Rodolfo Avila leads ART 1-2 in opening TCR Asia race

Asia Racing Team started the season in the best possible way by claiming a 1-2 finish in the inaugural TCR Asia Series at Sepang, Malaysia, with Rodolfo Avila winning ahead of team-mate Philippe Descombes and Michael Choi completing the podium in his Prince Racing Honda Civic.

Pole sitter Avila lost the lead at the start in favour of Andy Yan’s FRD Racing Team Ford Focus, with the double CTCC champion resisting Descombes’ pressure for one lap before his Focus surrendered to a technical issue.

It didn’t take too long before Avila passed his team-mate to lead the ART’s 1-2, while Masahiko Ida took a trip into the gravel in his SEAT León Racer. Prince Racing Honda’s Kenneth Lau found himself in third place, only to lose it after a spin, leaving the place in the hands of his team-mate, who enjoyed a lengthy battle with Craft-Bamboo’s Eric Kwong.

Roadstar Racing’s Samsong Chan SEAT made contact with sister car Kenny Lee (Win Hing).

A recovering Kenneth Lau managed to pass Eric Kwong in the final stages of the race, claiming fourth for Prince Racing.

The race was therefore won by Rodolfo Avila ahead of team-mate Philippe Descombes. Honda took the remaining podium spot as well as fourth with Michael Choi and Kenneth Lau respectively, with Eric Kwong in fifth for Craft-Bamboo Racing.

Japanese driver Masahiko Ida led home a trio of local drivers with Mitchell Cheah, Fahrizal Hassan and Freddy Numan completing the top ten.

Action at Sepang will resume tomorrow with two races at 11.00 and 14.00 local time.