HTCC: Round one preview

Introduction to the 3rd edition of the Hong Kong Touring Car Championship The first race event of the 3rd edition of the Hong Kong Touring Car Championship (HTCC) will be held at the Zhuhai International Circuit on 17 - 18 April. This year's ...

Introduction to the 3rd edition of the Hong Kong Touring Car Championship

The first race event of the 3rd edition of the Hong Kong Touring Car Championship (HTCC) will be held at the Zhuhai International Circuit on 17 - 18 April. This year's championship will determine the qualifiers for the Macau Guia Race, Macau Cup Race and Macau Tourism Cup Race from Hong Kong. It is expected to provide race fans with another fierce and exciting season.

This year's races will once again be divided into 1600cc/N2000cc, 2000cc super production and Roadsports classes. Temporarily the top 5 drivers in the 2000cc super production class will represent Hong Kong in the Macau Guia Race, held during the Macau Grand Prix.

In the super production class, there are two major changes in the technical regulations this year: 1st, the camshaft is free; 2nd, the intake size of the airbox is increased. The two changes will lead to an increase in power, making the race cars faster and probably resulting in a more exciting race.

At the moment, reigning champion team China Dragon Racing has confirmed that it will enter an unprecedented 5 cars for the championship, including 3 Honda Civic Type Rs (EP3) and 2 Honda Integra Type Rs (DC2). Reigning champion driver Paul Poon will continue to drive his Honda Civic Type R race car, the other 2 Civics will be driven by Samson Fung and Alex Lin. Team chief Kelvin So will partner the team's new recruit Andy Li in a pair of older Integra Type Rs.

As for last year's 1st runner's up 778 Autosport, they have also committed a single Integra Type Rs (DC2) to the series. Lo Ka Fai is keen to go avenge his brother Lo Ka Chun's defeat last year. The team is already doing work on the new technical regulations with the aim to fully exploit the potential of the cars.

Another team with big ambitions is the Cheong's Speed racing team, which is launching a massive 5 car attack on the championship. Kenneth Look, who took two race wins last year and finished in a commendable 3rd place in the championship, will once again compete in his Integra Type R (DC5). His was the fastest Integra Type R in the Macau Guia Race's qualifying sessions among all Hong Kong and Macau drivers and is expected to be a strong contender for the overall title this year. Then there are the brothers Siu Tik Lung and Siu Yuk Lung, who will drive 2 Integra Type Rs (DC5). Both brothers have had extensive racing experiences in recent years and the series will be a good test for them. The team's duo of Civic Type Rs will be shared by Lau Keung Tak and Rolly Sham.

Finally, the potential of Works Motorsport driver Benjamin Chan (Integra Type R DC5) and Ghiasports driver Philip Ma (Civic Type R EP3) cannot be ignored.

A total of 13 cars have been entered for this year's championship and the quality is as high as ever. It is going to be another exciting season with plenty of action in store.

This year's race will enjoy 1 hour's live coverage by Zhuhai TV, Hong Kong race fans may enjoy the exciting highlights of the race on TVB's Sports World programme. In addition, Hong Kong Broadband TV's Yes TV channel and Satellite channel Lotus TV of Macau will also carry half an hour of highlights.

<pre> 2004 Hong Kong Touring Car Championship 2000cc Class Calender:

Event      Date                Rounds           Location
Event 1    April 17 - 18       Rounds 1 & 2     Zhuhai Int'l Circuit
Event 2    May 15 - 16         Rounds 3 & 4     Zhuhai Int'l Circuit
Event 3    July 31 - Aug 1     Rounds 5 & 6     Zhuhai Int'l Circuit
Event 4    Sept 11 - 12        Rounds 7 & 8     Zhuhai Int'l Circuit

-htcc-

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Series General
Drivers Paul Poon , Philip Ma Chingh Yeung
Teams Dragon Racing