Published on September 12th, 2017 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Strong field highlights China GT return to Shanghai
The China GT Championship made a return to Shanghai International Circuit for the fourth stop of the 2017 season with high expectations from teams and fans of a season standout event with the pre-race announcement that for the first time this season, GT3 and GTC would be combined, delivering a 28-car grid for the two 60-minute races.
The spectacle didn’t disappoint, nor did the invitational entries and new drivers that forced the series regulars to dig deeper than they had at any point during the first half of the season, as the pace across increased across all three competing categories.
Ultimately the big winners would be the JRM pairing of Li Chao and Chris van der Drift who finally broke Audi’s stranglehold on China GT this year in their #991 Porsche GT3-R with the win in round seven, whilst in round eight, Kings Racing’s Xu Jia returned to the top step of the podium for the third time this season, after three-time Audi R8 LMS Cup champion Alex Yoong crossed the line for victory in the #07 Audi.
In GTC, CJ Huang continued his domination of the field, claiming his fifth win of the season in round seven, whilst fellow Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo drivers Bian Hao and Will Bamber grabbed their second win of the year after a late race Safety Car bunched up the field allowing the New Zealander to jump his rivals on the restart.
With GTC once again joining GT3 as they did during the maiden season of China GT, for the GT4 category, Shanghai would present a significant historical milestone for the emerging category, with the class running alone for the very first time anywhere in Asia, and whilst a conservative field, the racing was no less impressive.
GT4 Points leader Roelof Bruins and ‘super-sub’ Dong Liang provided McLaren their fifth victory of the season in round seven, whilst a technical challenge sidelined them in round eight, opening the door for the mighty #86 KTM X-Bow GT4 of Chen Yinian and Ling Kang to claim their first win of the year.