Pepe Oriola wins eventful first Shanghai race ahead of Rob Huff
Ford driver Pepe Oriola won an eventful first China Touring Car Championship race at Shanghai ahead of Volkswagen driver Rob Huff, who started 14th.
Dongfeng Kia Racing Team driver Jason Zhang started from pole position and held the lead into the first corner with BAIC Senova Racing Team driver David Zhu right behind.
Leo Yi Hong Li was right behind the leading duo during the first lap and made his way past Zhu for second place in the penultimate corner of the first lap with some contact.
Zhu continued to drop down the order and retired on the second lap due to the damage sustained in the contact with Hong Li.
The Changan Ford FRD Team duo of Rainey He and Andy Yan made strong progress in the opening laps, with He passing Hong Li for second place at the end of the second lap.
Team-mate Yan made his move on the Kia driver one corner later, moving up into third position.
WTCR driver Huff made his way past Hong Li two corners later to claim fourth position.
As the field came to start lap four, the Ford duo of He and Yan attacked Zhang for the lead. Yan made contact with his team-mate at the exit of the final corner, sending them both into a spin and dropped several positions.
This handed Volkswagen driver Huff the lead ahead of Zhang, with Changan Ford FRD Team driver Oriola right behind in third.
Oriola made his way past Zhang shortly after and set his sights on Huff in the lead. The Ford driver made the move for the lead on lap four of seven to win the race by close to two seconds ahead of Huff, who will start from pole position tomorrow.
Zhang finished third with Hong Li in fourth after a drag race with Ford driver He, just one thousand of a second separated the two over the finishing line. He recovered to fifth after his incident with team-mate Yan, who finished 12th.
SAIC Volkswagen 333 Racing driver Rodolfo Avila rounded off the top six.
The second race of the weekend at Shanghai starts at 14:45 local time / 07:45 CET tomorrow.