World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) racer James Nash is within touching distance of securing the World Championship’s Independent driver title after scoring two Independent wins on Sunday 3rd November at the penultimate event of the series on Shanghai’s International Circuit in China.
Resplendent in it’s new Zenrise red livery Nash took his Bamboo Engineering Chevrolet Cruze to 3rd place overall in the opening race and 6th place from 7th on the grid in race 2. Both results were typically hard fought touring car affairs with the drivers having to contend with the hazard of a tricky track surface that had been soaked by a heavy rainfall but was drying by the time of the start. All the cars started the opening race behind the Safety Car with most on wet tyres while all opted for dry slick tyres for the second. Good tyre management was key though in both, particularly in race one while race two finished in virtual darkness with the circuit increasingly becoming shrouded in mist.
Nash was the only driver to feature on both race podium ceremonies and he remains very much in contention for an overall top three Championship result. Just seven points split him, 4th in the standings from 3rd placed Tom Chilton (RML Chevrolet Cruze) while 29 points separate him from former World Champion Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic) in 2nd. With the final event taking place on Macau’s notoriously difficult Guia street circuit it leaves Nash, Chilton and Tarquini with much to play for.
James Nash: “ A good day’s work and two solid race results to show for the effort. The first race in particular was extremely hard to judge. Very tempting to try and go with those that struck out early-on but at the same time keeping a level head knowing that tyre wear would be an issue at race-end. We were one of the few to go with slicks and it was only by the end of the race that it was clear that we'd made the right choice.”
“As well as all the tyre issues to consider I had the additional matter of some very hot competion to contend with! Keeping last year’s Champion Rob Huff’s Seat, my team-mate Alex MacDowall and Gabriele Tarquini at bay and the last lap pass on Pepe Oriola (RML Chevrolet Cruze) were the highlights for me of race one while fighting this year’s Champion Yvan Muller (RML Chevrolet Cruze) was great fun in race two.”
“ The Independent World title is so close now I can feel it. I think Alex (MacDowall) needs to win both races and set fastest lap in each in Macau without me scoring, or something like that to deprive me now of the title. But, it is Macau we’re talking about for the final event and so I’m taking nothing yet for granted!”.
James Nash Racing