AP: Chengdu preview

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Set for Chengdu Debut The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia travels to China next week where the second half of the 2007 season will be run and, with every driver in the field in with a chance of taking the championship title,...

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Set for Chengdu Debut

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia travels to China next week where the second half of the 2007 season will be run and, with every driver in the field in with a chance of taking the championship title, seven thrilling races are on the cards.

First up are two rounds to be held at the newly-completed circuit in Chengdu, the capital city of China's Sichuan Province, the new 3.7km track representing a level playing field for all drivers.

The Asian Festival of Speed weekend will be the first international motorsport meeting to be held at the facility.

Topping the Class A leaderboard going in to Round 7 is Cref Motorsport's Keita Sawa whose consistency has paid off with his five podium finishes putting him six points ahead of Briton Tim Sugden with GruppeM Racing. Despite the four victories Sugden has so far scored in his maiden Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season, a collision with the points-leader in the last round meant he is relegated to second in the championship chase.

Former Asian Formula 3 series winner Australian Christian Jones, competing for the first time in a Porsche this season, scored his debut win in Round 6, bringing his tally of podium finishes to five in an impressive first year. Competing with the local outfit SCC Racing China, the son of former F1 World Champion Alan, Jones will be right on the title chase at the team's "home" races and goes to Chengdu with a lucky 88 points!

Team Vertu's Nigel Albon of Britain has proved his consistency this season, but despite putting in some brilliant signature displays of racing technique, his attempts to bag a win have been thwarted thus far.

Sri Lanka's Dilantha Malagamuwa, currently 6th in the Class A standings, travels to Chengdu fresh from his brilliant performance during the Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race in Malaysia recently. Partnering fellow Porsche Carrera Cup Asia competitor Singapore's Mok Weng Sun, currently 9th overall in his debut season, and Ringo Chong, Malagamuwa helped the team take pole position for the race in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Although the team wasn't able to convert their pole position into a victory, the race was won by a Porsche.

Geoff Morgan of Australian, who graduated to Class A at the start of this season having taken the Class B title in his series debut last year, is just four points behind the Sri Lankan, while Hong Kong's Alain Li with the Sunseeker Asia team is back on the charge having finished 5th in both the last two rounds.

Hong Kong's Marchy Lee, competing under the Racing for Charity banner, lies 12th overall having taken pole for the opening round of the season and finishing second in the two opening rounds, but not scoring points as he was not a registered driver at the time. Lee rejoined the series, this time as a point-scoring competitor, in Indonesia in July where he finished fourth and third.

The title chase is just as intense in Class B, the category for recreational racers. Australian Peter Boylan currently tops the leaderboard, but has been engaged in a heated season-long exchange with Mok and Hong Kong's William "Chip" Connor. Just five points separate the trio, but Philip Ma of Hong Kong and Malaysia's Tunku Hammam Sulong, who has rebounded strongly from an unlucky start to his debut season, remain very much in the championship fight.

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 runs as part of the Asian Festival of Speed, organised by Malaysian- based Motorsport Asia Limited.

-credit: porsche.asia

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Series Porsche
Drivers Keita Sawa , Dilantha Malagamuwa , Tim Sugden , Peter Boylan , Geoff Morgan , Christian Jones , Marchy Lee , Alain Li , Philip Ma Chingh Yeung , Ringo Chong , Mok Weng Sun