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Category: Asian Touring Car Series

ATCSAfter a five year wait, Cheung Chi Sing finally lifted the Asian Touring Car Series Championship trophy in front of the Thailand touring car fans at the Bira International Circuit today. Cheung was crowned the champion in a race where Malaysian driver Chin Tzer Jinn claimed the final race win of the year.

Cheung was almost assured of the Championship at the start of the race when the then Championship leader, Man Ting Yu was not able to start due to suspension problems. Man, although slightly disappointed at not being able to race was nothing but happy for his Team IMSP-S&D teammate.

“I am happy that Cheung is the winner because he has always been faster than I am. Next year we will come back and maybe with a new improved team” said Man who took second overall in the Asian Touring Car Series 2009 Championship.

For the Championship winner, happiness was etched on his face during the trophy presentation. “I am so happy because the trophy is so huge! I really want to thank the team and everyone for all the hard work that they have put in this year. I’ve waited for this for five years and I am just so happy” said Cheung after the race.

Third place in the Championship went to Adrian Henry D’Silva of JPM Nexus Racing. D’Silva played it safe during the race today, crossing the line in eighth after suffering some suspension problems from a puncture on lap 3 after a shunt.

“It feels good to claim this trophy after missing it last year. It was also here in Bira that I lost it to Man because I had two DNF’s. So this year, coming here I said I’m going to finish all my races and Man told me earlier to just ‘finish your race’” said D’Silva with a laugh.

In one of the closest fought races of the year, race winner, Chin and second placed finisher, Charles Ng battled for the win from start to finish, driving nose to tail throughout the race. Chin claimed the early lead before being overtaken by Ng on lap four at the first chicane. Then midway through the race, Ng had some gear shifting issues that caused him to miss third gear, leaving Chin to take the lead.

Right on the final lap of the race, at the first chicane, Ng made a move on Chin, setting up to overtake at the next turn where he got it wrong and drove onto the grass, passing Chin. But the move was deemed illegal and Chin was crowned the winner, (after the Stewards gave him a 10 sec penalty) despite crossing the chequered flag in second.

Chin had nothing but praise for his fierce competitor, claiming it as one of the best races he has fought in recent times. “We started fighting from the very beginning of the race and that was quite close. I had a good start and was ahead of Charles and subsequently due to a loss of engine power I was slightly behind and Charles took me, to his credit.

“After that he pulled away from me but I had some luck, there were some traffic, he was blocked so I managed to close the gap and that’s how the race was won” said Chin after the race.

For Ng, coming to the series during the season ender was a good decision and although having had a tough weekend suffering from a broken drive shaft in the first race and a throttle issue in the second, getting on the podium after a strong performance was the icing on the cake.

Driving alongside Frank Yee in the S&D Motorsports and claiming a trophy for the team was a good feeling and having a closely fought battle made it more worthwhile. “I was quite satisfied with my performance.

Towards the end of the race I had a shifting issue and I couldn’t put the car in third gear, so I lost a bit of time there. It was a good race overall, tough but good”.

“This race I was praying to God that hopefully nothing would break” said Ng.

Hong Kong driver, Gary Sham crossed the line in third for Team IMSP-S&D. Sham who started the race in sixth showed he had the pace and made his way through the pack early on in the race. He was able to climb up to fourth by the second lap and made his move on Cheung Chi Sing, who at that time was running in third, on lap four. From there Sham maintained a great pace to cross the chequered flag in third.

“It was a brilliant race. It is the last race of the year and I came here to enjoy the race and get the best result as I can and to be on the podium was great. I am happy with how things turned out. I will just have to try and do better next year” said Sham during the Post Race Press Conference.

Team IMSP-S&D claimed the Asian Touring Car Series Team Championship Trophy after collecting a total of 244 points over the year. The team was represented by Danny Stacy Chau during the trophy presentation.

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.

Asian Touring Car SeriesCheung Chi Sing had a brilliant end to his day at the Bira International Circuit today when he claimed a pole to flag win ahead of Adrian Henry D’Silva and Gary Sham.

The top three finishers all had a fantastic race with Cheung managing a great clean start and immediately began pulling away from the rest of the pack. The Team IMSP-S&D driver managed to control his pace and pulled a big gap halfway through the race.

“I am just happy with the results of the race today. It is getting me closer and closer to the Championship win. “At the start, I managed to have a good start and I slowly managed to open up a gap to the second placed driver. Midway through the race I had a problem with my tyre but I was really lucky that I already opened the gap and I could hold on to the lead all the way to the finish” said a happy Cheung at the Post Race Press Conference.

Coming in second was JPM Nexus Racing driver, D’Silva. The Malaysian driver started the race in fourth and had a great start to the race, overtaking both Charles Ng and Chin Tzer Jinn as soon as the lights went out.

D’Silva then lost his second place to Ng on lap 3 when Ng took the inside of the turn to gain the advantage, but five laps down, Ng suffered some problems and went into the pits, leaving D’Silva once again with second. He then managed to hold on to his position despite the charges of his teammate Chin.

“I had some problems with my first gear during the Free Practice and the boys in my team managed to rectify it. I didn’t get to test it so during the race I was totally surprised at how well it worked.

“I managed to jump Charles and TJ at the start to come up second behind Cheung. After a few laps Charles was right behind me and he overtook me on lap 3 or 4 and a few laps later while I was catching him, at the same time TJ was catching up to me, then I don’t know what happened to Charles he just went into the pits”.

For Gary Sham, starting from the pitlane was not a hindrance as he managed to gain ground with each lap. Sham first overtook Frank Yee on the third lap and then made his move on Danny Stacy Chau who then made a mistake and spun into the gravel on lap six. Danny Chau managed to rejoin the race but Sham and Yee both passed him.

Sham then continued to pursue Man Ting Yu and got him by lap 16. Luck was on his side as by this time Charles Ng had already gone in to the pits with a mechanical problem while Chin suffered a puncture on lap 17 and had to park his car on turn three, leaving Sham with third.

“Before the start I had an engine problem and the mechanics managed to fix the problem, but by the time we managed to get the car out, the pitlane had already closed leaving me to start from the pitlane. From there I just tried my best and drove as hard as I could.

“Every car I saw in front of me I managed to overtake and I did not have any problems throughout the race. I think I managed to put pressure on the drivers instead of being pressured by them” said Sham with a laugh. At the end of the race, Man Ting Yu crossed the line in fourth ahead of Frank Yee, Danny Stacy Chau and Caesar Wong, with Chin Tzer Jinn and Charles Ng both with a DNF.

The Asian Touring Car Series will continue on Sunday, 13 September 2009 at the Bira International Circuit with Round 9 being held at 12.05pm and the final race of the season, Round 10 at 4.45pm.

Photos from Motorsport Asia by Jerry Ch’ng.

Cheung Chi SingJust as Man Ting Yu predicted, Cheung Chi Sing was the fastest man on the track today. The Hong Kong driver and second in the Championship points table will take the pole position for Round 8 of the Asian Touring Car Series race later this afternoon after clocking the fastest time of 1:09.197.

“Its now all down to me. I have to get the best start and immediately try to open a gap, but I will also have to maintain a steady pace and not panic” said Cheung with a laugh.

“I am a little bit nervous but I am also excited because I really want to win. I’ve tried for so many years to win this Championship and I am so excited coming here this weekend with this chance.

“I want to thank Danny Stacy Chau, the team and the crew before we start the race because they are the best people and without them I would not have this chance” ended Cheung.

Meanwhile, Championship leader, Man will start the race in seventh after not being able to match the pace of the frontrunners. Although he is happy coming to Bira with the lead, he is also realistic about it and thinks that it will be his teammate that will win the Championship.

“It will be my first win since 1991 if I get the Championship and I hope Bira will bring me luck. I will try to have the best race I can and if I stay in second or third and Cheung does not finish one race, then I will have a chance with the Championship”.

“I hope he cannot finish one race” added Man jokingly.

Lining up in second on the grid will be Malaysian driver Chin Tzer Jinn in his JPM Nexus Racing Honda Integra. Chin started out the session in the mid pack but went in to make some set-up changes and came back out to clock a best time of 1:09.640 at the end of the session.

His time was just 0.058 seconds ahead of Charles Ng of S&D Motorsports. Ng, flew to Pattaya from Los Angeles to participate in the race this weekend, taking over the wheel from Harry Chai in the number 26 car. The young driver impressed everyone with his fast pace and consistent times.

Row two on the grid will be filled by Adrian Henry D’Silva, who claimed the fourth grid position when he clocked 1:10.047.

Danny Stacy Chau and Gary Sham will take row three ahead of Man Ting Yu and Frank Yee, while Caesar Wong will start at the back of the grid.

There was one casualty during the Qualifying session when Gary Sham had a shunt on his fifth lap and ended up in the tyre barriers at turn three. His crew are working hard to get his car ready for the race later today.

The Asian Touring Car Series Round 8 race will be held on Saturday, 12 September 2009 at 4.45pm (local time). Rounds 9 & 10 will be held on Sunday, 13 September 2009 at 12.05pm and 4.45pm respectively.

Asian Touring Car SeriesThe Asian Touring Car Series season finale will be held this weekend at the Bira International Circuit in Pattaya, Thailand during one of the biggest Thai touring car weekends. Rounds 8, 9 and 10 of the season will be held at the 2.4km circuit as part of the Chonburi SuperCar Thailand race.

Man Ting Yu heads to Bira as the ATCS Championship leader, for the first time, with a six point lead over compatriot Cheung Chi Sing. The duo, from Team IMSP-S&D, both began competing in the Asian Touring Car Series in 2006 and are chasing their first Championship win, but the duo will have to fight hard as seven drivers are still able to grab the Championship title in the closing stages of the Series.

The two Hong Kong natives have always adopted very different approaches to racing. Man maintains a cool steady pace over the race weekend and consistently places himself in the points. So far he has climbed on the podium in five out of the seven rounds and finished every race this year in the points. His win at the Sentul International Circuit last month pushed him to the lead that he holds entering the final race weekend.

Meanwhile, Cheung has always been fast, running at the head of the pack in most races and he equals Man’s tally of five podiums in the seven races held so far. Cheung’s three wins and two second places have kept him ahead in the Championship until his DNF in Sentul, which relegated him to second with a six point deficit.

Third on the Championship points table is Frank Yee from S&D Motorsports, who has collected a total of 50 points. Early in the season, Yee seized the Championship lead at the Sepang International Circuit, when he took the round 2 win ahead of Man and Gary Sham, coming away from the weekend with 23 points.

Behind Yee is Malaysian driver Adrian Henry D’Silva of JPM Nexus Racing. D’Silva has collected a total of 46 points, after three third places and two fourth placed finishes. D’Silva is upbeat coming into this weekend after a mixed weekend in Sentul, but steady driving has given him an edge and pushed him up the table into fourth from sixth.

The Asian Festival Of Speed in Sepang saw the emergence of a new championship competitor when Malaysian youngster Chin Tzer Jinn participated and dominated the weekend claiming both wins which immediately propelled him into the limelight. Currently, Chin lies fifth on the points table, just one point behind his JPM Nexus Racing teammate.

Hong Kong race legend Danny Stacy Chau is also in contention for the Championship win. The Team IMSP-S&D driver will be looking to chalk up another achievement on his belt. His outings so far have produced varying results including two second placed finishes that puts him in sixth with 43 points.

The seventh driver on the Championship ladder that can claim the Championship win this weekend is Gary Sham. Sham has also had very mixed results so far with two third placed finishes, but he has consistently placed himself in the points and is trailing Danny Chau by only one point.

With a total of 45 points being given out this weekend, these seven drivers will have a chance to chase for the Title but there are those that look stronger in the recent races than others.

Man Ting Yu is the only driver in the mix that has completed every race this season and his consistency can play a very important role in allowing him the win. But Man is confident that although he will do well this weekend, he thinks his teammate, Cheung, will have the best chance at winning the Championship.

“I will definitely try my best but I know that it will be Cheung that will take the Championship trophy this weekend. He has the speed and the skill to do it” he said after the untimed practice session today.

Cheung will be a strong competitor this weekend but he will have to keep an eye on the young Malaysian driver who has proven to be quite strong in his outings so far. But Cheung will be at an advantage as he knows the Bira Circuit while this will be Chin’s first outing at the Pattaya circuit.

Qualifying for the Asian Touring Car Series will be held on Saturday, 12 September 2009 at 12.20pm local time while Round 9 will be held at 4.45pm on the same day. Rounds 9 & 10 will be held on Sunday, 13 September 2009 at 12.05pm and 4.45pm respectively.