in fourth (2:23.006).

The first SEAT León was the Viper Niza Racing’s driven by Roelof Bruins, fifth with a lap of 2:23.489.

ROELOF BRUINS WINS TCR ASIA OPENING RACE

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Viper Niza Racing’s Roeolof Bruins claimed victory in the opening race of the 2016 TCR Asia Series at Yeongam’s Korea International Circuit.

In the first half of the race, the Korean driver and its SEAT León chased the leading pair of Andy Yan (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf Gti) and pole-sitter Tin Sritrai (Team Thailand Honda Civic).

During the first six laps, the three drivers delivered a close and entertaining fight with their cars running within only half-a-second; then on lap 7 Bruins overtook Sritrai for the second place with a controversial manoeuvre that caused the Thai to spin. The contact was investigated by the Stewards who, eventually, judged it as a normal race incident.

In the final part of the 14-lap race, Bruins closed the gap on Yan and eventually overtook him midway through the last lap. Yan finished second, followed by Henry Ho (Champ Motorsport Honda Civic) and Sritrai.

TCR ASIA: SRITRAI STRIKES BACK IN RACE 2

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Tin Sritrai of Team Thailand made up for a disappointing first race and claimed a dominant victory in the TCR Asia second round at Yeongam’s Korea International Circuit.

Terence Tse (Roadstar Racing SEAT León) and Filipe de Souza (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf Gti) took the start from the front row on the top-eight reverse grid, but it was Roelof Bruins, the Race 1 winner in the Viper Niza Racing SEAT, who took the lead from Michael Ho (Champ Motorsport Honda Civic), with Sritrai’s Honda in third place.

During the first lap Sritrai overtook Michael Ho, while the second Champ Motorsport Honda of Henry Ho slowed down, handing fourth place to Andy Yan (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf Gti). Soon, the same trio that had battled for Race 1 victory – Bruins, Sritrai and Yan – was against fighting for the top positions.

On lap 4, Sritrai stole the lead from Bruins and began to pull away, while the Korean driver found himself chased by Yan. On lap 6, Yan took second position and for the rest of the race he successfully defended it from Bruins’ attacks.

Sritrai took the chequered flag, with Yan and Bruins claiming the other podium results. Kevin Tse finished fourth, ahead of de Souza and a recovering Henry Ho.
The championship standings after the first event see Sritrai leading with 42 points ahead of Bruins (41) and Yan (39).

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The next race meeting will take place at Buriram’s Chang International Circuit, Thailand on June 11 and 12.

Until next time, All the best!!

Phil!!!

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