Zhang Zhen Dong crowned CTCC champion as Rodolfo Avila wins final round at Wuhan
Zhang Zhen Dong secured the Chinese Touring Car Championship title with second place in the final race of the season at Wuhan as SAIC Volkswagen 333 Racing team-mate Rodolfo Avila took victory.
Zhen Dong finished the year on 177 points, which was more than enough to be crowned ahead of nearest rival, Dongfeng Kia Racing Team’s Martin Cao, who could only manage sixth in the race.
Reigning BTCC champion Colin Turkington led away from pole position at the start, while Zhen Dong initially dropped a place from third to Andy Yan’s Changan-run Ford Focus 2.0T.
Yan’s race did not last long though as the there-time CTCC champion pulled into the pits early on. He made it back out but a spin at Turn 10 made for a disappointing final race of the year which lasted just three laps.
Avila made it past Turkington for the lead of the race at the start of the fifth lap of 19 and was subsequently never threatened from then on.
The Macanese driver built up a healthy margin once Turkington had to pit at the end of the following lap.
This allowed Zheng Dong up into second place, as Cao struggled to make inroads.
Cao had made significant progress from 15th on the grid and was challenging the back of David Zhu’s BAIC Senova machine with nine laps remaining.
Zhu’s defence was astute until Cao squeezed past him in between Turns 7 and 8; Zhu then turned in on Cao which resulted in contact between the former and the Kia of Jason Zhang.
Both suffered damage as a result, with Zhu retiring and Zhang the last of the classified runners in 14th.
Near the front, BAIC Senova’s Morgan was beginning to put in a late race attack on the cars in front, first by catching and passing the Kia of Leo Yi Hong Li on the run into Turn 1.
Morgan then set about Race 1 winner Fontana for third and got the run on the second Kia out of the final corner. Morgan then cleverly dummied Fontana as the pair began to brake for Turn, turning an outside move into the inside line to snatch third on the final lap.
But Avila was unchallenged to the flag and duly took the win from team-mate Zhen Dong by over seven seconds at the finish.
Fontana held onto fourth ahead of Liu Yang’s Guangzhou Toyota Racing Team Corolla.
Zhu beat Hong Li to sixth, while Sunny Wong, Colin Turkington and Zhang Han Biao rounded out the top ten.