There was Esports WTCR Asia joy for Andika Rama Maulana but heartbreak for Jactin Chung when RaceRoom hosted the three-event Esports WTCR Asia series on Sunday.
Twenty-six of the region’s best simracesers were in action at virtual versions of Ningbo, Macau and Sepang. But after leading a Honda-powered 1-2-3 at Ningbo, Chung’s hopes were shattered by a technical issue during the Macau race, leaving Maulana to take the crown at Sepang as Chung regrouped to deny Ayman Aqeem a home victory.
Chung on form in pre-qualifying
Chung (PRP XR-1 / Honda) beat Scott Li (Macau E-Motorsport / Alfa Romeo) in pre-qualifying to secure the top seeding with both finishing ahead of last year’s finalists Andika Rama Maulana (Legion Of Racers / Honda) and Ayman Aqeem (RSG Team Ballas Esports / Honda).
Ningbo race recap: Chung leads Honda 1-2-3
If it wasn’t clear already after the pre-qualifying, the results of qualifying at Ningbo underlined Jactin Chung’s status as the event favourite. The Hong Kong driver beat Scott Li to pole with Andika Rama Maulana fourth.
In the race, Maulana made rapid progress to overtake third-placed Australian Blake Neck (Independent / Hyundai) before muscling his way ahead of Li, despite the Alfa Romeo driver’s best efforts to defend his position.
Chung took full advantage of Maulana and Li’s fierce battle to build an early 1.5s lead with Haris ‘ZephyRei’ Syahimi holding an unexpected fourth spot. But Syahimi was soon under pressure from Filipe Veloso Chan (Macau e-Motorsports / Honda), who moved ahead on lap two to begin his pursuit of Li.
Further back, Aqeem was catching up rapidly after qualifying outside the top 10. At the halfway mark, he was already up to seventh, right behind WenChao Zhong, the leading Lynk & Co driver from China. The battle also involved Lai Sky (Zuver FSR / Audi) and Junio Pereira (Macau e-Motorsport / Alfa) and the positions changed lap by lap.
Towards the end of the race, Veloso Chan overtook Li for P3, but Chung was uncatchable out front with the 22-year-old maintaining his advantage to the finish to win ahead of Maulana and Veloso Chan in a Honda 1-2-3 and score 25 points. Li took fourth ahead of Syahmi, with Zhong, Sky, Aqeem, Pereira and Jason Mok rounding out the top 10.
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