Chevrolet and Honda cars alternated in dominating the races at Shanghai International Circuit today.
An avalanche of Cruze cars filled the first five spots in Race 1, despite a shower had shuffled the cards a few minutes before the start. The two RML drivers made their gamble going for slick tyres, and won. Pepe Oriola, who had opted for the wets, tried everything to resist while Yvan Muller and Tom Chilton were coming back, but eventually was forced to give up.
In Race 2, Tiago Monteiro took a convincing lights to flag victory keeping his team-mate Gabriele Tarquini at bay, while Norbert Michelisz defended the third position to give Honda the second 1-2-3 finish of the season after Slovakia Ring.
In the Drivers’ Championship, now focus is on the fight for the second place, that sees Tarquini having a 22-point gap ahead of Chilton, while James Nash lies a further seven points adrift.
And Nash scored two victories in the Yokohama Trophy, that nearly granted him the title. His leading margin ahead of his bamboo-engineering team-mate Alex MacDowall is now of 41 points, with 43 still at stake.
At the same time the RML team clinched the Yokohama Teams’ Trophy, further increasing their already large margin.
Among the drivers who were shining in China, Tom Boardman deserves to be mentioned. Not only he scored his first points of the season in the Drivers’ Championship, but also finished twice on the Yokohama Trophy podium and – icing on the cake – overtook Michelisz and Monteiro for ninth at the end of Race 1.
The one-off appearance of Thed Björk and the Polestar Racing Volvo ended in a very disappointing way.
Although the driver and the car had showed a very promising pace, a grid penalty after qualifying and an electrical problem at the start of Race 1 spoiled what could have been an exciting weekend for the Swedish team.
The championship will resume in two weeks for the final rounds 23 and 24 at Macau on November 17.