The inaugural running of the Asia-Pacific touring car series was brought to a close with yet another win for Joachim Winkelhock. The German had been crowned the champion even before he’d landed in Wellington, New Zealand, due to four victories from as many starts at the Fuji and Macau rounds.
In the first race `Smokin Jo’ headed the field away from pole in his Schnitzer-prepared BMW 318i, with teammate Steve Soper close behind. By the end of the first lap the Brit was ahead, with Tim Harvey’s BMW trailing them in third.
Soper remained out front until Jo regained the initiative on lap 15, and it remained static until the penultimate lap when Soper made contact and his bonnet flipped up. He was then passed by Harvey and Justin Bell and limped home in fourth.
In the second race Winkelhock again led from pole, with Bell making a good start to take second at the first corner. However, by the end of the first lap, Soper and Harvey had jumped him and they chased after Jo.
On lap 11 the lead BMW was sidelined by a front suspension failure. Then Soper smote the barriers with just four laps to go. This left Harvey out in the lead, followed by Bell and BMW’s local star, Craig Baird.
A Munich benefit.