Menzel rolls as Jousse scores pole in CC Asia

Nico Menzel's damaged car following the roll in qualifying

Nico Menzel’s damaged car following the roll in qualifying

A rollover during qualifying leaves German young gun Nico Menzel in danger of missing Rounds 7 and 8 of Carrera Cup Asia at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Maxime Jousse secured pole for both of the category’s first two races in Australia, but it was Menzel who headlined the day’s proceedings after his final-minute incident.

The German, driving for Team StarChase, was attempting to round up the slow-moving Xi Wang at Turn 3 when he made contact with the left-front corner of the Chinese driver’s car and rolled across the grass.

“It’s just a situation, so you can’t really say what was wrong there,” shrugged Menzel, who is a narrow second in the championship standings to Jousse.

“He just touched me and I rolled, so it’s the only thing I can say.”

While the roofline was largely untouched, car #199 appeared to suffer significant chassis damage and may not take the grid for the weekend’s two championship races.

“It looks quite big, so I don’t think we can save this car,” added the son of German sportscar ace Christian Menzel.

“We have to have a look (but it’s) not good.”

The session finished under green flag due to the lateness of the incident, though it had been interrupted 10 minutes in when Wang spun at Corporate Hill.

Porsche China Junior Programme winner Andrew Tang held the fastest lap time during the red flag period, but Jousse went faster in the closing stages.

The Frenchman looked set to lower his own benchmark again but traffic and then a minor error of his own denied an improvement.

Nevertheless, the championship leader had done enough to secure pole position for each of Saturday’s two races.

The starting grids are determined by each drivers’ fastest and second-fastest times respectively.

The top five on the grid is completed by Malaysian-based Australian Mitchell Gilbert, Austrian Martin Ragginer, Singaporean Tang, and Menzel, pending the repair of his car.

The first of those 16-lap encounters will be run from 1445 AEST tomorrow, with the second on Sunday.

An ‘invitational’ race for each of the Pro and Challenge classes to be contested by both Carrera Cup Asia drivers and their Australian counterparts will complete the weekend.

Result: Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Qualifying

1 Kamlung Racing Jousse Maxime (FRA) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:30.53
2 Absolute Racing Mitchell Gilbert (AUS) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:30.60 00.07
3 Team Porsche Holding Martin Ragingger (AUT) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:30.73 00.19
4 Porsche China Junior Team Andrew Tang (SGP) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:30.87 00.33
5 PICC Team StarChase Nico Menzel (DEU) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:31.04 00.50
6 Absolute Racing Bo Yuan (CHN) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:31.33 00.79
7 Team Jebsen Yue Cui (CHN) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:31.93 01.40
8 est cola Thailand Vutthikorn Inthraphu THA Porsche GT3 Cup 1:32.12 01.58
9 Fun88 Team Sunfonda Da Sheng Zhang (CHN) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:32.39 01.86
10 Team Jebsen Yuey Tan (SGP) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:32.97 02.43
11 OpenRoad Racing Francis Tjia (HKG) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:33.04 02.51
12 Zheng Tong Auto Jinlong Bao (CHN) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:33.25 02.71
13 OpenRoad Racing Michael Soeryadjaya IDN Porsche GT3 Cup 1:33.50 02.96
14 Modena Motorsports Wayne Shen (HKG) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:33.63 03.10
15 RC Racing Tiger Wu (TWN) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:34.24 03.70
16 Modena Motorsports John Shen (HKG) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:34.74 04.21
17 True Visions Motorsports Thail Buncharoen Suttiluck THA Porsche GT3 Cup 1:35.04 04.51
18 Team Betterlife Chao Li (CHN) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:35.17 04.64
19 Paul Tresidder Paul Tresidder (AUS) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:36.07 05.54
20 Arrows Racing Billy Fung (HKG) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:37.88 07.35
21 LKM Racing Yuk Lung Siu (HKG) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:37.96 07.43
22 Racing Spirit Thailand Kumplome Sontaya (THA) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:38.41 07.88
23 Kamlung Racing Hing Tak Mak (HKG) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:39.79 09.26
24 Team Formax Xi Wang (CHN) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:41.88 11.34

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