Photo: Macau GP

Martin Cao claims solid TCR China lead with Macau Race 1 win

Martin Cao won the first TCR China race of the season finale weekend on the streets of Macau to claim a strong points lead, heading home a Hyundai N Team 1-2 with team-mate Andy Yan.

Martin Cao made the best start to beat Andy Yan heading into the first series of corners while local hero André Couto stalled from third on the grid to drop down to 14th place.

Disaster struck title contender Jack Young who suffered a suspected puncture on the opening lap and retired from the race, now trailing the points lead by 23 points with 25 remaining in the final race tomorrow.

Zhou Yunjie forced the safety car out on track at the end of the first lap as he crashed into the wall.

The race was restarted with eight laps left.

Shortly after the restart, Wu Yi Fan went into the barriers but was able to get out of the way and avoid a safety car session.

Teamwork Motorsport driver Jason Zhang found himself under pressure from Martin Xie and Yan Xiao Wei after the restart in the fight for fourth place, with both passing the Lynk & Co driver who dropped down to sixth place.

Zhu Yuanjie hit the tyre barriers at Police two laps after the restart, but was able to limp out of the way and again avoid a safety car session.

Martin Cao claimed his fourth TCR China victory of 2023, just over one second ahead of team-mate Andy Yan, with Z.Speed driver Zhang Zhen Dong making it an all-Hyundai podium.

Martin Xie brought his Honda home in fourth place ahead of Hyundai driver Yang Xiao Wei.

Max Hart, who started tenth, fought his way past Jason Zhang to finish sixth while David Zhu rounded off the top eight.

André Couto, who stalled at the start of the race, finished ninth for Dongfeng Honda ahead of He Xiaole.

The second and final race of the weekend starts at 08:20 local time/01:20 CET on Sunday.