Chinese Racing Cup |Local driver Helder Assunção takes victory

Macau racer Helder Assunção was the first driver to step onto the podium during the Macau Grand Prix event, after he claimed victory in the 10-lap Chinese Racing Cup ahead of second-place China’s David Zhu by 11.933 seconds. Third on the podium was Brian Lee of Taiwan, completing an all Baic Senova D50 TCR cars podium.

On the opening lap in Saturday’s race, pole-position driver Zhang Zhi Qiang of China got away cleanly, but an incident behind him at the first turn brought out the red flags. The race soon restarted behind the Safety Car and on lap 3, racing resumed with Zhang in a Baic D50 TCR holding the lead, compatriot Zhu second and Assunção third.

Zhang began to build a gap and by the end of the third lap he was five seconds ahead of Zhu. Mid-way through the race, Assunção overtook Zhu to hold second, but Zhang was now nearly 10 seconds ahead.

However, just as it looked as though victory was assured, Zhang encountered a problem and slowed on lap 6. Assunção and Zhu slipped past him, with the Macau driver taking the lead and Zhu following close behind. Zhang was forced to retire, prematurely ending what had been a strong weekend.

Assunção then began pulling away from Zhu, with Brian Lee reaching third. The three remained in that order for the final few laps of the dramatic race, before Assunção took the chequered flag.

Categories Sports