WTCC Race of China - 24-25/09/2016
It took 18 months to convert swampland in the Jiading district of Shanghai into an international-standard racetrack ahead of its opening in 2004. Since then the venue has been ever-present on the Formula One calendar as well as staging MotoGP, V8 Supercars and WEC events. And, since 2012, the WTCC has been an annual visitor on a slightly shorter layout. Designed by Hermann Tilke, the track is characterised by its long back straight and tight hairpin, which helps to guarantee great WTCC action. Shanghai is also notable for Mehdi Bennani’s race-two victory in 2014, the first by an Arabic driver.
1: Ma Qing Hua, the ex-Formula One reserve drive turned WTCC race winner, is from Shanghai where he also co-owns a number of kart tracks.
2: Michael Schumacher holds the lap record on the full 5.451-kilometre Grand Prix circuit of 1m32.238s set in 2004 in a Ferrari F2004.
3: Fans attending WTCC Race of China are guaranteed an abundance of touring car action with the China Touring Car Championship topping the support bill.
4: China is widely credited with the invention of football in the second and third centuries BC. Linzi, the capital of the ancient Chinese state of Qi, is said to be the birthplace of “cuju” – “kick ball with foot”.
5: Superstition and numerology are prevalent in Chinese culture – a 13th floor is often absent from hotels and commercial buildings and vehicle licence plates and phone numbers are often devoid of the number four.
FLASHBACK 2015 (25-27 SEPTEMBER)
José María López and Yvan Muller combined to help Citroën secure a second FIA World Touring Car Manufacturers’ Championship by claiming a win apiece in ROSNEFT WTCC Race of China at the Shanghai International Circuit. López, from Argentina, took the opening honours from the DHL-presented pole position before Frenchman Muller pulled off a stunning overtaking manoeuvre to snatch victory from Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini in race two. Sébastien Loeb followed Muller home in the opening counter with López unable to oust Italian Tarquini for the runner-up spot in the second event. Nevertheless his performances hand him a 75-point championship lead. Morocco’s Mehdi Bennani scored a Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy double but there was frustration for local hero Ma Qing Hua. After a slow getaway from the front row of the grid in race one, the Chinese driver was forced to retire with a driveshaft glitch. Meanwhile, Hugo Valente started the reverse-grid second race from pole but contact with Tarquini damaged his Chevrolet and caused him to spin, much to the frustration of the young Frenchman who remonstrated with Tarquini afterwards.Official Website
Name: Shanghai International Circuit
Location: 29/F Jiushi Towers, 28 Zhongshanng Road (South), 200010 Shanghai, China
Length: 4.603 kilometres
Lap record (qualifying): José María López (Citroën C-Elysée), 1m48.782s (152.33kph), 11/10/14
Lap record (race): Ma Qing Hua (Citroën C-Elysée), 1m50.833s (149.511kph), 12/10/14
WTCC RACE OF CHINA WINNERS
2015: Race 1: José María López (Citroën C-Elysée); Race 2: Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée)
2014: R1: José María López (Citroën C-Elysée); R2: Mehdi Bennani (Honda Civic)
2013: R1 Tom Chilton (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic)
2012: R1: Alain Menu (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Rob Huff (Chevrolet Cruze)
2011: R1: Alain Menu (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Yvan Muller (Chevrolet Cruze)
WTCC RACE OF CHINA VENUES
2012-Present: Shanghai International Circuit
2011: Tianma Circuit