SHANGHAI —— PICC Team StarChase driver Alexandre Imperatori returned to the dominant form which saw him take the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship, as he swept to a convincing win in Round 3, held in support of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix in Shanghai.
Starting from pole, Imperatori wasted no time in pulling out a gap from second-place finisher Martin Ragginger of Porsche Holding, crossing the line 3.666 seconds ahead of the Austrian at the end of the 12-lap race. Third was defending champion Earl Bamber of LKM Racing who had started from fourth on the grid and shaved more than a second of last year’s fastest lap in the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991).
In Class B, talented Malaysian youngster Alif Hamdan of Nexus Racing took his second class victory this season, learning from his error in Round 2 which saw him finish down in 12th. Behind Hamdan a pitched battle saw OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia prevail after a prolonged and thrilling chase with Round 2 Class B winner Yuey Tan of Dorr Havelock Racing.
Imperatori’s win may have looked effortless but it was anything but, the talented driver knowing full well the power of the field behind him: “You have to stay on the limit as you know the guys behind are pushing very hard. I knew once I built up a gap then I could start to manage the race. Towards the end we had a few small issues, but we can address those. Everyone is improving in the cars all the time, so we must do the same. I predict a long, hard battle for the championship this season, so we will have to be on our toes all the time.”
Ragginger, as a true professional never happy to settle for second best, knows there is more work to be done: “I’m still struggling with the car, especially in the dry today. I couldn’t follow Alex this time, he was too quick. The rain yesterday helped a bit, but in the dry everything has to be perfect.”
Hamdan was pleased with his progress so far this season but eager to get out on track again: “We got the set-up right for the dry, and kept out of trouble. I’d say we’re half way with the new car. I need a bit more time in the car, so am looking forward to Zhuhai.”
As the lights went out, Imperatori got a brilliant getaway but Ragginger was immediately in hot pursuit, lights ablaze. Tung Ho-Pin held off a hard-charging Bamber, in the melee Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila getting by the New Zealander and up to fourth. The Macau driver then took the fight to Tung who again defended well until Avila eventually found a way past. Next, the Budweiser Team Absolute Racing driver had Bamber upon him, passing him on the second lap.
Meanwhile, Zheng Tong Auto’s Zhang Da Sheng fell victim to a racing incident with Mentos Racing’s Egidio Perfetti who started from the third row of the grid, but recovered well to cross the line 11th behind Ro C. Skyangel.
Back at the front, Imperatori had managed to put some distance between him and Ragginger, while Bamber was piling massive pressure onto Avila, who was fighting hard to pull free from the relentless attack and retain the final podium place. Meanwhile in the mid-field, some superb racing was being played out with on-the-limit overtaking and some brilliant defensive driving.
Lap 7 saw Avila slip up, still unused to the brakes on the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991), forfeiting the podium to Bamber but recovering quickly from a spin to hold off Tung and take home fourth place points.
Zhang Zhen Dong of Team Basetex drove a storming race from 10th on the grid to cross the line sixth ahead of reigning Class B champion Perfetti, with Jason Zhang Zhi Qiang also impressing with an eighth place finish. The two Chinese drivers, along with Zhang Da Sheng and Team Synsanly’s Bao Jin Long, are part of the new China driver development programme and are showing marked improvement with each outing.
After a truly momentous start to its 12th season, with three races in support of the Formula 1 World Championship in Malaysia last month and Shanghai this weekend, the Porsche Carrera Cup turns south to China’s Pearl River Delta Region for a double header at the country’s first purpose-built motorsport facility, the Zhuhai International Circuit. With neighbouring Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou, along with Zhuhai, all passionate fan bases of the series, Rounds 4&5 from May 9 to 11 are guaranteed to be a true celebration of the very finest in racing technology and sporting excellence.
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia
Round 3 Results
|1||99||Alexandre IMPERATORI (HKG)||PICC Team StarChase (CHN)||25:59.472|
|2||86||Martin RAGGINGER (AUT)||Team Porsche Holding (CHN)||+3.666|
|3||1||Earl BAMBER (NZL)||LKM Racing Team (HKG)||+4.537|
|4||20||Rodolfo AVILA (MAC)||Team Jebsen (HKG)||+17.318|
|5||58||TUNG Ho-Pin (CHN)||Budweiser Team Absolute Racing (CHN)||+18.970|
|6||18||ZHANG Zhen Dong (CHN)||Team Basetex (CHN)||+24.277|
|7||88||Egidio PERFETTI (SIN)||Mentos Racing Team (SIN)||+24.652|
|8||66||Jason ZHANG Zhi Qiang (CHN)||Team C&D (CHN)||+29.633|
|9||72||Alif HAMDAN (MAS)||B||Nexus Racing (MAS)||+30.652|
|10||8||Ro.C. Skyangel (SIN)||Team Yongda Dongfang (CHN)||+32.343|
|11||55||ZHANG Da Sheng (CHN)||Zheng Tong Auto (CHN)||+41.671|
|12||11||Ringo CHONG (SIN)||Team Kangshun (CHN)||+60.174|
|13||21||Francis TJIA (HKG)||B||OpenRoad Racing Team (HKG)||+62.668|
|14||9||LI Chao (CHN)||Team Betterlife (CHN)||+63.317|
|15||5||Yuey TAN (SIN)||B||Dorr Havelock Racing (SIN)||+63.787|
|16||33||Samson CHAN (HKG)||B||Samson CHAN (HKG)||+78.756|
|17||16||Wayne SHEN (HKG)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)||+79.477|
|18||12||MOK Weng Sun (SIN)||B||Clearwater Racing (SIN)||+92.188|
|19||98||Henri RICHARD (USA)||B||Silicon Tech Racing LLC (USA)||+69.584|
|20||22||SIU Yuk Lung (HKG)*||B||LKM Racing Team (HKG)||+110.348|
|21||28||John SHEN (HKG)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)||+110.770|
|22||51||Johnson HUANG (TPE)||B||BC Racing Team (TPE)||+116.456|
|23||68||MAK Hing Tak (HKG)||B||Kamlung Racing (HKG)||+122.695|
|24||6||Michael CHOI (HKG)||B||Prince Racing (HKG)||+125.100|
|25||7||BAO Jin Long (CHN)||Team Synsanly (CHN)||+131.569|
|26||78||Bentley YEUNG (HKG)||B||Tiger Racing Team (HKG)||1 Lap|
|27||2||Kenneth LAU (HKG)||B||Prince Racing Hong Kong (HKG)||1 Lap|
|EX||3||Michael S. (INA)**||B||OpenRoad Racing Team||DNF|
*Car 98 – 30 second time penalty – Causing a collision
**Car 3 – Excluded – Failing to comply with flag signal
Fastest Lap: Earl Bamber/LKM Racing/2:08.972/Lap 3/152.153kph
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2014
Supporting the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia are two of the most recognised names in international motorsport, Mobil1 and Michelin. Mobil and Porsche have been partners since 1996. Close co-operation in research and development has led to every new Porsche engine being filled with Mobil1 high-performance lubricant. Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers also have the advantage of racing on cutting-edge tyres supplied by series partner Michelin. The consistent performance and leading technology of Michelin tyres constantly improve the performance of many teams in international motorsport. The partnership between Michelin and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia has emerged from a worldwide agreement signed between Porsche AG and the Michelin group. The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is organised and promoted by Malaysian based Motorsport Asia Ltd.
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991)
The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is the motorsport version of the new 911 GT3 (Type 991). The near-standard race car, based on the seventh generation of the 911, makes its debut in Asia in 2014, having previously run exclusively in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is powered by a 3.8-litre, six cylinder boxer engine which, due to the weight optimised modular race exhaust system, generates 460hp (338 KW) at 7,500 revs per minute, ten horsepower more than its predecessor. Power is delivered to the rear axle via a race clutch and a Porsche Motorsport designed six-speed dog-type gearbox with a mechanical limited slip differential. For the first time in a Porsche makes cup race car, gear shifting is activated with paddle shifts on the steering wheel. The single piece race wheels with centre mount were also newly designed by Porsche Motorsport. The width of the Michelin race slicks was increased by two centimetres to 27 centimetres at the front and by ten millimetres at the rear axle to now measure 31 centimetres.
Compared to its predecessor, the wheelbase has grown by 100 millimetres, improving handling at the limit, while Porsche Motorsport newly designed the forged single-piece 18 inch race rims with central locking. The new racing brake system improves the endurance qualities of the 911 GT3 Cup, and the internally vented and slotted steel brake discs are operated by aluminium six-piston racing calipers in the front, and four-piston units at the rear.
Safety features have also been further enhanced, and drivers are protected by a newly calculated safety cage and newly designed race seat, while a rescue hatch in the roof enables easy access and extrication.
Like the road going version, the body of the new 911 GT3 Cup combines maximum rigidity with low weight thanks to its aluminium-steel construction, and weighs in at just 1,175 kilogrammes.
About Porsche Carrera Cup Asia
Preparing for its 12th season in 2014, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia blasted off the starting grid in 2003 and has never looked back. Joining the family of hugely successful Porsche “one make” series, it is now firmly established as the Number One racing series in Asia.
The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia offers sporting competition at the highest level across the region and is truly international, with competitors from all over Asia as well as Europe and the Pacific. The field is made up of a combination of professional racing drivers and ambitious and talented gentlemen drivers.
About Porsche China
Founded by Prof. Ferdinand Porsche in Stuttgart, Germany in 1931, and further developed to a sports car manufacturer by Ferry Porsche in 1948, Porsche has been known as one of the most prestigious automobile brands in the world for decades. Under the guiding credo of “Intelligent Performance”, Porsche pioneers to provide a new generation of sports cars that prove performance and efficiency can be perfectly combined.
Since 2001, Porsche China has been importing the full range of iconic Porsche sports cars that are imbued with the sporting spirit of the marque: the legendary 911 series, the renowned Boxster and Cayman mid-engine sports cars, the superb Cayenne premium SUV, and the exceptional four-door Panamera Gran Turismo. Across Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, there are now 66 Porsche Centres in operation, ensuring that Porsche customers across the country receive the hallmark personalised care that differentiates Porsche around the world.
In 2013, Porsche has delivered a spectacular sales record of 37,425 deliveries across Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. In 2014, Porsche China expects to continue another year of outstanding performance in the Chinese market.
[Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Asia]