Macau driver Leong Ian Veng, driving a Mitsubishi EVO 9, won yesterday’s race of the new format of the CTM Macau Touring Car Cup.
Leong won a shortened race ahead of Japanese driver Mitsuhiro Kinoshita (Nissan GTR R34) and Colombian Julio Acosta (Lotus Evora); a consequence of two consecutive accidents, one of them involving Leong on turn one.
As the race was stopped two laps earlier than expected, the winners were determined by the order of the competitors prior to the final red flag.
Starting from the second position of the grid, Leong took over the lead right after the first three laps, racing behind the safety car on a damp Guia Circuit, but far ahead of his competitors.
As the track started to dry out, Kinoshita was closing on Leong’s lead and, by the end of lap 7, he had narrowed the gap to just two seconds. On the next lap, Kinoshita set the fastest lap of the race, reducing Leong’s lead to 1.862 seconds, just before a series of crashes. The first crash occurred on turn one with a slower contender that crashed right in front of Leong forcing him to an emergency brake that sent his Mitsubishi spinning against the Armco wall, while a few seconds later a blockade by three other contestants on Dona Maria exit induced the end of the race.
With this year’s race for both 1,600cc Turbo and over 1,950cc cars, the first eight positions were occupied by cars with larger engines. First among them was the 1.6T for Macanese racer Jeronimo Badaraco in a Chevrolet Cruze that managed on a very wet and slippery circuit to overtake last year’s champion Paul Poon (Peugeot RCZ), crossing the finish line just 0.392 seconds ahead of him. The third was Leong Chi Kin in a Mini Cooper S. RM