First for HK as pair race against each other in WTCC

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 March, 2011, 12:00am

Two drivers from Hong Kong will compete against each other for the first time when the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) kicks off in Curitiba, Brazil, next week.

Marchy Lee Ying-kin, driving a BMW 320 TC for the mainland-based Deteam KK Motorsport, will be making his debut in the 12-round championship, which ends at the Macau Grand Prix in November.

He will face fellow Hongkonger Darryl O'Young, the 2010 WTCC rookie from Bamboo Engineering, who will be driving a Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T.

'I don't think the focus should be just on the two Hong Kong drivers as the WTCC is a big event in motor racing,' said Lee, who has been preparing for the tour for more than a month. 'But it is a great opportunity ... especially as this is the first time we have a team from China.

'The tour is very competitive and it's too early to say if a Hong Kong driver can win any race, but I will certainly congratulate Darryl if he stands on the medal podium, and he will probably do the same.'

After competing in a three-year-old Chevrolet Lacetti last year, O'Young has upgraded his race car to the highly competitive Cruze.

'That will be an amazing opportunity, and I will give it my best to fight for podium positions,' said O'Young, who is currently in Malaysia testing his race cars.

The 23-year-old had three wins, 10 podiums and three poles in his debut season. He ranked fourth overall in the Independents' Trophy.

O'Young will be partnered again with Japanese driver Yukinori Taniguchi by the British racing team.

'The team know each other well and I have developed an excellent relationship with my engineer, so we will all be attacking right from the first rounds,' O'Young said.

'I am very happy to remain with team for a second season.'

The Race of China will be held for the first time in the WTCC at the Guangdong International Circuit in November, just before the final round in Macau.

Twenty-one competitors have entered for the full season, with drivers from a total of 16 countries at the wheel of cars built by four manufacturers: BMW, Chevrolet, SEAT and Volvo.