Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport had the perfect start to the TCR China championship season at the Zhuzhou International Circuit, with Ma Qing Hua winning the first three races in his Lynk & Co 03 TCR, while Lu Wei picked up the win in Race 4, leading Ma in a 1-2 finish to round off a brilliant weekend.
Ma Qing Hua claimed pole position for Race 1, with Lu Wei just three-tenths of a second behind in third, but grip issues in Qualifying 2 meant Ma and Lu were just fifth and seventh, which worked out well for the top seven reversed grid, which placed Lu on pole for Race 4.
There were still three races to get through first though, and Race 1 went swimmingly for the team, with Ma leading from lights-to-flag, while a great start from Lu saw the # 312 03 TCR straight up to second before Turn 1, and the two scored a debut 1-2 victory for the Teamwork Motorsport and the Lynk & Co China partnership.
In Race 2, Lu made a rocket start from fifth and was leading by the first corner! Ma didn't have a great start as he was trapped behind the stalling Audi of Yang Xi, and was still seventh by the end of the first lap.
Ma had recovered to third by the end of lap four, while Lu looked set for an easy victory, but he stopped on the same lap with a problem and the race was suspended behind the safety car.
At the restart, Ma overtook the leading MG of Cui Yue and drove off into the distance, scoring another brilliant victory.
On Sunday, from fifth on the grid, Ma again put on a masterful display, working his way carefully to the lead of the race from fifth on the grid. Lu also showed great speed, but was caught up in an accident early-on, and would finish the race down the order after stopping for repairs.
There were no problems for Lu in Race 4 however, with the Chinese driver sailing away into the distance. Ma was straight up to second at the start, and though he briefly fell to third on lap two, he quickly regained the position and then followed Lu home for a formation finish - the team's second 1-2 of the weekend, and their fourth win.
Ma Qing Hua, # 55 Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport driver, said:
_"It's been a great start to my season racing in China. I could barely have hoped for more than three wins and a second place in my first weekend, racing with a new team, and a new car.
"Everything has gone perfectly since we've got here. We've been able to get the best performance from our Lynk & Co 03 TCR straight away, and very importantly had a great race set-up, which allowed us to fight every lap, which was very important in the reversed grid races.
"I'd like to thank Teamwork Motorsport, and Lynk & Co China, for giving me this perfect car, and most of all, it's great to be racing again."_
Lu Wei, # 312 Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport driver, said:
_"It's been a fantastic weekend for the team, and also a good weekend for myself. We had a few scrapes, and that probably cost us a couple of points, but that's touring car racing.
"It's still turned out pretty well, taking the victory in Race 4 and scoring a 1-2 finish for the team is a great feeling, and a good reward for a lot of hard work this weekend.
"There's a lot of races to go, and more opportunities to take more points and more wins and make sure that we can be first and second in the championship."_
Paul Hui, Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport team principal, said: _ "We couldn't have wished for a better start. Thanks to Ma, Lu, and all the team, as well as the on-site support from Geely Group Motorsport for an excellent job this weekend. Pole position and four wins is a brilliant start to our TCR China championship, and it sets a high bar for us to follow for the rest of the year.
"We won't get complacent - there's strong competition in the championship this year, it's probably one of the toughest grids in TCR China for a while; so we'll keep pushing, and hope to keep the momentum going when we get to Ordos._
Race 1 result 1 - Ma Qing Hua - Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport 03 TCR - 15 laps 2 - Lu Wei - Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport - 03 TCR - +0.554 3 - Rodolfo Ávila - MG XPOWER 6 TCR - +7.148 4 - Yang Xi - Champ Motorsport - Audi RS 3 LMS - +15.742 5 - Cui Yue - MG XPOWER 6 TCR - +26.095
Race 2 result 1 - Ma Qing Hua - Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport 03 TCR - 15 laps 2 - Rodolfo Ávila - MG XPOWER 6 TCR - +3.816 3 - Cui Yue - MG XPOWER 6 TCR - +8.841 4 - Wu Yifan - 326 Motorsport Audi RS 3 LMS - +9.937 5 - Yang Xi - Champ Motorsport Audi RS 3 LMS - +10.369 8 - Lu Wei - Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport 03 TCR - DNF
Race 3 result 1 - Ma Qing Hua - Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport 03 TCR - 15 laps 2 - Yang Xi - Champ Motorsport Audi RS 3 LMS - +2.556 3 - Rodolfo Ávila - MG XPOWER 6 TCR - +3.194 4 - Lin Qi - Autohome Racing Team Lynk & Co 03 TCR - +8.047 5 - Cui Yue - MG XPOWER 6 TCR - +11.281 7 - Lu Wei - Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport 03 TCR - +4 laps
Race 4 result 1 - Lu Wei - Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport 03 TCR - 14 laps 2 - Ma Qing Hua - Shell Teamwork Lynk & Co Motorsport 03 TCR - +0.537 3 - Rodolfo Ávila - MG XPOWER 6 TCR - +10.399 4 - Wu Yifan - 326 Motorsport Audi RS 3 LMS - +11.458 5 - Cui Yue - MG XPOWER 6 TCR - +15.376