The final stretch of the 2019 FIA WTCR season has started with a podium finish for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris. The world series for touring cars resumed activity at Ningbo, with the seventh round opening the Asian tour after the long summer break. Team Mulsanne, in the very home race for Ma Qing Hua, took a podium finish in Race 1 with its local hero, after conquering first row in qualifying, showing thus the great potential of the Italian car, which could have opted to podium positions also on Sunday’s races. During Q2, though, an unfortunate move by Néstor Girolami, who deliberately blocked the Chinese driver and was later sanctioned for his action, put car #55 in sixth row, while Ma was bound to a top lap time.
In the traffic of Race-2, Ma was involved in an incident that damaged the back of his car, eventually forcing him to retire. The car could be brought back to the pits only after the race and was repaired in a record 20 minutes, but had to start Race-3 from the pits, because of the breaking of parc fermé. The local hero started an impressive recovery charge that brought him up to 8th, before a contact, again with Girolami, put an end to his race.
Not less rich in emotions was the weekend of Kevin Ceccon. On car #31 of the Italian team, Kevin recovered 42 position over the three races that he started from the back of the grid because of an engine change. Taking ninth and tenth in the last two races, he allowed the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR by Romeo Ferraris to score points in all three races.
The cars built at Opera shone not only in China, because the 2018 version that competes in the TCR Italy with PRS Motorsport has been brought to victory in Race-1 at Vallelunga by Max Mugelli, who previously had signed the pole position in qualifying.
Michela Cerruti, Operations Manager Romeo Ferraris
“The Ningbo weekend has left many emotions, some positive, some negative. The win in the TCR Italy and the podium in the FIA WTCR certainly are the nice side of it and reward us for the hard work we do. On another hand, there is the disappointment of seeing that all the work of our guys was also frustrated by the behavior of other drivers. I don’t think that what seen in qualifying and during the races in China is acceptable at this level of competition. I don’t want to comment on the specific aspects of those situations, as the Stewards have already addressed the matter, but this does not give us back the possibility to fight at the front. I am also bitter about the technical problem occurred on Kevin’s car, for the first time in two years in the FIA WTCR, which forced him to start from the back in all races, but I appreciate that Kevin reacted with fighting spirit and determination, performing three excellent races. A similar spirit was shown by the team’s crew, who were able to rebuild a car in 20 minutes. Moreover, the maturity showed by Kevin in understanding the events is a big boost ahead of the next round at Suzuka, where last year we clinched our first win in the World championship”.