AP: 2005 preview, provisional calendar announced

Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia Revs Up for 2005 Season Even before the chequered flag had fallen on the thrilling 2004 season, the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia was already looking ahead to its third successful year, once again...

Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia Revs Up for 2005 Season

Even before the chequered flag had fallen on the thrilling 2004 season, the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia was already looking ahead to its third successful year, once again preparing to sweep across the region bringing its unique brand of motor racing excitement with the awesome fleet of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machines.

In 2005, the series, which once again is backed by global semiconductor giant Infineon Technologies AG, will again feature as a support race to two rounds of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship -- at the beginning of the year at the Malaysian Grand Prix in March, and next fall at China's premier motorsport event in Shanghai.

In addition, the series will feature two further rounds at Malaysia's state-of-the-art Sepang International Circuit, followed by races at Thailand's Bira Circuit, named after the country's legendary Prince Birabongse, Beijing's Goldenport Circuit, and the Taebaek track in South Korea. The grand finale of the season will once again be part of the Macau Grand Prix in November.

Commented Porsche Asia Pacific Regional Marketing Manager, Dr. Henrik Dreier: "Building on the extraordinary success of our first two years, the 2005 Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia season will be the best ever. We will once again be racing in front of the Formula 1 crowds on two occasions, with no fewer than four of the 11 rounds held in China -- in Beijing, Shanghai and Macau. Porsche Asia Pacific, our drivers, teams and prestigious series partners, will once again showcase the very best in professional motorsport."

The field will feature the region's leading sportscar specialists, who bring with them a wealth of talent and experience, in both the professional and amateur categories. The inaugural championship title was won by Charles Kwan, one of the biggest names in Asian motorsport, and the battle for the crown went right down to the wire again this year, and was clinched by A-Ha Racing's Matthew Marsh in the final round at Macau.

Class B, specially designed for amateur drivers and introduced at the start of last season, has proved fantastically successful, creating a "field-within-a-field" where the competition is just as heated as amongst the professional drivers.

Although the full driver line up will not be announced until February, shortly before the official test session in Malaysia, there are sure to be some new faces for 2005, guaranteed to shake things up and turn the odds upside down.

As well as being the first choice for Asia's sportscar specialists, the series is also now recognised as the place for younger racers to make their mark and raise their profiles. Testament to this is the participation of Team Jebsen's Darryl O'Young who, at just 24-years-of-age, made a successful transition from single-seater racing at the start of last year.

Commented series Manager, Ian Geekie: "The Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia really does epitomize the very best in motorsport. We have younger professional drivers who compete wheel-to-wheel with the region's leading sportscar experts, and dedicated amateur drivers who race just as hard, all driving awesome racing cars which are professionally prepared and maintained, creating some of the most spectacular action to be found anywhere.

Adding to the high-octane excitement, the VIP Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car will also once again be driven by a host of famous names. In 2004, VIP drivers included former Formula 1 pilot Alex Yoong of Malaysia backed by Mobil1 and Porsche Asia Pacific guest driver and winner of the British GT Championship Jonathan Cocker for the Shanghai round, X-Games superstar Travis Pastrana who was brought by series partner PUMA for the opening round in Malaysia, and Thailand's Minister for Tourism and Sport, His Excellency Sontaya Kunplome who competed in his home events at the Bira Circuit. Mobil1 also brought the series its first lady driver ever when Beijing-born Rose Tan took the wheel of the VIP car at the city's Goldenport Circuit.

After just two years the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia has already earned a legion of avid fans across the region, and is arguably the most hotly-contested racing series in Southeast Asia. The concept of all drivers competing in virtually identical Porsche racing machines, professionally serviced and maintained to the highest standards by Porsche AG and Malaysian-based EKS Motorsport, ensures drivers must rely on skill -- and determination - alone, rather than technological advantage. The result is highly-competitive and exciting on-track action which has earned the series a well-deserved reputation for sporting and performance excellence.

As it embarks upon its third season, the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia can be relied upon to bring racing fans across the region the most exciting year yet.

Supporting the series 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 to led to every new Porsche engine being filled with Mobil1 high-performance lubricant. Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia drivers also have the advantage of high technology tyres, supplied by series partner Michelin, that have consistently improved the performance of many teams in international motorsport. The partnership between Michelin and the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia has emerged from a worldwide agreement signed between Porsche AG and the Michelin group in 2001.

The Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia runs as part of the Asian Festival of Speed, organised by Malaysian-based Motorsport Asia Limited.

About Infineon
Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for the automotive and industrial sectors, for applications in the wired communications markets, secure mobile solutions as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In the fiscal year 2003 (ending September 2003), the company achieved sales of Euro 6.15 billion with about 32,300 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at www.infineon.com

-porsche.asia-

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Series Porsche
Drivers Alex Yoong , Travis Pastrana , Charles Kwan , Darryl O'Young , Jonathan Cocker , Sontaya Kunplome , Matthew Marsh