What a weekend that was in China! I’m back at home with the upper hand in the fight for the 2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship title.
When we headed to Shanghai International Circuit, I was tied on points with my Chevrolet team-mate Yvan Muller. My goal was to claim the lead of the championship, and it was mission accomplished on that front. With a win and a second, the weekend really couldn’t have gone much better.
It was our first time racing at the circuit, and it’s what you would expect for a modern F1 venue; an impressive facility. On the track walk, the long back straight looked like it would be the where the action took place, but as it turns out, the action was everywhere during the two races.
When race one got underway, there was mayhem right behind me at turn 2. It eliminated Yvan from the race, but I was fortunate to be just clear of it all.
I’d already settled into second place to my other Chevy team-mate Alain Menu, and made sure I stayed there for the balance of the race to bank some valuable points.
From seventh on the reverse grid for race two, I didn’t help proceedings with a bit of a slow start. Fortunately, the first lap was clean, and I was able to make progress, to the point I was sitting third behind Alain and Yvan.
Shortly thereafter, Yvan made contact with the rear of Alain’s Cruze at turn 1, sending them both wide. I was able to skip through, take the lead and win the race. Alain recovered to finish second, while Yvan was later penalised out of the points.
As a result, I moved from level in the points with Yvan to holding a 35-point lead over Alain, with just Macau to go.
There, in a fortnight, there’ll be 55 points on offer. The streets of Macau are unforgiving and the races always throw up lots of incidents.
From my end, I’m going there with one mission in mind, to turn this points advantage into a World Championship title. There’s still a lot of work to be done, and as last weekend showed, things can change really quickly.
I’ve always enjoyed racing at Macau, and I’ve won races there in the past. Hopefully I can make this year’s trip a truly memorable one and win a title.