Ma Qing Hua romps to victory in Marrakech Race 2

Ma Qing Hua romps to victory in Marrakech Race 2

04 May 2024

Ma Qing Hua had earned the reversed grid pole after some strategic play in qualifying for the second race of the Kumho FIA TCR World Tour at Marrakech, and the Chinese driver used it as the launching pad towards an authoritative victory. He was able to pull away from the Honda of Esteban Guerrieri, while title contenders Norbert Michelisz and Yann Ehrlacher both ran into trouble.

Ma made a great start but was briefly under attack from Guerrieri; they made side-to-side contact into T1, but Ma exited the corner in the lead and began to open a gap.

Further behind there was drama, as Santiago Urrutia stalled from ninth on the grid and dropped at the back; then into T1 title protagonists Ehrlacher and Michelisz came together, with Ehrlacher tapping the rear of the Hungarian’s car into a half-spin. Ehrlacher and Sami Taoufik were both forced to cut through the pit lane exit in avoidance.

Néstor Girolami also picked up bodywork damage on his Elantra as he and the Audi of John Filippi made contact at the start, but the problem resolved itself and Girolami was able to settle into fourth ahead of the French driver. Michelisz’s car was sporting damage and struggled for pace, as he quickly fell from seventh to eventually finish the race in 11th position. Ehrlacher was also having technical problems, he pitted with an engine issue on lap 14 and retired.

Taoufik, who had had a great start, worked his way up the order and by half-distance was seventh, joining a three-car train comprised of Filippi and Mikel Azcona. Taoufik and Azcona made contact on a several occasions as the Moroccan driver tried to make his way past; Azcona then developed a puncture that forced him to pit, promoting Taoufik to sixth.

Up front, Ma held a healthy lead to Guerrieri, who was being chased by his teammate Dušan Borković, who went on to complete the podium, while Filippi overtook Girolami for fourth on the last lap.

Michelisz continues to lead the standings on 97 points, 11 clear of Urrutia, with Ehrlacher and Guerrieri equal on 82.

The next event takes place at the Mid-Ohio Sports Cars Course, in the USA, on June 7/8, where Ehrlacher will be demoted three positions on the grid for Race 1, following a penalty he was handed for the incident at the start.


Ma Qing Hua: “I’m super-happy. This is my first victory here, so I’m going to enjoy it a lot. Thanks to all the guys from the team and to all the fans here in the paddock to witness my victory.”


Marrakech – Race 2

  1. Ma Qing Hua (Lynk & Co Cyan Racing, Lynk & Co 03 FL), 36 laps
  2. Esteban Guerrieri (GOAT Racing, Honda Civic Type R FL5), 2.094
  3. Dušan Borković (GOAT Racing, Honda Civic Type R FL5), 2.814


Championship points

  1. N. Michelisz, 97 pts; 2. S. Urrutia, 86; 3. Y. Ehrlacher, 82


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