Treacherous weather conditions forced organisers to stop and cancel the Main Race of FIA WTCC Race of China after just three laps behind the safety car as the FIA World Touring Car Championship’s first visit to the new Ningbo International Speedpark ended on a disappointing note on Sunday.
The heavy rain that had been a major factor in the Opening Race worsened as the start time for the Main Race approached. It was decided to begin the race behind the safety car, but it was immediately obvious that conditions were too dangerous to allow the drivers to race.
Speaking from the pitlane during the safety car laps, Rob Huff made it clear it was an impossible situation. The British driver had been forced to retire his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Citroën C-Elysée WTCC with steering rack damage after colliding with Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Tom Chilton in the Opening Race.
“It is so dangerous,” said Huff. “The safety car can drive faster than us in these conditions. It is far worse than we’ve had all weekend. They have to can it. I’m almost glad I’m not out there it’s so bad.”
Once the call was made, DHL pole position winner Néstor Girolami made it clear that he had no argument with the decision. “These things happen,” he said. “It’s getting worse. The track was completely wet and it was a really dangerous situation. You have to think about safety. This is a good decision.”
Only three laps were completed under the safety car, but poleman Girolami was declared the winner, with half-championship points awarded.
The 2017 WTCC resumes on October 27-29 for WTCC Race of Japan at Twin Ring Motegi.
Source: FIA WTCC