SHANGHAI, China — The Changan Ford Racing Team capped off a stunning China Touring Car Championship (CTCC) season by taking home the grand slam victory – its fourth championship title in six years – and driver Andy Yan's first Annual Champion Driver title at the eighth and final race of the season at Shanghai's Tianma Circuit on November 6.
Since the team secured its championship title by winning the top three places in the sixth race held at the same circuit last month, the only question remaining was whether Yan could secure the best driver title. With 127 points accumulated throughout the season, Yan was just 16 points ahead of his nearest rival before the final race.
Starting fourth on the grid, Yan had to finish in the top five to win the title in the extremely competitive race.
"It is a close call, but I believe in the strength of the Ford Focus," Yan said confidently before the race. "The key to winning the title is the stability of the race car, which you can count on in a Focus."
Although fully prepared, the race was still challenging for Yan and his teammates. Yan and another Changan Ford racer Tengyi Jiang were second and third early in the race, but the narrow track made it difficult to overtake.
Taking advantage of Focus' explosive force and its excellent performance in handling curves, as well as the spirit of fighting as a team, Yan finished the race in third place – and his 142 points not only won him this season's Driver of the Year title, but also helped Changan Ford claim its 2011 grand slam victory.
In addition to the outstanding final results, Changan Ford also achieved double wins (driver and team) in five of the eight competition rounds – another season highlight for the team in 2011, thanks again to the excellent stability of the Ford Focus and the outstanding performance of its four racers.
To celebrate the big win, leaders from Changan Ford, Ford, and the Federation of Automobile Sports of China gathered for a celebration dinner with media to review the top moments of the 2011 season. Richard Baker, deputy general manager, Changan Ford Sales Company, and Jost Capito, director, Ford Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsport Business Development, were interviewed by media during the dinner.
Many reporters were impressed by how Changan Ford finished the memorable season and also the positive contribution made by the team to car racing in China. "During the celebration banquet, the video of the 2011 CTCC's best moments moved each of us," said Chaohui Lan from Beijing Business Today.
"This year not only saw a good performance by Changan Ford in CTCC, but also great efforts in promoting a racing culture," said Guang Wu from Shenzhen Evening Paper. "We believe 2012 will be a better year for both racing and further growing a racing culture as well."
The final race of the CTCC season was covered by 66 media outlets, made up of representatives from 32 newspapers, 22 magazines and 12 broadcast networks from five cities.
|Andy Yan, 2011 Champion Driver|
|Richard Baker being interviewed by the media
||Celebration banquet with media|