SHANGHAI, China — The Changan Ford Racing Team got off to a flying start by snatching the top four places in the opening round of the 2012 China Touring Car Championship (CTCC) last weekend.
The defending champions had no intention of keeping a low profile at the Shanghai International Circuit (China's Formula 1 circuit) with their upgraded rides -- the new Focus equipped with 1.6 litre EcoBoost GTDi engine. During qualifying, the four Ford teams took the top three and fifth places with Andy Yan, the defending champion, scoring the fastest lap time of 1 minute 13.609 seconds.
The outstanding performance of the new Focus on the track coincided with the beginning of sales of the car in dealerships across China.
The team controlled the race from the beginning, taking the top four positions after the first three laps. Eventually, Yan won the race with a time of 29 minutes 52.832 seconds, followed by Jiang Tengyi, who managed to catch up and overtake two teammates during the last few laps. Rainey He and Fan Gaoxiang secured third and fourth places.
Changan Ford scored 15 points for the race, 12 more than its nearest rival.
The Changan Ford Racing Team has won four championship titles in the past six years. Ford held an opening ceremony for this year’s event to unveil the new, powerful Focus, which was launched in China on April 23.
Company executives including Marin Burela, president, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd, Nigel Harris, general manager, Changan Ford Sales Company, and Jason Liu, deputy general manager, Changan Ford Sales Company, attended the ceremony, which was covered by 75 reporters from 70 different media outlets.
The team's dramatic victory not only wowed the crowd, but also highlighted the powerful features and capability of the new Focus.
"The overwhelming victory of winning the top four places proves the strong power of the new Focus racing car," said Wu Yongsheng from Car Market Guide. "It also reflected the supreme quality of the new Focus, which serves as the platform of adaptation. The result of the game made us full of expectations for the market performance of the new Focus production cars."