The Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris proved their excellent form in the eighth round of the FIA WTCR held at Suzuka. Despite the track used this time was the East course that covers basically the first sector of the GP course where the Opera-built car obtained its first win last year, Team Mulsanne has been able to bring home more valuable results. Although the compensation weight imposed 40 additional kgs to their cars, Kevin Ceccon and Ma Qing Hua proved able to fight for the top positions, with the Chinese driver able to recover up to 9th in Race 1, after a qualifying where he couldn’t time his efforts with the changing weather conditions, and before having to retire in Race-3 because of a contact. Ceccon, the 2018 winner, put on a notable performance, taking third in Race-3, with a last-corner move on Monteiro. Both were penalized after the race, with the Italian losing the podium finish. Still, the weekend result is more than positive for the Italian cars, which are scoring points since the Race 3 at the Nürburgring, for 10 races in a row. This means the eighth place in the Teams’ World overall standings, with 225 points, ahead of a giant such as Audi, ahead of the final rounds of Macau and Sepang. Suzuka has also been the scenery of the TCR Japan, with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR by Romeo Ferraris winning Race 2, after taking third in Race 1, but Shuji Maejima was disqualified after the race because of a contact with Yu Kanamaru. The Japanese was still third among Gentlemen drivers on Saturday, before securing final third and Gentlemen champion on Sunday.
Michela Cerruti, Romeo Ferraris Operations Manager
“The Suzuka weekend leaves us with contrasting feelings, as already happened at Ningbo. I find the penalty inflicted to Kevin excessive in the context of Touring car World series, where during the same weekend lighter decisions have been taken against more serious incidents. Kevin has perfectly driven a car that, despite the additional weight, has been the only one to gain positions, with him and with Qing Hua. He has then been very clever in using a safety-car situation to steal the last step on the podium, after gaining four positions on the track. We should not forget, also, that Friday’s free practice was the first time we ran this car on the wet, and the great work by our technicians to find the right set-up and tyre management, has been crucial. If we look at the standings, what achieved so far looks like a miracle. We are in front of brands that have budget and resources a million times larger than ours, and this is a great satisfaction. I am sad because Sunday’s trophy would have been a great reward to everybody in the team, but we will try again at Macau and in Malaysia”.