The opening race of the FIA World Touring Car Cup’s Guia Race of Macau will see two drivers missing in action following the withdrawal of Gordon Shedden and wildcard driver Jim Ka To.
Both drivers suffered separate accidents during the opening knockout session in Friday’s second qualifying, with their respective Leopard Racing Audi Sport and KC Motorgroup Honda teams deeming the damage to their cars too substantial to repair this weekend.
In an incident befitting of his largely terrible 2019 season, Shedden ploughed into the barriers at Moorish Hill and was collected at speed from behind by an unsighted Norbert Michelisz. The BRC Squadra Corse driver, trailing Esteban Guerrieri in the Drivers’ Championship standings by two points, suffered session-ending damage to his Hyundai i30 N TCR.
In a separate accident, Jim Ka To had a coming-together with PWR Racing stand-in Robert Dahlgren at Fishermen’s Bend. Dahlgren was able to continue, however Ka To ended his session in the wall.
Despite not setting a lap time in the session, Ka To was given dispensation to start Races 2 and 3 due to having qualified on merit in the earlier Race 1 qualifying session. However, the KC Motorgroup team later announced that the Hong Kong driver would take no further part in the weekend as the damage to his Honda Civic Type-R FK8 was too severe.
Ka To’s absence means that Macanese driver Billy Lo will be the sole wildcard entry competing in the weekend’s races. The Tian Shi Zuver Team driver managed to get his Audi RS3 LMS inside the 105% cut-off in both qualifying sessions.
Anson Kwai Wah Wong failed to qualify his Song Veng Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR faster than the required cut-off time.
Similarly, the Team TRC Honda trio of James Tang Chi Lun, Terence Kin Leung Tse and Arthur Tin Fan Law (who crashed early in the weekend) also failed to make the cut in either session.
With all four Hong Kong drivers some margin off the pace throughout the weekend, the FIA Stewards opted not to grant them permission to join the grid in any of the races.
Images via FIA WTCR