Daniel Miranda marked his TCR Asia Series debut in impressive fashion, churning out a strong runner-up finish overall in the kickoff leg of the circuit while claiming the top Asian driver honors at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia recently.
The Cebuano ace driver bucked an early struggle with setup and electrical issues on the No. 20 Hyundai i30 N TCR of Eurasia Motorsport in the qualifying with a strong start in the opening lap, holding sway throughout the grueling 11-stage event, which included a Safety Car period, while emerging the second best from among the Asian bidders.
“This is my first race in TCR Series Asia and it has been quite a learning experience,” said Miranda, who settled for No. 5 in the QTT1 elims and No. 9 in the QTT2 out of a 15-car grid.
With his car setup sorted and a front row start, the 22-year-old ace stormed to the lead on the run to the first turn in Race 2, but eventually yielded to Diego Moran of Ecuador on Lap 5. He failed to strike back but his second overall effort proved enough to clinch the top Asian driver title against his more experienced rivals who had vied in the WTCR, WTCC (World Touring Car Championships) and TCR.
“I’m very happy with my podium finish and definitely looking forward to the next round in Zhuhai,” said Miranda, who also thanked his team, family and Cebuana Lhuillier for their all-out support.
Cebuana Lhuillier president/CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier said the company is proud to back a top athlete like Miranda, adding: “His strong finish in his very first race is a testament of his talent and determination. We are honored to be in his team and we look forward to his succeeding races.”
The next leg is set May 3-5 at the Zhuhai International Circuit in China.
“Our goal was to finish among the top five but the second overall and emerging first among Asian drivers exceeded all our expectations. He has shown maturity right in his first TCR race and we hope to see more from him in the coming races,” said coach and manager Roland Hermoso.