It was a perfect weekend for Liqui Moly Team Engstler when Kantadhee Kusiri and Diego Moran claimed two double podium finishes at TCR Asia in Shanghai, reclaiming both Team and Driver Championship leads.
“It was a perfect weekend for the team. Both drivers did exceptionally well and the crew too for giving them two perfect Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR, allowing them the opportunity to bring us two one-two finishes here in Shanghai” said Kurt Treml, Sport & Marketing Director, Liqui Moly Team Engstler.
The team was ecstatic with the outcome and will be heading to the season finale with a renewed confidence to retain the Championship title.
Kusiri was quick from the start of the week during the practice sessions and was absolutely perfect throughout Qualifying, starting both races from pole.
In Round 9, although Kusiri got off the line just slightly slower than fellow front row starter, Andy Yan, he managed to reclaim the lead at turn 12 of lap two. From there he maintained a good lead all the way to the chequered flag.
“From the beginning, the car was very quick and it was very fast around the corners so I could follow Andy, and the car was faster than his so I can win today. Thank you to the team and my manager, the car was perfect for me” said the Thai driver.
For Moran, a bad start saw him drop one position before climbing back up to third towards the end of the first lap. From there, he caught on to the leaders and slowly put pressure on Yan before overtaking him for second at the end of lap 7.
Moran said after the race, “I’m quite happy. It was a very nice race. My start was not good at all but luckily I was able to recover the position I lost at the start, in the first lap and then it was push, push, push to catch the guys in front.
“Of course ‘Boom’ is always too fast so it was impossible to catch him this time but I was able to catch Yan and pass him to a safe race. I’m quite happy”.
In Round 10, Kusiri got off to a perfect start and was not challenged throughout the race, keeping his Ecuadorian teammate, who had a bit more of a battle with the rest of the grid, firmly behind him.
Kusiri was elated when he summed up the weekend, “I feel really good because now I am leading the Championship. I think it was lucky for me, I had a really good start so I managed to open a gap right from the start and kept on opening the gap at every lap.
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“The team worked really well to give me the perfect car. It was easy to drive and I was able to maintain a fantastic speed. I am so proud to be able to give the team two victories this weekend” he ended.
It was a little bit of drama for Moran as he lost a couple of positions with a bad start but his tenacity helped to get him back up to second place just midway through the opening lap. From there he just opened up the gap to the battle happening behind him. Although he tried, Moran could not catch his teammate who was too far up ahead.
“I did make a bad start, I think if I made a better start I would have been closer to ‘Boom’. I tried to catch him but I was damaging my tyres too much so I decided to reduce my pace a little bit and maintained second place, it was safer, I think.
“The car was perfect but my teammate was just too fast to catch. I managed to collect vital points for the Team and for myself. Just one more race weekend to go and for sure we will keep focused on our goal of retaining the Championship. I promise to do my best to help get us there” ended Moran.
Treml too was on a high after the race. “It was our goal to leave Shanghai as leaders and we achieved it through hard work and dedication from the whole team. This whole week, everyone was focused on the goal and the final result was the prize for us!
“We definitely gave our guests and partners; Liqui Moly, Hella Pagid, Continental and Remus Exhaust System, a great show this couple of days.
“Now as we head to Zhejiang, a newly built circuit, we will definitely be aiming to defend our Championship title in this 2017 season” ended Treml.
Liqui Moly Team Engstler and TCR Asia will head to Zhejiang Circuit for the 6-8 October weekend for an expectedly epic season finale.
Liqui Moly Team Engstler will compete in the full TCR Asia Series 2017 season with two Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR with car #2 driven by Kantadhee Kusiri of Thailand and car #32 driven by Diego Moran of China. The team is supported by Liqui Moly, Remus, VW Motorsport, Hella Pagid, Drexler drivetrain, Motec rims, Recaro and Eibach.
TCR Asia Series 2017 Calendar
10 – 12 March 2017 – Sepang, Malaysia
21 – 23 April 2017 – Zuhai / China
12 – 14 May 2017 – Zhuhai / China
01 – 02 July 2017 – Bangsaen / Thailand
26 – 27 August 2017 – Shanghai / China
06 – 08 October 2017 – Zhejiang / China