After a spectacular start to the new TCR Malaysia Championship last weekend at Sepang International Circuit, the teams are back for a single day event that will conclude under lights at the iconic Grand Prix circuit, with the promise of more great touring car action.
Last weekend, reigning TCR Asia Series champion Luca Engstler took his #8 Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30N TCR to back-to-back wins, weathering a storm, first from one of the best touring car drivers in the world, Rob Huff, then from mother-nature, with a torrential downpour hitting the circuit moments before the start of round two, delaying the 30-minute race by over an hour. Once it was clear enough for the teams to make their way onto the circuit, Engstler took little time to work his way through from the fourth row of the reverse-grid start to lead comfortably to the flag ahead of TCR Korea champion Charlie Kang and TCR Germany regular Kai Jordan.
Unfortunately the epic battle that ensued between Engstler and Huff is off the cards for this weekend, the Englishman heading back home, the TeamWork Volkswagen returning for the final event on 23-24 February.
There will be no shortage of on-track action though as Engstler looks to consolidate his points lead, the German joined by a string of new team-mates including Michael Soong – another driver with past touring car experience – the Hong Kong driver joining Engstler in the second Hyundai with Coicaud returning to Europe due to other commitments.
Third in round two saw Kai Jordan complete the opening weekend third in points overall behind Engstler and Huff, the TCR Germany regular also taking his Liqui Moly Team Engstler [LMTE] Volkswagen to the points lead in the TCR Malaysia Cup. This weekend he will be joined by two young local drivers in the other LMTE Volkswagens, with Production Car racers Brendan Anthony and Ahmad Akir Noor taking over the cars used to good effect by Adam Khalid and Henry Kwong last weekend.
The Prince Racing Hondas of 2015 TCR Asia Series champion Michael Choi and Kenneth Lau will be back in action, the two experienced campaigners enduring a baptism of fire last weekend with the limited laps they’d had with the new FK8, but both could be expected to be in the fight again under lights, whilst KCMGs Paul Ip showed great pace all weekend despite an early exit with a steering arm failure in round one, he will be worth keeping an eye on tonight..
Third in round one behind the epic battle at the front between Luca Engstler and Rob Huff, TCR Europe’s Martin Ryba took the iconic Brutal Fish Racing Volkswagen to a great haul of points, although like Huff, he suffered in the wet conditions for round two, he sits just six points back from Kai Jordan who holds down third in the championship, but could be expected to be fighting for a return to the podium.
Likewise Douglas Khoo – who enjoyed one of his best races in a touring car to be fourth in round one – he too will be looking for a chance to tackle the outright podium at home in Sepang after pushing Ryba all the way to the line in the heat of the opening round – this could be one of his best chances yet to make a big impression in the Viper Niza Racing Cupra.