AP: Macau round 11 qualifying summary

O'Young puts Team Jebsen on Pole for Championship Decider Hong Kong's Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia championship-contender, 25-year-old Darryl O'Young put Team Jebsen on pole for Sunday's 10-lap title decider after a thrilling but ...

O'Young puts Team Jebsen on Pole for Championship Decider

Hong Kong's Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia championship-contender, 25-year-old Darryl O'Young put Team Jebsen on pole for Sunday's 10-lap title decider after a thrilling but incident-free qualifying session. The youngster set a scorching lap of 2:31.342, more than one second quicker than last year's Macau pole-sitter.

O'Young left it until the closing two and a half minutes of the session to clock the fastest lap, and believes pole position has definitely boosted his championship chances on the tight and unforgiving Guia street circuit: "It's great! Before the session, I wasn't imagining I would be on pole. I could have gone even faster as when my tyres were at their best I was caught in traffic. I didn't get frustrated. I just calmed down for a lap and then went for it again."

Defending Champion, A-Ha Racing's Matthew Marsh, took provisional pole from early on in the session and held it until O'Young's last minute dash: "With a Porsche, you have to keep your foot down but at 150kph on the Guia circuit it's difficult. I made a mistake on the third lap which cost me pole. It affected my mental balance. Darryl and I are good mates, but I hate him on the track. I'm gutted beyond words -- very disappointed. If you don't tune in for the second half of this, then you must be mad!"

Thailand's Charoensukhawatana Nattavude, also looking to clinch the 2005 Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia title on Sunday, clocked third fastest time, while Briton Nigel Albon will start from fourth on the grid. Said the vastly experienced Nattavude: "It's good enough!"

Hong Kong racing star Marchy Lee, in the PUMA-backed Porsche Asia Pacific VIP car, was fifth fastest in the session, ahead of series leader 18-year-old reigning British GT Champion Jonathan Cocker. Series engineers EKS Motorsport had worked overnight to repair Cocker's Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine after he crashed heavily in only his second lap out in practice yesterday. Said Cocker: "The car feels fine. I just need more track time as I've only managed six laps in two sessions (practice and qualifying) and I'm new to this circuit. I was quicker and quicker with each lap, and I've done my best today."

In Class B, series leader Alain Li topped the times on his Macau debut: "It's my first time here, so I'm happy to be back in one piece. The result is OK. I'd like to have been in the top ten -- that was my target. The track lives up to its reputation in terms of excitement and in terms of fear! It's a special place, but what everyone says is true: You must learn the track and be cautious. In that context, I've got a good position so we'll see how the race pans out."

Guest driver Richard Meins did well in only his second outing in a Porsche, setting the eighth fastest time, although - like March and Nattavude - his familiarity with the track after many outings in the Guia Race here are no doubt an advantage: "It's a brilliant track and it's the first time for me here in this car. I enjoyed it intensely. Maybe I tried a little bit too hard. I think I got overexcited. It's one of the best experiences I've had."

The final -- and deciding -- round of the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia will be held at 10:10am on Sunday, November 20th over 10 laps of Macau's 6.12km Guia Circuit.

-porsche.asia-

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Series Porsche
Drivers Darryl O'Young , Jonathan Cocker , Charoensukhawatana Nattavude , Matthew Marsh , Marchy Lee , Richard Meins , Alain Li