Porsche Carrera Cup Asia promises thrills in Shanghai
Twenty-eight of the region’s finest sportscar drivers will ensure the China debut of the stunning new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) thoroughbred racing car is nothing short of spectacular as the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia supports the country’s most prestigious motorsport fixture, the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Spectators can look forward to a feast of Porsche racing at its finest with the confirmation of two races at the weekend, making the 2014 season a 12-round championship.
The 12th season of Asia’s most competitive GT championship burst to life at the end of March in equally exalted style, supporting the Malaysian round of the Formula 1 World Championship. There, reigning champion Earl Bamber proved untouchable, taking pole position and a lights-to-flag victory, the young LKM Racing driver being the first to fully master the new car.
Alongside him on the grid and the podium was Team Porsche Holding’s Martin Ragginger. The Austrian, who is contesting his third season with the championship and is hungrier than ever for the title, wisely kept his eye firmly on the points rather than pushing the limits in the still-unfamiliar new car.
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion in 2012, PICC Team StarChase driver Alexandre Imperatori started the season back at his attacking best, taking the final podium place after the opening round and setting the fastest lap of the race.
Budweiser Team Absolute Racing’s Tung Ho-Pin lies fourth in the points but came under intense pressure throughout Round 1 from Zheng Tong Auto’s Zhang Da Sheng, one of four fellow Chinese drivers who are part of the new China Junior Development Programme. Convincingly demonstrating the benefit of the expert tuition they are receiving from Porsche driving coach Sascha Maassen and two-time Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Christian Menzel, Zhang led home fellow trainees Jason Zhang Zhi Qiang of Team C&D and series newcomer Zhang Zhen Dong of Team Basetex.
As the drivers gain confidence in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991), which has won universal praise as being a major technological leap forward in all areas, lap times in Shanghai are expected to be significantly quicker than in 2013. Series newcomer Ro. C. Skyangel of Singapore made an encouraging debut with Team Yongda Dongfang in Malaysia, finishing ninth overall, and will be one to watch on his second Porsche Carrera Cup Asia outing.
Topping the fiercely-contested Class B category for non-professional drivers is Alif Hamdan of Nexus Racing. An intense pre-season training programme paid rich dividends, with the young Malaysian storming to an impressive class victory and crossing the line eighth overall. Second was OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia of Hong Kong, with Mok Weng Sun of Clearwater Racing making a strong return to the series, snatching the final podium place on the final lap from Dorr Havelock Racing’s Yuey Tan, who got caught up in an incident on the run to the flag.
Two drivers will be making their season debuts in Shanghai: Hong Kong’s Michael Choi with Prince Racing, and Tiger Racing Team’s Bentley Yeung, who is sharing a car with brother Jacky.
Testament to the stature of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at the pinnacle of sportscar racing in the region, and to the growing popularity of GT competition worldwide, the eight of the top nine drivers on the overall leaderboard are all aged under 30. The best and the brightest motorsport talent in Asia and beyond looks to the championship as the proving ground of future superstars, with Bamber’s 2013 title leading to immediate elevation to the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
This weekend on the 5.5km Shanghai International Circuit, the race for the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia overall and Class B titles continues. With a chance to shine at China’s international motorsport showcase as the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) makes its long-awaited debut, all 28 drivers will be pushing the very limits of both man and machine.
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia – Rounds 2 & 3
Provisional Entry List
|1||Earl BAMBER (NZL)||LKM Racing Team (HKG)|
|2||Kenneth LAU (HKG)||B||Prince Racing Hong Kong (HKG)|
|3||Michael S. (INA)||B||OpenRoad Racing Team|
|5||Yuey TAN (SIN)||B||Dorr Havelock Racing (SIN)|
|6||Michael CHOI (HKG)||B||Prince Racing (HKG)|
|7||BAO Jin Long (CHN)||Team Synsanly (CHN)|
|8||Ro.C. Skyangel (SIN)||Team Yongda Dongfang (CHN)|
|9||LI Chao (CHN)||Team Betterlife (CHN)|
|11||Ringo CHONG (SIN)||Team Kangshun (CHN)|
|12||MOK Weng Sun (SIN)||B||Clearwater Racing (SIN)|
|16||Wayne SHEN (HKG)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)|
|18||ZHANG Zhen Dong (CHN)||Team Basetex (CHN)|
|20||Rodolfo AVILA (MAC)||Team Jebsen (HKG)|
|21||Francis TJIA (HKG)||B||OpenRoad Racing Team (HKG)|
|22||SIU Yuk Lung (HKG)||B||LKM Racing Team (HKG)|
|28||John SHEN (HKG)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)|
|33||Samson CHAN (HKG)||B||Samson CHAN (HKG)|
|51||Johnson HUANG (TPE)||B||BC Racing Team (TPE)|
|55||ZHANG Da Sheng (CHN)||Zheng Tong Auto (CHN)|
|58||TUNG Ho-Pin (CHN)||Budweiser Team Absolute Racing (CHN)|
|66||Jason ZHANG Zhi Qiang (CHN)||Team C&D (CHN)|
|68||MAK Hing Tak (HKG)||B||Kamlung Racing (HKG)|
|72||Alif HAMDAN (MAS)||B||Nexus Racing (MAS)|
|78||Bentley YEUNG (HKG)||B||Tiger Racing Team (HKG)|
|86||Martin RAGGINGER (AUT)||Team Porsche Holding (CHN)|
|88||Egidio PERFETTI (SIN)||Mentos Racing Team (SIN)|
|98||Henri RICHARD (USA)||B||Silicon Tech Racing LLC (USA)|
|99||Alexandre IMPERATORI (HKG)||PICC Team StarChase (CHN)|
Overall Points after Round 1 (top 5)
|1||1||Earl Bamber||LKM Racing||21|
|2||86||Martin Ragginger||Team Porsche Holding||18|
|3||99||Alexandre Imperatori||PICC Team StarChase||16|
|4||58||Tung Ho-Pin||Budweiser Team Absolute Racing||14|
|5||55||Zhang Da Sheng||Zheng Tong Auto||12|
|1||72||Alif Hamdan||Nexus Racing||21|
|2||21||Francis Tjia||OpenRoad Racing||18|
|3||12||Mok Weng Sun||Clearwater Racing||16|
|4||22||Siu Yuk Lung||LKM Racing||14|
|5||28||John Shen||Modena Motorsports||12|