The FIA World Endurance Championship has moved from Japan to China for the fifth round of the championship and next weekend Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell, his teammate in the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team, will be competing in the 6 Hours of Shanghai.
Last season this Chinese race was the eighth and penultimate round of the championship, but now it signals the start of the second half of the Super Season. “This is an awesome track and one where we have had some great results with pole and a win in 2016 and a win in 2017. You can’t get much better than that. After podiums in the last two races in Silverstone and Fuji it goes without saying we are going for the hat trick,” said Andy before flying out to China.
Talking about the circuit itself he said: “It is not the easiest circuit to master, as you really have to work hard to set the car up. It has several very technical sections, but then I always prefer a circuit that is a challenge and we seem to have mastered it well in the past in our number 67 Ford GT. Turn one in particular is a great corner that suits our car and so I can’t wait to get out on track on Friday morning. ”
This Shanghai International Circuit, that also hosts the Chinese Grand Prix, lies about 40 kilometres from the city after which it is named. It is 3.338 miles (5.451 kilometres) long, covers a total area of 5.3 square kilometres and its layout was inspired by the Chinese character shang, the first character in the name of the city of Shanghai. For Andy and the UK based team it is the longest trek of the year to get there, as by air the trip from London to Shanghai is 5,721.9 mile (9,208.5 kilemetre) Journey.
The first time the WEC cars will go out on the track will be on Friday (16th November) from 11.00 to 12.30 for FP1. This is followed by FP2 from 15.30 to 17.00. On Saturday FP3 is from 09.50 to 10.50 and qualifying for the LMGTE Pro class is from 14.00 to 14.20. The six hour race will start at 11.00 on Sunday and end at 17.00. All these times are local and eight hours ahead of GMT.