Jack Young dominates incident packed first Zhuzhou race
Jack Young was untouchable in the first TCR China race of the weekend at Zhuzhou, defying two safety car sessions and a red flag to beat Jason Zhang by close to four seconds.
The Dongfeng Honda Racing Team driver started from pole and got a strong getaway while his team-mate Andre Couto stalled and dropped down the order.
But it was a chaotic start where Lynk & Co driver Dejun Pan moved across on Hyundai driver Zhang Zhendong who collected Zhen Zhuowei.
Zhen Zhuowei was able to continue the race while Dejun Pan and Zhang Zhendong were forced to retire with damage.
As Chen Zhiwei spun at the exit of Turn 1 and Aaron Kwok was left stationary in his grid position, the safety car was called into action and soon the red flags were out.
The race restarted behind the safety car with Young in the lead ahead of Hyundai N driver Cao Hongwei and Teamwork Motorsport’s Zhang.
But the safety car was called into action straight away as Zhang Hongyu went off at Turn 1 and beached his Audi in the gravel.
The race was again relaunched with just under ten minutes left of the race.
This saw a tough four-car fight for second place between Hongwei, Zhang, Ma Qing Hua and Martin Xie Xin Zhe.
Honda driver Martin Xie Xin Zhe was on the move after being tapped into a spin on the opening lap, passing Ma for sixth with seven minutes left of the race.
He then passed reigning champion David Zhu (Lynk & Co) and Martin Cao Hongwei (Hyundai), only to be hit hard from behind by Zhu as the Teamwork Motorsport driver outbraked himself while trying to pass Martin Cao Hongwei.
Martin Xie Xin Zhe sustained heavy suspension damage and was forced to retire, an incident which saw a penalty for Zhu that dropped him down to 19th position.
While Jason Zhang was in the clear in second place, TCR World Tour driver Ma challenged Martin Cao Hongwei for third place, making the move stick on the last lap of the race to snatch the final podium position.
Young won the race by 3.9 seconds over Zhang while Ma was over seven seconds behind in third ahead of Martin Cao Hongwei.
Couto fought his way back up to fifth after stalling on the grid, with Irish Hyundai driver Max Hart rounding off the top six.
The second race of the weekend starts at 13:53 local time/06:53 CET.