Esteban Guerrieri and Ma Qinghua led the Honda Civic Type R TCR points scorers on Sunday in two bruising races in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup on the streets of Wuhan.
Driving for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Esteban qualified fifth and rocketed up to second within the first few corners of Race Three; positions he was then told to give back by race control.
He then resisted intense pressure to hang on for fourth, despite suffering a damaged exhaust from a rear-end tap earlier in the race.
Both Esteban and team-mates Yann Ehrlacher were forced off the track at the start of Race Two, causing all three to lose positions. Esteban finished 13th while Yann was 15th – a result he bettered by three places later in the day.
Timo had even worse luck as he was involved in contact through no fault of his own on the first laps of both races and retired without having completed a lap of either.
There was better news from Boutsen Ginion Racing, whose Chinese driver Ma played a starring role in front of his home crowd after reaching the Q2 section of qualifying – and only missing the Q3 pole position shoot-out by 0.1 seconds.
Ninth place in qualifying gave him a front-row starting spot on Race Two’s partially-reversed grid.
Contact from behind at the start pushed him off the track at the first corner and dropped him to 11th, but he fought back to eighth, only to be demoted to 12th with a post-race penalty for contact.
He was on top form in Race Three to finish seventh and become the first Chinese points-scorer in WTCR.
Team-mate Tom Coronel started both races from the back row, but used all his experience to gain 10 spots during the early stages of each. Unfortunately, an electrical issue meant he did not reach the chequered flag.
The weekend results mean Münnich and Boutsen Ginion hold third and 10th places in the Teams’ Championship while Esteban is the best-placed Civic Type R TCR pilot in the Drivers’ points table in sixth.
The series continues at Honda’s home racetrack, Suzuka, in three weeks’ time.