Asian Touring Car SeriesMan Ting Yu reclaimed the Championship lead in an incident filled Round 9 of the Asian Touring Car Series at Bira Circuit today. The Hong Kong native credited lady luck for an outstanding result leading him to retake the Championship lead from his Team IMSP-S&D teammate.

It was a fantastic start to the race when Gary Sham propelled himself to second right at the start from fourth and claiming the lead soon after, but the Team IMSP-S&D driver was found to have made a false start and given a drive through penalty. Sham did not see the penalty board, which was shown for three laps, and was immediately given a black flag which ended his race on lap five.

The drama did not end there. Danny Stacy Chau, who was running in second place from the opening lap, took the second chicane wrong and ended up in the gravel. He was able to rejoin the race at the end of the pack and a consistent drive saw him finish in fifth.

This allowed Man, who was quietly running in third to take the lead, which he held all the way to the chequered flag. The always modest Man, thanked the elements that worked in his favour, leaving him with the win. “I was very lucky today. I managed to get ahead because Gary had a drive through and Danny had a spin. Then from there I was alone and drove a consistent pace and I was able to keep my lead. I’m just really really happy” said Man at the Post Race Press Conference.

But all was not easy during the first part of the race as Man was pursued by the two young newcomers, Charles Ng from S&D Motorsports and Chin Tzer Jinn of JPM Nexus Racing, who both started at the back of the pack.

The duo managed some very exciting manoeuvres overtaking their way to the front of the pack by lap 5 and were immediately putting the pressure on Man. But as luck would have it, both drivers suffered from drawbacks on lap 9. Just as Chin overtook Ng, the car blew its engine, ending his race.

“Today I had a good start and I was a little more patient to hopefully get up on the podium and maybe take the win. I was in third and chasing Charles, then I managed to get to second and that was when I felt a slowing down in my engine. There was no power and then there was a puff of white smoke and the engine ceased. I just wanted to blind my competitors a little” said Chin with a hearty laugh.

As this was happening to Chin, Ng’s car also began to slow down and he was seen crawling to the pitlane, ending his race with a broken throttle sensor.

Meanwhile, behind them, the second and third placed finishers, Cheung Chi Sing and Adrian Henry D’Silva were both working their way up the ranks. Cheung started the race in sixth while D’Silva was just ahead of him in fifth. D’Silva had the better start, found his way past Cheung but the positions changed again by lap 5 where they remained all the way to the chequered flag.

“I didn’t have a good start, maybe it was because I didn’t get enough sleep last night so I was a little slow. But I thought 20 laps is a lot and is enough time for me to make my way to the front so I just maintained a very consistent pace.

“Towards the end when I was in second, I saw that Man was too far ahead to catch so I just brought the car home for the points. I will definitely be chasing for another win later” said Cheung.

When asked if Man was concerned to see Cheung behind him at the end of the race, Man replied “I did see Cheung behind me, but I think we had about ten seconds difference so even if he managed to gain one second a lap, he would have needed about eight more laps, so I was not worried”.

For D’Silva, despite a gradual power steering failure, he managed to claim third, although at a crawl on the last lap. For him and his JPM Nexus team, “Bira is a very tough track and I learned from yesterday that there is no point pushing hard on the first five laps. Somehow or another people will start to fall out, make mistakes and that’s basically how I got myself up ahead. I didn’t try to do anything silly and my team told me to just bring the car home safely”.

Danny Chau and Frank Yee completed the top five finishers today, both despite having a spin at the same chicane.

The final race of the 2009 Season for the Asian Touring Car Series will be held at 4.45pm local time.