Citroën win WTCC guest fixture in China

The tenth WTCC race weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit produced plenty of tense moments, excitement, plus lots of commitment both from drivers and teams at the track and from logistics technicians working behind the scenes. 

In the hunt for the DHL pole position, reigning world champion Jose-Maria Lopez showed where things were going in the first stint. However, local driver Ma Qing Hua also had high hopes of taking pole position. He posted a decent time, but Lopez was even quicker. 

The safety car came out shortly after the start of the first race when Tom Coronel’s car became stranded out on track with damage to his rear suspension following a collision at the start. An exciting fight for victory between Lopez, Muller and Loeb broke out on the restart. The world champion won. 

Local driver Ma Qing Hua got away to a better start in the second race but was unable to improve as much as his team-mates and was in eighth place after the third lap. Tarquini fought off three Citroën drivers behind him over the final laps. Muller was the first to pass the Honda driver, drew away and made the win certain. The Italian defended second place, and reigning world champion Lopez completed the podium party.

Disappointing weekend for Coronel

Tom Coronel in his Chevrolet was less successful, unfortunately. The Dutchman qualified ninth on Saturday, but then his luck ran out. “It looked so good to start with. Qualifying went well. We had the speed, I made no mistakes and posted decent lap times,” said Coronel.

Getting off the line went well for the Dutchman, as he battled Mehdi Bennani for P7, but then there was a contact during the jockeying for position at the start which badly damaged his car. “My right rear wheel was a total mess. When I got out, I saw that it had torn a big hole in the chassis,” said Coronel after the race.

He was unable to make it back to the pits under his own steam, so it could not be fixed in time and a start in the second race was no longer possible. “I knew right away that a repair would not work out.” So, he’s now looking forward to the next round in Thailand: “Let’s just forget this weekend and focus on the next event.”

From Motegi to Shanghai

At the end of September, the World Touring Car Championship took drivers to China for the tenth round of the season. But how did the cars actually get to the Shanghai International Circuit? This was taken care of by DHL, the logistics partner of the WTCC. DHL organizes the transporting of cars, spare parts, ad banners, TV, timekeeping and scrutineering equipment, as well as around 4,000 liters of fuel and 620 tires per event from race to race.

Tightly organized logistics require great commitment and good time management, since customs clearance, trucking from the port to the race event and the assembly and dismantling of equipment must always be carried out according to a precise schedule – a huge logistical task that is planned a year in advance.

Equipment had to be transported this time from Motegi to Shanghai, almost 2,000 kilometers away. With the entire season consisting of twelve races on four continents, each season, the logistics solution developed by DHL covers some 90,000 kilometers in total across four continents by ship, truck and plane so that the racing cars, along with all the teams’ equipment are in place as the race calendar requires.

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