Pole to Flag Win for Chen

Published on April 26th, 2011

It was a pole to flag win for the Taiwanese driver Chen Jun San in Round 1 of the Asian Touring Car Series at Guangdong International Circuit. The race, run in conjunction with the Hong Kong Touring Car Championship, saw the ATCS driver taking home the winning trophy ahead of fierce competitors, Paul Poon and Samson Fung.

The top three starters finished the race as they lined up on the grid, with Poon crossing the chequered flag in second, just 1.7seconds behind Chen, with Fung coming in third a further ten seconds behind.

Despite being away from the racing scene for a long time, Chen managed to stay ahead to take his first win after a three year break. “I didn’t get a good start because I haven’t been racing for three years. At the start I overheated my tyres so I did not manage to get a good laptime leaving Paul to catch up to me. I just managed to stay in front of him” said Chen during a post race interview.

“I was lucky that there was a Safety Car period, this gave me a chance to cool my tyres and when the Safety Car went in, I managed a good restart.

“I am happy to be on the podium after being away for three years. I have to thank my team for a job well done today”.

Chen then added “we will be making some setup changes for tomorrow to get a better start since we will be starting sixth in the reverse grid for race 2”.

For Poon, coming in second was quite lucky for him “I didn’t have a good start. I was just lucky that nothing happened and that I was able to follow Chen all the way. I knew he was faster so all I did was maintain my pace”.

Coming in third was China Dragon Racing and Poon’s teammate, Fung. “I actually had a good start but right in front of me is my teammate. I did not want to overtake him as he wasn’t my target” he said with a smile.

The race was marred by an early incident that caused the Safety Car to be deployed for two laps to clear the car of Andy Yan from the grass. The incident involved the cars of Kenneth Lau, Andy Yan and Michael Choi who were running in fourth, fifth and sixth at the time, dropping Lau and Choi to almost the rear of the grid.

For first time Asian Touring Car Series competitor, Hideharu Kuroki, coming in sixth was quite good, especially competing against tough competitors. After the race he cited he was happy to be on the podium, taking the second placed trophy for the Asian Touring Car Series competitor.

Despite the race incident, Ken Lau managed to make his way up the grid to seventh and claiming third place in ATCS. “I managed to climb back up lap by lap after the accident and I knew my car was faster than the others so I managed to catch up. I am happy to be on the podium today and tomorrow I aim to be on the top step”.

Round 2 of the Asian Touring Car Series will be held at 1.45pm Sunday, 24th April 2011.

words & pix: Motorsport Asia

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