China Dragon Racing HKTCC Zhuhai race notes

China Dragon Racing scored strong second in HKTCC opening race. China Dragon Racing driver Paul Poon, driving a Honda Civic Type R (EP3), scored a strong second place in the opening race of the Hong Kong Touring Car Championship, held at the ...

China Dragon Racing scored strong second in HKTCC opening race.

China Dragon Racing driver Paul Poon, driving a Honda Civic Type R (EP3), scored a strong second place in the opening race of the Hong Kong Touring Car Championship, held at the Zhuhai International Circuit on Sunday, 13 April.

The race was won by Marchy Lee of AIA Racing in a Peugeot 306. Paul finished second, 9.7 seconds behind with 778 Autosports driver Lo Ka Chun third in his Honda Integra Type R (DC5).

Paul was understandably happy with the results. "After the red light went out I managed a good getaway from my seond place on the grid, by the time I reached turn 1 I was already ahead of poleman Marchy Lee in his Peugeot 306. Sadly there was a bit of a problem with the differential, it slowed the car by more than a second a lap, therefore Marchy was able to regain his lead in the middle of the race. Fortunately in the end I was able to maintain my second place at the finish." He was rewarded with 6 championship points for his excellent efforts. HKTCC uses the 10-6-4-3-2-1 points system.

The other two China Dragon Racing drivers were not so lucky. Kelvin So, last year's vice champion and China Dragon Racing team boss, finished 7th while Samson Fung crossed the line in 9th place.

Kelvin said, "This year the competitors are particularly strong, in addition we had to race with the 1,600cc group A cars in the first race, that made the racing really tough and unpredictable. In qualifying, more than 10 cars qualified within a second or so of each other, that means if you qualified a few hundredths of a second slower, you could lose 3 places. Besides, my Civic Type R (EP3) machine was not yet ready, meaning I had to use my Integra Type R (DC2). The 2003 regulations does not allow the 50 kg advantage for the 1.8 litre Integra, this affected my results."

"During the race, Paul Chan, who was in front of me, had a gearbox problem and was pulling off the road. But unfortunately he failed to see me and pulled me off, too! I was able to recover but it costed me a lot of time. For sure I hope the new car can be ready for the next rounds, allowing me to catch up with the leaders." a frustrated Kelvin added.

Samson Fung's Civic Type R also could not be readied in time for this race, he raced his old Integra DC5 instead, but was only able to finish outside the points in 9th place.

Samson: "The driving standards in this race was very high, compared with the standards I was used to, but I enjoy this challenge and the super exciting racing. A pity is that my Civic Type R (EP3) is not yet ready, forcing me to use the Integra Type R (DC5) for this race. The specification of this Integra is for the Japanese one make races, rather than super production, so its performance is not comparable with the Honda Civic Typre R or the Peugeot 306."

"I was not very lucky in the race. After the start I was hit by an out of control car at turn 1 and I left the circuit. By the time I got back 20 cars went past already. Even though I got into the top 10 in the end, I am still not satisfied with my result."

China Dragon Racing's fourth driver Alex Lin was evacuated to Australia by his employer due to the SARS outbreak in the region, thus he was unable to take part in the race.

The next 2 rounds of the HKTCC will be held again at the Zhuhai International Circuit on 10 to 11 May. The top 5 drivers from the HKTCC will gain entry to the prestigious Guia Race held during the Macau Grand Prix weekend.

This year China Dragon Racing are proud to be sponsored by Dunlop, Castrol, IDI and Pipercross.

-cdr-

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About this article
Series Road racing
Drivers Paul Chan , Paul Poon , Marchy Lee
Teams Dragon Racing