Huang Chu Han wins TCR China endurance race at Zhejiang

NewFaster’s Huang Chu Han has won the one-hour endurance race at the Zhejiang International Circuit, winning the race in his Audi RS 3 ahead of the guest entry of Henry Ho and Kenneth Look, with Jean-Karl Vernay and Alex Hui completing the podium.

Huang won the race by 15 seconds ahead of Look and Ho’s Elegant Racing SEAT León, with Hui and Vernay promoted to third after a number of incidents late in the race.

The TCR Asia team Elegant Racing had stayed on-site and entered their two SEAT Leóns in the race, with Henry Ho and Kenneth Look in the #99 car which was raced by Alex Liu in TCR Asia on Saturday, and Eric Kwong racing with his driver coach Stian Paulsen in the #99 SEAT.

Jean-Karl Vernay started from pole position in the #31 Teamwork Volkswagen, but fell behind the NewFaster Audi RS 3 of Andy Yan at Turn 3 on the opening lap, while Paulsen was making quick progress in the SEAT León and soon passed Huang Chu Han’s Audi RS 3 for fourth.

Paulsen then passed Vernay on lap three, before taking the lead from Yan’s Audi a lap later, with Vernay following him through as the Audi driver conserved his tyres.

The two Europeans began to build a lead, as Huang overtook team-mate Yan for third, but on lap 11, Deng Bao Wei in the Leo109 Racing Audi crashed out, half-rolling his car and bringing out the safety car.

The race was suspended for five laps, which ran into the pit stop window, with all but Paulsen and Wang Hao opting to pit straight away.

Paulsen and Wang pitted a lap later, handing their cars over to Eric Kwong and Larry Lin respectively, but dropped to the back of the order, with Kenneth Look now in the race lead ahead of the two NewFaster Audis, with Huang ahead of Yan.

Look held onto the lead until lap 22, when Huang threw his Audi up the inside at the first sequence and took over.

Look was now defending against Yan, with Filipe de Souza’s Teamwork Volkswagen just behind, but de Souza made an error on lap 23 and ran into Yan’s Audi, spinning him out and down to seventh.

Look now had some breathing space, with de Souza forced to pit with damage to his front splitter. De Souza’s team-mate Alex Fung was briefly promoted to third, but pitted with seven minutes to go, promoting the last Teamwork car of Alex Hui in his place.

Huang’s win is his fourth of the season, and moves him into the lead of the championship with two rounds left to go at Ningbo and Guangdong.