Published on May 15th, 2017 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Lamborghini and McLaren Share Spoils in China GT Season Opener
The opening event of the 2017 China GT Championship saw a strong field of GTC and GT4 entries competing at Beijing Audi Goldenport Motor Park providing some of the best on-track action across the three-day event
Ultimately victory in GTC was shared between D2 Motorsport’s Huang Xi Zhan and Spirit Z-Racing’s Kimi Qin, the latter having been on the path to two straight victories prior to a mechanical failure in his Audi R8 during the opening race, the team recovering strongly to provide the Chinese driver with a dominant win in race two.
In the GT4 category – which was making it’s China GT debut – the weekend was all McLaren, with the new 570S GT4 in the hands of Roelof Bruins, Dong Liang and David McIntyre taking back-to-back wins, although they were pushed every step of the way by the Xtreme Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4 of Chen Yinian and Australian Glen Wood. Aston Martin too were well represented, Tian Xu and Yang Meng Jiao claiming two third placed finishes alongside their top qualifying effort for race two.
GT4 – Round#1
Having qualified on pole position for the opening GT4 race of the season, it was perhaps no surprise that the pace-setter during the very first GT4 round of China GT was the new McLaren 570S GT4 of Roelof Bruins and David McIntyre, although for the team, they needed a substitute driver for the opening race with Chinese driver Dong Liang replacing the Englishman until his Saturday arrival.
That made little overall difference in the end, with Bruins setting a blistering pace during the opening leg of race one, to hand Liang a comfortable lead, although young Australian driver Glen Wood – a driver with a good pedigree when it comes to GT competition – charged through to lead the class in the Xtreme Motorsport KTM X-Bow GT4. That was before an errant GTC Lamborghini stalled his progress in the dying stages, allowing Liang to take the position back and cross the line by a mere 2.1-seconds for the first GT4 win of the new championship.
Wood and team-mate Chen Yinian were second, with the first of the Aston Martin Vantage GT4s – Tian Xu and Yang Meng Jiao – in position #3. Sadly for the two other pristine V8-powered Vantage GT4s, they failed to finish after running into the gravel traps around the circuit late in the race, but not before showing impressive pace to make it a three-way battle for third between the English built supercars.
GT4 – Round#2
After their opening race victory, the pressure was on David McIntyre to continue ‘The Winning Team’s’ performance in race two, but his job was made a lot easier thanks to an impressive display of driving by Bruins who opened up a lead of almost a lap by the time the compulsory pit stop window opened.
Again their battle would be with the Xtreme Motorsport KTM, and as that team did in race one, it was Dong Liang who handed the car to Glen Wood to try and track down the McLaren, and he did just that, yet despite a number of safety car interventions. Ultimately the Australian driver fell just short for the second race, Bruins and McIntyre across the line for the win by just over four seconds.
Third once more was the Tian Xu/Yang Meng Jiao Aston Martin Vantage which had set the GT4 pole position time during Friday afternoon’s second qualifying session, whilst fourth were their team-mates, Yang Zhinyi and Sheng Yanwen in the #721 Aston Martin.
Team’s now enjoy a two month break until the second event of the 2017 China GT Championship at Ordos International Circuit on 8-9 July.