– Porsche Carrera Cup Asia – Round 9
SEPANG, Malaysia, 17 August 2014 —— Team Porsche Holding’s Martin Ragginger put in an astonishing display of perfection on the limit today to take a pole to flag victory in Round 9 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit. The Austrian withstood everything Earl Bamber of LKM Racing had to throw at him, keeping the reigning champion at bay for seven of the 10-lap race to take his second win of the season. Taking his second podium of the weekend and his third in succession was Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila.
Ragginger’s victory keeps him very much in the title fight, despite his setback in Round 8 where he scored just eight points, and puts him 18 points behind Bamber. Budweiser Team Absolute Racing’s Tung Ho-Pin of China, third on the leaderboard, and PICC Team StarChase driver Alexandre Imperatori and Avila, tied in fourth, all also remain in overall championship contention with three races remaining.
Malaysia’s Alif Hamdan secured his sixth Class B victory, strengthening his position at the top of the category leaderboard, his second impressive fourth overall finish of the weekend once again demonstrating the young Nexus Racing driver’s massive potential. Hamdan has a ten point lead over nearest Class B title challenger Francis Tjia of OpenRoad Racing, with Dorr Havelock Racing’s Yuey Tan of Singapore in third.
Second in Round 9 was Clearwater Racing’s Max Twigg of Australia, the Australian continuing his convincing series debut, with Tan taking third, consolation of sorts for his bad luck in Round 8 after a brilliant performance in Qualifying.
Luck was not on the side of PICC Team StarChase driver Alexandre Imperatori who had secured third on the grid alongside Bamber. A mechanical issue saw the Shanghai-based Swiss driver start from pit lane.
As the lights went out, Ragginger got away well, followed by Bamber and Budweiser Team Absolute Racing’s Tung Ho-Pin of China, with Avila getting by Zhang Tong Auto’s Zhang Da Sheng at the start and up to fourth. Hamdan, who started from the fifth row, was quickly on the tail of Mentos Racing’s Egidio Perfetti, reigning Class B champion.
Up at the front, Bamber was pushing to get by Tung with Avila tucked in behind as the trio stormed into the second lap. Bamber made his move on Tung stick, moving up to third and setting off on the hunt for rival Ragginger. As Avila passed Tung, the pair made contact and the Chinese driver spun, rejoining and fighting back to eventually cross the line in fifth ahead of Imperatori, who also made stunning headway from the back of the pack. The impact damaged Avila’s steering angle, making the remainder of the race even more of a challenge.
Behind Avila in third, Hamdan withstood an attack from Team Yongda Dongfang’s Ro.C. Skyangel who spun out of the race. While Zhang Da Sheng was looking to make his move on Perfetti for eighth, suddenly Imperatori loomed large in their mirrors, diving past the Mentos Racing driver with Zhang following him through.
As the 28-strong diced for position behind them, Ragginger desperately tried to pull a gap from the unrelenting Bamber at the front but the pair were too evenly matched. The New Zealand driver doggedly trailed Ragginger, pilling on the pressure but never once over stepping the mark. Lap after lap, Bamber made his move, but so wheel-perfect was ice-cool Ragginger that he could not be forced into an error. Ironically, the will to win eventually took its toll on Bamber, with an eddor going in to the final lap seeing him run wide and give Ragginger a little breathing space on the run to the flag.
With just a lap to make up for their earlier setbacks, both Imperatori and Tung were on maximum attack on the final lap, but Malaysian Hamdan was giving no quarter at his home race, holding both drivers off until the flag. Imperatori, unsurprisingly given his gargantuan effort to grab some crucial championship points, set the fastest lap of the race.
Ragginger thanked Team Porsche Holding after the race, adding: “The start was good. I saw Earl coming and knew we had to think about the championship because of what happened in the last few races. Of course his speed is amazing, but our speed was good as well. It was possible to keep him behind me, but Earl made it very dangerous for me in Turn 1 and at the last turn. It was a good battle between us.”
For Hamdan, it was an intense and eventful race: “I had a much better start than yesterday, but we’d underestimated just how hot it would be and the tyre pressures went half way through the race so we struggled for rear grip. I had to work really, really hard to keep Ho-Pin behind me at the end, but no one was going to keep me back at my home race!”
The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia now looks ahead to a highlight of its calendar at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix next month. The Marina Bay street circuit, with its unforgiving barriers and walls, beckons for the talented field, where they will do battle in the very heart of the glitz and glamour of the Lion City from 19-21 September.
Fastest Lap: Alexandre Imperatori/PICC Team StarChase/2:10.372/150.861kph
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 68 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]