TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Lloyd ready for title showdown at Zhouzhou

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with 2018 TCR UK Champion Daniel Lloyd, who is competing in the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship for the Dongfeng Honda Racing Team…

This weekend is the finale of the 2019 season for TCR China, where the series will race at the brand new facility of Zhouzhou International Circuit that has been completed only a few weeks ago. After a difficult weekend last time out at Ningbo, Lloyd is still in the hunt for the driver’s title, however he has a slim chance against title rival and championship leader Huang Chu Han.

Lloyd reflects on Ningbo…

Credit: David Noels/HME

Daniel Lloyd reflected back on what was an important weekend which offered some hope of reclaiming the Championship lead on Saturday, before events on Sunday changed the outlook of that task.

“A really unfortunate end to what started as a positive weekend. We did a great job in free practice and qualifying and were on the pace all weekend with the aim for Ningbo to close the gap to the championship leaders, and it was almost job done in race one,” explained Lloyd.

“Securing the podium brought us back to just three points off the lead. So to be taken out of race two with another podium on the cards was gutting. I was in a really good position, battling with Engstler and then my team-mate, who was leading the race, lost it on the first corner and collected me. There was nothing I could have done.”

TCR China race one at Ningbo. Credit: TCR China

The reigning TCR UK Champion then went on to explain the difficulty of trying to secure 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

“That incident has sadly put our championship hopes pretty much out of reach. We’re twenty points behind now, which is a full race win. There are just two races to go which means something would have to happen to the leaders now for us to be within grasp of claiming the title,” said Lloyd.

“There’s still hope, but it’s a long shot now. The team did a great job this weekend. It’s just really unfortunate how it’s all worked out.”

Lloyds thoughts ahead of the Zhouzhou Finale…

Credit: David Noels/HME

The 27-year-old arrives at this weekend in mathematical championship contention, sitting twenty points shy of the lead.

With four podiums under his belt already this season, Lloyd knows that the title race lies in the hands of his opponent this weekend, however, the Yorkshireman is determined to sign-off his debut TCR China season on a high note.

Credit: David Noels/HME

The Dongfeng MacPro Racing Team driver also carries the hopes of the squad’s title hopes this weekend. Currently second in the standings, the three-car outfit has a 36-point deficit to close in order to claim the Teams title honours in the season finale.

“We’ve had a really good season and been in championship contention all year;” said Lloyd. “The final race at Ningbo dropped us back just that bit too far, unfortunately. Although on paper we could still claim the title, it’s really out of our hands now and down to the leader to lose,” explained Lloyd.

“There’s still a small chance, but it’s a long shot now. We’ve just got to go out there and give it our best shot this weekend. I really hope that we can at least clinch the Teams title. The Dongfeng Racing crew have been brilliant all year. It would be a fitting reward for all of their hard work this season. I’ve really enjoyed my time racing with the team and in the TCR China series. Fingers crossed, we can go out in glory!”

Credit: David Noels/HME

TCR Talk will be following Daniel Lloyd, as he competes to secure his second TCR Title by winning the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Howson prepared for title showdown in Suzuka

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with Matt Howson, who is competing in the 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series for KCMG Honda…

The 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series continued its maiden season of competition, with the fourth weekend of action taking place at Okayama. Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Matt’s performance at the Okayama International Circuit, where race one took place on Saturday and race two took place on Sunday…

Race One at Okayama…

Credit: TCR Japan

Takuro Shinohara claimed his maiden win in the first race of the weekend at Okayama. the win also marked the first victory for Audi in the series, which became the fourth brand this year.

Shinohara made good use of the pole position and took the lead. Shuji Maejima, who was on the front row alongside him made a poor start, which gave Yu Kanamaru the chance to move progress from fifth on the grid into second. Maejima, Matthew Howson and Shogo Mitsuyama entered three abreast into the first turn, resulting in all three drivers clashing and Howson being spun off.

Maejima then overtook Kanamaru for second, but he had to serve a drive-through for the turn one incident and dropped at the back, behind Howson. Mitsuyama was also given a drive-through for the collision after the start later in the race.

Shinohara pulled away, while Kanamru retained second place after holding off the assaults from Hirobon. Hirobon later lost third position to Takeshi Matsumoto who completed the podium behind Shinohara and Kanamaru. Howson and Maejima managed to recover to seventh and eighth places respectively.

In the standings, Kanamaru leads by twelve points over Matsumoto with Mitsuyama in third position, twenty-four points behind. Shinohara is one point behind Mitsuyama with Howson five points behind Shinohara.

Race Two at Okayama…

Credit: TCR Japan

Takuro Shinohara followed up his Saturday race win by taking the Sunday race win, which in turn propelled him on top of the drivers standings.

The Hitotsuyama Racing driver made a poor start from pole position and dropped to fourth, while Shuji Maejima took the lead after he nearly collided with Shogo Mitsuyama at the end of the pit straight. Yu Kanamaru moved into third place, however he was passed by Shinohara during the first lap.

Shinohara passed Mitsuyama on lap two for second place and then began closing the gap to Maejima, overtaking him for the lead on lap three. Matsumoto passed Howson for fifth place on lap three, while Hirobon served a drive-through for jump-start.

Matsumoto moved into fourth place after passing Kanamaru on lap six and then set about trying to pass Mitsuyama for third place. KCMG Gentleman driver and former WTCC racer Yukinori Taniguchi overtook Yoshiki for seventh overall towards the end of the race.

Shinohara controlled the final laps to take his second win with Maejima four seconds behind in second place. Mitsuyama managed to keep Matsumoto at bay to finish third place, while Kanamaru beat Howson for fifth position.

Howson’s thoughts ahead of Suzuka…

Credit: TCR Japan

With only one event left, the title fight is red hot with six drivers covered by twenty-four points. Shinohara leads the standings with Matsumoto one point behind. Kanamaru and Mitsuyama are equal third on points, eleven behind Matsumoto with Maejima lies in fifth position fifteen points behind the leader and nine points ahead of Howson.

With KCMG running three cars this weekend in their WTCR program as Jim Ka To makes a wildcard appearance alongside Tiago Monteiro and Attila Tassi. Howson will be joined by both Yukinori Taniguchi and team boss Paul Ip in the TCR Japan finale. With the car updated with new parts after recent on-track battles, the British driver is ready to fight for the title.

“The season finale is here and at arguably the best circuit – Suzuka. The championship is going down to the wire and we’ve got some exciting new parts for my Honda, so we’re ready for an all-out fight,” explained Howson.

“The weather may be unpredictable so as ever we’ll be prepared for anything. I’m looking forward to a close battle and will race with all my strength.”

TCR Talk will be following Matt Howson as he competes in one of the newest TCR Series that is part of the Global TCR Family.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of KCMG / TCR Japan unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Howson aims to close the gap at Okayama

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with Matt Howson, who is competing in the 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series for KCMG Honda…

The 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series continued its maiden season of competition, with the third weekend of action taking place at Fuji. Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Matt’s performance at the Fuji International Speedway, before the series took its summer break, where race one took place on Saturday and race two took place on Sunday…

Race One at Fuji…

Matt Howson. Credit: KCMG / TCR Japan

Yu Kanamaru drove his Team Goh Honda Civic to a second victory of the year in TCR Japan’s race one at the Fuji Speedway. It was a remarkable win as Kanamaru had started from the back of the grid following an engine change after Qualifying.

The start took place on a very wet track with Shuji Maejima’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta taking the lead at the start but was serious pressure by Matthew Howson, Shogo Mitsuyama and pole-sitter Takuro Shinohara. The Alfa slid wide at the last corner of the first lap, having to let past its three rivals. Takeshi Matsumoto took the lead and the positions stabilized with Matsumoto able to build a small gap and the others fighting for the remaining top positions as they struggled with the wet track.

On lap five, Matsumoto was still in the lead, followed by ‘Hirobon’, Mitsuyama, Maejima, Kanamaru and Howson. Maejima, Kanamaru and Howson were engaged in a superb fight for fourth place, with ‘Hirobon’ slowly catching Matsumoto and closing him down on lap seven. On a drying track, the top six drivers closed up again and after a couple of daring moves, Kanamaru took the lead ahead of Matsumoto, Mitsuyama, ‘Hirobon’, Maejima and Howson.

Matt Howson. Credit: KCMG / TCR Japan

With Kanamaru opening up a gap from Matsumoto, this left ‘Hirobon’, Maejima and Mitsuyama all fighting for the final podium place. The battle went right down to the final lap, with Maejima and ‘Hirobon’ side by side as they started the lap with ‘Hirobon’ easing ahead of them both.

It didn’t last however as Maejima retook third place. Mitsuyama passed ‘Hirobon’ briefly lie in fourth place, however ‘Hirobon’ quickly struck back to regain the position by the finish line.

Kanamaru won the race, with Matsumoto in second ahead of Maejima. ‘Hirobon’ held off the determined Mitsuyama to finish fourth while Howson was sixth and retained the lead in the standings, though his advantage over Mitsuyama was reduced to a single point. Matsumoto lies in third position a further five points adrift, while Kanamaru has moved up into fourth with a gap of nine points to Howson.

Race Two at Fuji…

The 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series at Fuji International Speedway. Credit: TCR Japan.

In a rainy and foggy day on the slopes of Mount Fuji, Yu Kanamaru claimed another dominant win in TCR Japan’s second race of the weekend. This was the third for him in the season so far and the second of the weekend.

The result propelled the Team Goh Models driver and his Honda Civic on top of the standings, eight points clear of the Volkswagen pair of Takeshi Matsumoto and Shogo Mitsuyama.

Previous leader Matthew Howson dropped to fourth in the points after he retired in the early stages of the race due to a suspected engine issue.

After winning pole position beating Matsumoto by 0.045 seconds, Kanamaru took the lead at the start from Howson and Matsumoto. During the first lap Matsumoto overtook Howson who then dropped back through the field with a misfire caused his first retirement of the season.

Behind the two leaders raged the battle for the third position between Mitsuyama, Takuro Shinohara and Shuji Maejima with Maejima overtaking Shinohara for fourth on lap four. Further behind, KCMG Team Principal Paul Ip, who had started the race in fourteenth place, passed ‘Yoshiki’ for sixth.

On lap five, Maejima advanced to third, overtaking Mitsuyama, while ‘Hirobon’ was also climbing through the field and passed ‘Yoshiki’, Ip and Shinohara to finish the race in fifth position. The final two laps of the race saw Maejima stealing second place from Matsumoto and Ip taking sixth place by overtaking Shinohara.

Howson reflects on Fuji

Matt Howson. Credit: KCMG / TCR Japan

“Fuji was a very tough weekend with changeable weather, having set the pace in the wet in testing we expected better from two wet races. Tyre performance issues in race one meant only sixth could be salvaged having climbed into the lead, and while battling for the win again in race two we suffered a misfire and had to retire the car,” explained Howson.

“That’s motorsport and we will focus on the remaining two rounds while we hold a strong position in the championship.”

Howson’s thoughts ahead of Okayama…

Howson enters this weekend as one of the overall protagonists as he sits fourth in the standings. He will also utilise his knowledge of the 3.703km circuit from his two years in Japanese Formula 3 in a bid to close the points gap ahead of the Suzuka finale on 26-27 October.

“After an unlucky round at Fuji with tyre and engine troubles in both races, Okayama will be the opportunity to get our championship back on track,” explained Howson.

“I went well here in Formula 3 and I expect this circuit will suit the Honda Civic Type R TCR FK8, so I will work hard in testing to make sure we get the absolute best from the car. I anticipate a tough battle as scoring points becomes more and more critical.”

The 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series at Fuji International Speedway. Credit: TCR Japan.

TCR Talk will be following Matt Howson as he competes in one of the newest TCR Series that is part of the Global TCR Family.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of KCMG / TCR Japan unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Lloyd endures highs and lows at Ningbo

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with 2018 TCR UK Champion Daniel Lloyd, who is competing in the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship for Dongfeng Honda Racing Team…

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Daniel’s performance at Ningbo International Speedpark in China with TCR China supporting the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) over the weekend, where race one took place on Saturday and race two took place on Sunday…

Qualifying at Ningbo…

Luca Engstler. Credit: TCR China

With the penultimate race weekend of the series having all the more important of the tight nature of the Drivers Championship, an unknown element entered the weekend in the shape of four-time TCR Champion Luca Engstler.

The German driver entered his Hyundai i30 N TCR as a wildcard in the series at Ningbo and didn’t turn a wheel until Qualifying.

Engstler outpaced the TCR China field in Qualifying to set the fastest time of 1:50.633 that was even faster than Yvan Muller’s pole position in the Saturday WTCR Qualifying session. An impressive result, considering that this was his first outing on the Chinese track, having missed free practice.

Rodolfo Ávila in the X Power MG6 TCR. Credit: TCR China

The impressive pace of the Hyundai, despite carrying 60kgs of new entry weight meant that the TCR China regulars were left far behind. Martin Xie qualified in second ahead of Lloyd and Couto.

Lloyd’s teammate was the fourth fastest ahead of Zhang Zhen Dong in the best of the two MG6 TCR cars.

Race One at Ningbo…

TCR China race one at Ningbo. Credit: TCR China

After outpacing the TCR China field in Qualifying, Luca Engstler dominated the first race at Ningbo. The German took the lead at the start and then consistently created a gap, crossing the finishing line 4.5 seconds ahead of Daniel Lloyd.

During the first lap, Martin Xie tried to overtake Engstler for the lead. Engstler was able to successfully defend his position and this, in turn, benefited Lloyd who passed his teammate for second place, whilst the Hyundai driver retained the lead and began to pull away.

André Couto struggled to keep fourth position on track however he managed to hold off Huang Chu Han’s pressure and stayed ahead of the Audi driver who would secure fifth place at the flag.

André Couto in the third Dongfeng Racing Team Honda Civic TCR Credit: TCR China

For the rest of the race, Engstler gradually increased the gap to Lloyd whilst Xie found himself hunted down by the chasing pack of Couto and Huang. Zhang Zhen Dong cruised home in sixth position with his MG6 TCR.

The most interesting battle during the race was that for seventh position between Kenneth Look, Yan Chuang, Edward Chen and Rodolfo Ávila in the second MG6 TCR who swapped places several times. During the last lap, Chen and Ávila made contact handing seventh place to Look from Chen, Chuang and Ávila.

In the Drivers Standings, Huang has retains his points lead, however, Lloyd closed the gap to three points ahead of the second race on Sunday.

Race Two in Ningbo…

TCR China race two at Ningbo. Credit: TCR China

The second TCR China’s race at Ningbo was decided by an unfortunate incident during lap three that eliminated the MacPro Racing Honda cars of André Couto and Daniel Lloyd who were running first and second on the road.

Luca Engstler inherited the lead and easily encored his Saturday win, while Huang Chu Han cruised to finish second place and stretched his championship-leading margin in the standings to 20 points ahead of Lloyd.

At the start, Edward Chen started well from the pole, while Martin Xie hit Kenneth Look’s car, which spun off. Xie’s Honda suffered from a broken front suspension and James Wong also spun in avoidance.

Huang Chu Han in the Newfaster Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR. Credit: TCR China

Couto and Lloyd overtook Chen, moving into first and second whilst Engstler passed Zhang and Chen to take third place behind the leading MacPro Racing Hondas.

During lap three, Engstler started to challenge Lloyd for second position, when Couto spun in front of them both, leaving Lloyd nowhere to go except to crash into his teammate’s car. Engstler was lucky to avoid being caught in the collision and found himself lead out in front, well ahead of Huang and Chen.

Engstler went on to win from Huang and Chen, while the X Power MG cars of Zhang Zhen Dong and Rodolfo Ávila were classified fourth and fifth. After the race, Chen was penalised for a jump start and this elevated Zhang and Ávila to third and fourth.

Lloyd reflects on Ningbo…

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: David Noels/HME

Daniel Lloyd reflected back on what was an important weekend which offered some hope of reclaiming the Championship lead on Saturday, before events on Sunday changed the outlook of that task.

“A really unfortunate end to what started as a positive weekend. We did a great job in free practice and qualifying and were on the pace all weekend with the aim for Ningbo to close the gap to the championship leaders, and it was almost job done in race one,” explained Lloyd.

“Securing the podium brought us back to just three points off the lead. So to be taken out of race two with another podium on the cards was gutting. I was in a really good position, battling with Engstler and then my team-mate, who was leading the race, lost it on the first corner and collected me. There was nothing I could have done.”

The reigning TCR UK Champion then went on to explain the difficulty of trying to secure 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

“That incident has sadly put our championship hopes pretty much out of reach. We’re twenty points behind now, which is a full race win. There are just two races to go which means something would have to happen to the leaders now for us to be within grasp of claiming the title,” said Lloyd.

“There’s still hope, but it’s a long shot now. The team did a great job this weekend. It’s just really unfortunate how it’s all worked out.”

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: David Noels/HME

The TCR China Touring Car Championship follows the successful route of live streaming, which has worked for almost all TCR Series around the globe, by showing all of their races live on YouTube and on Facebook.

This is done on the AFOS (Asian Festival of Speed) YouTube Account which you can find here. You can also find live coverage of the races at TCR TV as well as on the TCR Asia Series and TCR China Facebook pages. The joint TCR Asia and TCR China series events use full English commentary, so this allows for a wider audience to follow the series outside of Asia.

To watch the full TCR Asia/TCR China races with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:

2019 TCR Asia International Series / 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship

The 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship at Ningbo. Credit: TCR China

The final rounds of the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship take place over the weekend of 26-27 October at Zhuzhou International Circuit.

TCR Talk will be following Daniel Lloyd, as he competes against the 2019 TCR Asia International Series competitors whilst looking to try and secure his second TCR Title by winning the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Lloyd ready to fightback at Ningbo

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with 2018 TCR UK Champion Daniel Lloyd, who is competing in the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship for Dongfeng Honda Racing Team…

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Daniel’s performance at the Zhejiang International Circuit in China, before the series took its summer break, where race one took place on Saturday and race two took place on Sunday…

Please keep in mind that during the weekend, the TCR Asia International Series and the TCR China Touring Car Championship competed in combined grids, whilst scoring points for their separate championships.

Race One at Zhejiang…

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

Luca Engstler took a dominant victory in the TCR Asia/TCR China first race at Zhejiang International Circuit and staked a serious claim on his second consecutive TCR Asia title.

Huang Chu Han finished in third position overall and won the TCR China race, reducing his gap in the standings from Daniel Lloyd.

Engstler took the lead at the start from pole position and pulled away at the rate of one second per lap faster than his closest competitors. Behind him, there was a close fight for the second position. Lloyd led the group of chasers, but he made a mistake and went wide at the last turn at the end of the second lap, Pepe Oriola and Huang took the opportunity to pass him, moving up to second and third.

On lap 6, Huang passed Oriola, but the Spaniard didn’t give up and retook the second position on lap eleven. In the final part of the race, Huang settled in third position that meant he would take victory in the TCR China classification, while Lloyd defended fourth place from Diego Morán.

The best of the new MG6 TCR cars, that of Zhang Zhen Dong was classified in twelfth position after fighting for tenth with Gao Hua Yang’s Hyundai and Martin Xie’s Honda.

The Honda Civic FK7 of Daniel Lloyd was later excluded from Zhejiang’s first race after failing to pass the ride height check. Lloyd’s exclusion meant that Kenneth Look and Martin Xie were promoted to second and third in the final results of TCR China’s first race and also that the Briton lost the first position in the championship standings.

Race Two in Zhejiang

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

Huang Chu Han finished fourth overall in the race and repeated his race one victory in the TCR China classification by taking back to back wins.

At the start, Martin Xie sprinted ahead of Daniel Miranda who sat on pole position, but at turn one, the Filipino driver hit the back of Xie’s Honda. This helped Morán to pass both drivers and take the lead. During the opening lap, Pepe Oriola overtook both Miranda and Xie, moving up into second. Xie, then, pitted for repairs after the incident with Miranda.

On lap three, Engstler had recovered to third after starting from tenth and began chasing Oriola. For several laps, the Spaniard defended heavily, as Engstler made a mistake and dropped to fourth position, behind Huang.

Engstler moved back into third position for good on lap twelve, but it was too late to catch up with Oriola again. Adam Khalid also overtook Lloyd for fifth on lap twelve as well.

In the TCR China classification, Lloyd was second behind Huang, while Zhang Zhen Dong finished in tenth position overall and gave the new MG6 TCR its first podium in the series. Huang has stretched the gap in the standings to nine points over Honda driver Daniel Lloyd with four races left to go.

Lloyd reflects on Zhejiang

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

“It was a tough weekend. We were carrying a lot of success ballast from Shanghai. Effectively we were 80kg heavier,” said Lloyd.

“We did a really good job in qualifying to claim the TCR China pole, and second overall. Running on new tyres we managed to get a fast lap out of the Honda, but it was really hard to with so much weight on-board. All three of us in the team struggled. I was happy with my own performance overall, but Zhejiang is a very hilly circuit, and the weight just killed our pace.

The reigning TCR UK Champion then went on to explain why he was excluded from the first TCR China race results.

“Failing the ride-height inspection after race one was a real shame. We saw from the damper sensor during the race that it had dropped below the limit. The team checked everything beforehand though and there was plenty of clearance. Unfortunately, it just meant that we lost the points from that race,” explained Lloyd.
 
“I’m still very much in the fight for the championship title, as is the team. We’re confident for the next round at Ningbo.”

Lloyd’s thoughts ahead of Ningbo…

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: MacPro Racing Team

The reigning TCR UK Champion arrives at the Zhejiang province circuit just nine points shy of the current leader, with his Dongfeng Honda Racing Team also looking to reclaim the championship lead as the TCR China series heads into its final throes.

Lloyd last competed on the 4.015km track in 2017, taking an impressive double podium in the CTCC, racing against former WTCC Champion Rob Huff on his Ningbo debut. Returning to the circuit this week, the 26-year-old is keen to bounce back from a tough fourth meeting back in July where he lost a podium place due to a ride height failure in the #77 Honda Civic Type R.

““It’s been a long break since the last round at Zhejiang, I’m really looking forward to getting back out there and working with the Dongfeng crew again. The goal this weekend is to close the gap as much as we can and make sure that we win the championship at the end of the year. With only two rounds left we need to make the results count,” explained Lloyd.

“We’re not racing with TCR Asia this weekend, so it’s a smaller grid, we are supporting the WTCR grid though which is mega. Alongside the Chinese Touring Car Championship as well, so it should be a great atmosphere. Ningbo is a great circuit, I had a good battle with Rob Huff last time I raced here and we took two second-place finishes. Hopefully, we can be as successful here again this weekend.”

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

The TCR China Touring Car Championship follows the successful route of live streaming, which has worked for almost all TCR Series around the globe, by showing all of their races live on YouTube and on Facebook.

This is done on the AFOS (Asian Festival of Speed) YouTube Account which you can find here. You can also find live coverage of the races at TCR TV as well as on the TCR Asia Series and TCR China Facebook pages. The joint TCR Asia and TCR China series events use full English commentary, so this allows for a wider audience to follow the series outside of Asia.

To watch the full TCR Asia/TCR China races with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:

2019 TCR Asia International Series / 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship

The 2019 TCR Asia International Series and the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship at Zhejiang. Credit: TCR Asia-TCR China

TCR Talk will be following Daniel Lloyd, as he competes against the 2019 TCR Asia International Series competitors whilst looking to secure his second TCR Title by winning the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Hockenheim awaits for Bradley Burns

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with Bradley Burns, who is competing in the 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship for Pyro Motorsport Honda…

This weekend sees the 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship move on to its penultimate circuit at the German Grand Prix venue of Hockenheim. Below is a recap of how Bradley did last time out at the Nürburgring.

The Nürburgring weekend…

Bradley Burns at the Nürburgring. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

It’s safe to say that the following weekend at the Nürburgring can be classified as Pyro Motorsports most challenging weekend in the series so far. After showing good pace in Free Practice, Bradley lined up seventeenth on the grid as the result of a difficult Qualifying session. Despite making a good start, the Honda driver was forced to retire at the final chicane before the end of lap one due to an engine fire.

With the teams working overnight to get a new engine in place, Burns was able to join the grid at the back for race two. The British driver made a good start and was making progress through the field as he battled with the likes of Burri and Michelle Halder. However, a deluge hit the track after lap six and despite being one of the first runners to come in for wet tyres, the race was declared at the six laps mark, leaving Burns to take home an eleventh place finish.

Burns reflects on The Nürburgring

Bradley Burns. Credit: ADAC Motorsport-Gruppe C Photography

“We gave it everything we had but things just didn’t come together for us this weekend. The pace was good in FP1 and FP2 but we had a wheel stud failure on my first flying lap in qualifying and had to start Race 1 from the back. I battled up to P9 before the engine let go and ended our race early but the guys at Pyro did an amazing job to get another power unit in the car for Race 2,” explained Burns.

“Although we started from last again, we made quick progress through the field and pitted for wets at just the right moment. The team pulled off a quick stop and got me back out again so, once everybody else had been pitted, we were up in P2 before the race was red-flagged. Unfortunately, the race result was taken two laps before so we were classified P11 which is frustrating but we look forward to Hockenheim next month where hopefully we can have a change in fortunes.”

Burns thoughts ahead of Hockenheim…

Burns is back in action this weekend where he will race in rounds eleven and twelve of the series at Hockenheim, which has been familiar territory for both The ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship and played host to the 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series earlier in the year.

Having endured a difficult time at the Nürburgring, where the Honda driver suffered a firey exit in race one and lost out to the countback rules of the shortened race two, Burns gives his thoughts ahead of this weekends action.

“After a tough weekend at Nürburgring where we lost a bit of momentum in the Junior Class, we go to Hockenheim hoping to turn things around and give it everything we have, explained Burns.

“We’re still in a good position and heading the championship but, as we approach the final two races of the season, it’s becoming more and more important to bag good points. Let’s see what we can do!

Where can you watch the action?

Credit: ADAC Motorsport-Gruppe C Photography

The ADAC TCR Germany Series follows the successful route, which has worked for almost all TCR Series around the globe, of showing all of their races live on YouTube.

This is done on the ADAC YouTube Account which you can find here. The ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship is one of several series that has English commentary along with WTCR, TCR Europe, TCR Australia and TCR UK, so this allows for a wider audience to follow the series. You can also find the races broadcast live at TCR TV.

To catch up with any of the 2019 races that you have missed with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:

2019 ADAC TCR Germany

Bradley Burns. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

TCR Talk will be following Bradley Burns, with great interest as he competes in one of the toughest TCR Series that is part of the Global TCR Family.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Highs and Lows for Burns during TCR Germany double header event

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with Bradley Burns, who is competing in the 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship for Pyro Motorsport Honda…

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Bradley’s performances at both Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands and at the Nürburgring in Germany as the series returned fro the summer with back to back events.

The Zandvoort weekend…

Bradley Burns. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

During a weekend that witnessed contrasting weather conditions at the beachside circuit, Bradley Burns excelled in the wet condition during Qualifying to line up on the front row of the grid for the first race of the weekend.

After finishing in third place in Q1, the young British driver progressed to Q2 where he held the fastest lap for most of the session until fellow Honda driver Dominik Fugel set the fastest lap to steal pole position by 36-thousandths of a second

Race one was held in drier conditions on Saturday, with high winds hitting the circuit all day. The Pyro Motorsport driver lost out at the start as he fell down the order, not having the chance to setup the Honda Civic FK7 for a dry race.

At the start, Fugel sprinted away from pole, whilst Mike Halder moved into second after starting from fourth and Harald Proczyk passed Burns for third. During the first lap Mitchell Cheah crashed at T10 after making contact with Michelle Halder; he limped back to the pits, but the race was red-flagged for allowing the barriers to be repaired.

Credit: Race Vision

With 20 minutes left on the clock, the safety car led the field back on track for one lap and when racing resumed, Fugel led from Halder, Proczyk, Burns and Buri. On lap 4, Proczyk overtook Halder for second, while Hesse advanced from eighth to fifth as he overtook Buri, Burns and Lance D. Arnold in a single move.

Burns held on to bring the Honda home in sixth place in the shortened race, having learned valuable information to improve the setup of the car for Sunday’s second race.

As Michelle Halder stole the headlines for taking her first overall race victory in the series in race two, Burns made his way forward after an improved setup to the Honda made his charge possible. The former Renault Clio driver surpassed his race one effort by going fifth fastest.

Burns reflects on Zandvoort

“We had really good pace to get on the front row in the wet in qualifying and I’m very happy with the win and P2 in the Junior Class. We were a bit unlucky in Race 1 though as, with almost no dry running, we didn’t have a full dry setup and I dropped a few places,explained Burns.

“We then made some adjustments for Race 2 and took a bit of a gamble which didn’t quite pay off so I had to hang on and do what I could to collect as many points as possible. I’m pleased to have bagged some good points from Zandvoort but now our attention turns straight to Nürburgring this weekend.”

Burns thoughts ahead of Nürburgring…

“There’s no time to rest as we head straight to Nürburgring from Zandvoort. Although I’ve never been there before, Nürburgring looks a fast and flowing track which should really suit the Honda. We have some work to do in testing on Thursday but hopefully, we can make some positive progress and find a good balance with the car.”

The Nürburgring weekend…

Bradley Burns at the Nürburgring. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

It’s safe to say that the following weekend at the Nürburgring can be classified as the Pyro Motorsports most challenging weekend in the series so far. After showing good pace in Free Practice, Bradley lined up seventeenth on the grid as the result of a difficult Qualifying session. Despite making a good start, the Honda driver was forced to retire at the final chicane before the end of lap one due to an engine fire.

With the teams working overnight to get a new engine in place, Burns was able to join the grid at the back for race two. The British driver made a good start and was making progress through the field as he battled with the likes of Burri and Michelle Halder. However, a deluge hit the track after lap six and despite being one of the first runners to come in for wet tyres, the race was declared at the six laps mark, leaving Burns to take home an eleventh place finish.

Burns reflects on The Nürburgring

“We gave it everything we had but things just didn’t come together for us this weekend. The pace was good in FP1 and FP2 but we had a wheel stud failure on my first flying lap in qualifying and had to start Race 1 from the back. I battled up to P9 before the engine let go and ended our race early but the guys at Pyro did an amazing job to get another power unit in the car for Race 2,” explained Burns.

“Although we started from last again, we made quick progress through the field and pitted for wets at just the right moment. The team pulled off a quick stop and got me back out again so, once everybody else had been pitted, we were up in P2 before the race was red-flagged. Unfortunately, the race result was taken two laps before so we were classified P11 which is frustrating but we look forward to Hockenheim next month where hopefully we can have a change in fortunes.”

Where can you watch the action?

The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at Zandvoort. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

The ADAC TCR Germany Series follows the successful route, which has worked for almost all TCR Series around the globe, of showing all of their races live on YouTube.

This is done on the ADAC YouTube Account which you can find here. The ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship is also the only other series outside of WTCR, TCR Europe and TCR UK that has English commentary, so this allows for a wider audience to follow the series. You can also find the races broadcast live at TCR TV.

To catch up with any of the 2019 races that you have missed with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:

2019 ADAC TCR Germany

The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at the Nürburgring. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

TCR Talk will be following Bradley Burns, with great interest as he competes in one of the toughest TCR Series that is part of the Global TCR Family.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Burns returns to action in Zandvoort

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with Bradley Burns, who is competing in the 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship for Pyro Motorsport Honda…

This weekend sees the return of the 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship after its summer break, with the series racing at Zandvoort in the Netherlands. Below is a recap of how Bradley did last time out at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Last time out at the Red Bull Ring…

Bradley Burns. Credit: ADAC Motorsport-Gruppe C Photography

Bradley Burns endured a difficult weekend in Austria where contact with other drivers ruled out a good points score, after his epic race two drive in the Czech Republic several weeks ago where he almost took his first TCR victory.

The British driver struggled in Qualifying where he went twelfth fastest and would start from that position in both races. A difficult start in race one saw the Pyro Motorsport driver almost fall to the back of the field before beginning his drive forward.

After an early Safety car, Burns was in eleventh place however contact with the Hyundai of Lukas Niedertscheider saw the British youngster up on two wheels before heading towards the pits and retirement on lap five.

Bradley Burns. Credit: ADAC Motorsport-Gruppe C Photography

In the second race on Sunday, Burns made a much better start off the grid and was running tenth before running wide halfway around the lap. This put the young British driver on the backfoot and he immediately set about making places forward.

In thirteenth place after the first lap, the Honda driver pushed hard in the packed but closely fought field and made it up to ninth place just before the Safety Car came out mid-race.

Once racing got underway again, Bradley was penalised for pushing another car with a drive-through penalty where he retired in the pits. This brought an end to a miserable weekend.

Burns reflects on the Red Bull Ring…

“It really wasn’t our weekend. The guys in the team did a great job as always and we had good pace but we were unable to convert that into a result, unfortunately,” explained the Pyro Motorsport driver.

“That’s the way it goes sometimes but we’ll keep pushing and hopefully, we can come back stronger at Zandvoort.”

Burns thoughts ahead of Zandvoort…

Burns is back in action this weekend where he will race in rounds seven and eight of the series at Zandvoort in the Netherlands, which has been familiar territory for both The ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship and the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR).

Having endured a difficult time in Austria, where the Honda driver suffered from incidents in both races, Burns gives his thoughts ahead of this weekends action.

“After the 9-week break, I can’t wait to get back out racing again and I’m looking forward to arriving at Zandvoort on Wednesday. The team have been working hard since Red Bull Ring and we’ve made a lot of setup changes with the Honda to unlock more of the car’s potential, explained Burns

“I’m still leading the Junior Class going into this weekend but we know how important it is to come away with good results, especially as we approach the second part of the season.”

Where can you watch the action?

The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at Spielberg. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

The ADAC TCR Germany Series follows the successful route, which has worked for almost all TCR Series around the globe, of showing all of their races live on YouTube.

This is done on the ADAC YouTube Account which you can find here. The ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship is one of several series that has English commentary along with WTCR, TCR Europe, TCR Australia and TCR UK, so this allows for a wider audience to follow the series. You can also find the races broadcast live at TCR TV.

To catch up with any of the 2019 races that you have missed with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:

2019 ADAC TCR Germany

Bradley Burns. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

TCR Talk will be following Bradley Burns, with great interest as he competes in one of the toughest TCR Series that is part of the Global TCR Family.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Lloyd endures difficult weekend in Zhejiang

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with 2018 TCR UK Champion Daniel Lloyd, who is competing in the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship for Dongfeng Honda Racing Team…

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Daniel’s performance at the Zhejiang International Circuit in China, from two weeks ago, where race one took place on Saturday and race two took place on Sunday…

Please keep in mind that during the weekend, the TCR Asia International Series and the TCR China Touring Car Championship competed in combined grids, whilst scoring points for their separate championships.

Race One at Zhejiang…

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

Luca Engstler took a dominant victory in the TCR Asia/TCR China first race at Zhejiang International Circuit and staked a serious claim on his second consecutive TCR Asia title.

Huang Chu Han finished in third position overall and won the TCR China race, reducing his gap in the standings from Daniel Lloyd.

Engstler took the lead at the start from pole position and pulled away at the rate of one second per lap faster than his closest competitors. Behind him, there was a close fight for the second position. Lloyd led the group of chasers, but he made a mistake and went wide at the last turn at the end of the second lap, Pepe Oriola and Huang took the opportunity to pass him, moving up to second and third.

On lap 6, Huang passed Oriola, but the Spaniard didn’t give up and retook the second position on lap eleven. In the final part of the race, Huang settled in third position that meant he would take victory in the TCR China classification, while Lloyd defended fourth place from Diego Morán.

The best of the new MG6 TCR cars, that of Zhang Zhen Dong was classified in twelfth position after fighting for tenth with Gao Hua Yang’s Hyundai and Martin Xie’s Honda.

The Honda Civic FK7 of Daniel Lloyd was later excluded from Zhejiang’s first race after failing to pass the ride height check. Lloyd’s exclusion meant that Kenneth Look and Martin Xie were promoted to second and third in the final results of TCR China’s first race and also that the Briton lost the first position in the championship standings.

Race Two in Zhejiang

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

Huang Chu Han finished fourth overall in the race and repeated his race one victory in the TCR China classification by taking back to back wins.

At the start, Martin Xie sprinted ahead of Daniel Miranda who sat on pole position, but at turn one, the Filipino driver hit the back of Xie’s Honda. This helped Morán to pass both drivers and take the lead. During the opening lap, Pepe Oriola overtook both Miranda and Xie, moving up into second. Xie, then, pitted for repairs after the incident with Miranda.

On lap three, Engstler had recovered to third after starting from tenth and began chasing Oriola. For several laps, the Spaniard defended heavily, as Engstler made a mistake and dropped to fourth position, behind Huang.

Engstler moved back into third position for good on lap twelve, but it was too late to catch up with Oriola again. Adam Khalid also overtook Lloyd for fifth on lap twelve as well.

In the TCR China classification, Lloyd was second behind Huang, while Zhang Zhen Dong finished in tenth position overall and gave the new MG6 TCR its first podium in the series. Huang has stretched the gap in the standings to nine points over Honda driver Daniel Lloyd with four races left to go.

Lloyd reflects on Zhejiang

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

“It was a tough weekend. We were carrying a lot of success ballast from Shanghai. Effectively we were 80kg heavier,” said Lloyd.

“We did a really good job in qualifying to claim the TCR China pole, and second overall. Running on new tyres we managed to get a fast lap out of the Honda, but it was really hard to with so much weight on-board. All three of us in the team struggled. I was happy with my own performance overall, but Zhejiang is a very hilly circuit, and the weight just killed our pace.

The reigning TCR UK Champion then went on to explain why he was excluded from the first TCR China race results.

“Failing the ride-height inspection after race one was a real shame. We saw from the damper sensor during the race that it had dropped below the limit. The team checked everything beforehand though and there was plenty of clearance. Unfortunately, it just meant that we lost the points from that race,” explained Lloyd.
 
“I’m still very much in the fight for the championship title, as is the team. We’re confident for the next round at Ningbo.”

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

The TCR China Touring Car Championship follows the successful route of live streaming, which has worked for almost all TCR Series around the globe, by showing all of their races live on YouTube and on Facebook.

This is done on the AFOS (Asian Festival of Speed) YouTube Account which you can find here. You can also find live coverage of the races at TCR TV as well as on the TCR Asia Series and TCR China Facebook pages. The joint TCR Asia and TCR China series events use full English commentary, so this allows for a wider audience to follow the series outside of Asia.

To watch the full TCR Asia/TCR China Zhuhai races with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:

2019 TCR Asia International Series / 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship

The 2019 TCR Asia International Series and the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship at Zhejiang. Credit: TCR Asia-TCR China

The next rounds of the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship will be at the Ningbo International Speedpark during the weekend of 13-15 of September.

TCR Talk will be following Daniel Lloyd, as he competes against the 2019 TCR Asia International Series competitors whilst looking to secure his second TCR Title by winning the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Howson ready for Fuji Fightback

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with Matt Howson, who is competing in the new for 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series for KCMG Honda…

The 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series continues this weekend at the Fuji circuit, for rounds five and six of the newest Touring Car competition in the land of the rising sun.

Last time out in Sugo…

The 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series held its second weekend of racing at Sugo, where Matt Howson endured a difficult weekend for the KCMG Honda squad and managed to maintain a small lead in the Driver’s Championship…

The TCR Japan Touring Car Series at Sugo. Credit: KCMG / TCR Japan

Race One…

Shogo Mitsuyama of Green Brave Racing claimed his and Volkswagen’s maiden win in TCR Japan at Sugo Sportsland. Mitsuyama benefited from the mistakes of his rivals to take command at the start and then led for the whole race, controlling the return of Takuro Shinohara’s Audi.

Shinohara sat on pole position, but made a poor start, dropping to fourth behind Shuji Maejima’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Mitsuyama’s Golf and Matthew Howson’s Honda Civic. From second on the grid, Maejima was leading into turn one, but he spun off and rejoined at the back of the field.

On lap two, Shinohara moved into second overtaking Howson and began to close the gap from Mitsuyama. For the rest of the race, the Audi followed the Golf, but never found a gap to pass.

Behind the two leaders, Yu Kanamaru’s Team Goh Honda overtook the KCMG Civic of Yukinori Taniguchi for fourth and then attacked Howson’s third position. During the penultimate lap, Kanamaru made an attempt to pass on the outside line, but lost control and spun off.

Howson bolted into a podium position from fifth on the grid at the start of the first race in the #18 car, running in third for the majority of it. He came under late pressure from behind due to backmarker traffic, but he was able to fend off the attack to score his third podium in three races to retain his lead in the Driver Standings.

Shuji Maejima made up for the disappointment of Race one at Sugo by claiming a dominant victory in the second race.

Matt Howson. Credit: KCMG / TCR Japan

Race Two…

The Go&Fun Alfa Romeo Giulietta had missed the opportunity to win the first race when Maejima spun after the start while he was leading the field into Turn one. He then rejoined at the back and was soon the fastest driver on the track.

In the second race, he luckily escaped a pile-up at the start that also involved pole sitter Takuro Shinohara’s Audi and the Honda Civic cars of Matthew Howson, Yu Kanamaru and Resshu Shioya. The collision was triggered by contact between Howson and Maejima whilst Kanamaru and Shinohara crashed and Shioya went off in avoidance.

Both Shinohara and Kanamaru were forced to retire, while Howson pitted with a punctured tyre. As the safety car was deployed and circulated for three laps, he had the opportunity to rejoin at the back of the field.

When the race resumed, Maejima was able to pull away from Takeshi Matsumoto, while Race one winner Shogo Mitsuyama overtook ‘Hirobon’ for fourth and began chasing Yukinori Taniguchi. On lap 8, Taniguchi spun off onto the gravel and this prompted the safety car into action again.

Racing resumed for the last lap, Maejima was able to build a slender margin, while Matsumoto kept Mitsuyama at bay to secure second place. ‘Hirobon’ was classified fourth.

Howson recovered to ninth and this helped him to retain the leadership in the standings, although his margin has been reduced to only four points ahead of Mitsuyama, while Matsumoto lies third, a further ten points adrift.

Howson’s thoughts ahead of Fuji…

Matt Howson. Credit: KCMG / TCR Japan

Howson is back in action this weekend where he will race in rounds five and six of the series at Fuji, former home to the Japanese Grand Prix and often used venue for Endurance racing. The British driver will be joined by regular team-mate Yukinori Taniguchi and team principal Paul Ip, making his debut in the series.

Having endured a difficult time at Sugo, where the Honda driver carried maximum ballast and suffered from an early incident in race two, Howson gives his thoughts ahead of Fuji this weekend.

“The Fuji round of TCR Japan takes us over halfway in the season. As in Sugo, the objective is to preserve our championship lead. The last round was difficult to win outright due to the Balance of Performance going against us,” explained Howson.

“Hopefully there will be adjustments and the layout of the track will help us get back into contention. The long straight will make for some close action, so they should be exciting races until the final lap.”

Matt Howson. Credit: KCMG / TCR Japan

TCR Talk will be following Matt Howson as he competes in one of the newest TCR Series that is part of the Global TCR Family in 2019.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of KCMG / TCR Japan unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!