Cocker Bags Maiden Win of 2005 Season Reigning British GT Champion Jonathan Cocker scored his first victory of the season in Round 2 of the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia after a flawless pole to chequered flag performance. A well-earned...
Cocker Bags Maiden Win of 2005 Season
Reigning British GT Champion Jonathan Cocker scored his first victory of the season in Round 2 of the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia after a flawless pole to chequered flag performance. A well-earned second was Team Thailand's Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak after an extremely cool-headed performance, with fellow countryman Charoensukhawatana Nattavude, in the Chinese SCC Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, third.
The 18-year-old Cocker was delighted to have taken his first Asian win this season, but denied the race had been easy: "No, it wasn't easy at all, but I'm glad it looked it!" he said.
Vutthikorn, who had surprised himself when his shortened, three lap qualifying session had still been enough second position on the grid, was all smiles following the race having finished ahead of motorsport veteran Nattavude. "Nattavude is the master and I respect him," he said.
In Class B, it was once again newcomer Alain Li of Hong Kong who took victors' laurels. His second win in as many races on his return to competitive motorsport after a six-year hiatus. Second in the Class was William "Chip" Connor, racing full-time in the series this year, with Vutthikorn's Team Thailand partner, Sontaya Kunplome giving his country its third podium finish of the race.
Like Cocker, Li didn't find his win an easy task: "It wasn't easy at all", he said. "There were lots of cars going off at the start. Then later there was some oil on the track -- and it got even more exciting!"
The race was typically full of thrills and spills for every inch of the 20-laps of the shortened, 2.8km Sepang International Circuit.
The race was high on drama at the start. Cocker and Vutthikorn both got away well followed by Ramli and British Formula 3 ace Danny Watts, although reigning champion Matthew Marsh of A-Ha Racing did try a daring inside maneuver which moved him up to 4th. Ramli began to put the pressure on Vutthikorn and got by him into 2nd. Watts, in the meantime, was involved in a collision which dramatically ended his race in the early stages.
Jaseri Racing Team's Ramli then set his sights on the race leader, but both were lapping with almost identical times with a stubborn 1.2 second gap separating the two. Behind them, Vutthikorn held off Marsh, with the hard-charging Nattavude waiting in the wings behind the pair.
More drama was to come when Porsche Asia Pacific driver Gene Lee of South Korea ran into problems, and his car, unbeknownst to him, put oil down on the track creating intensely slippery conditions. It was a disappointing end to Lee's maiden Porsche Carrera Cup Asia appearance where he had been running an impressive 6th.
It was even more disastrous for Ramli who was the first driver to fall foul of the track conditions, spinning off after a typically brilliant performance. Disappointment again for the talented Malaysian.
Marsh meanwhile was closing in on second-place Vutthikorn and eyeing a podium finish. However, he made a mistake running wide and allowing the chasing Nattavude the chance he'd been waiting for.
The results put Cocker and Marsh neck-and-neck at the top of the championship leaderboard with 34 points, closely followed by Nattavude on 32 and Vutthikorn on 30. In Class B, it is Li who tops the points with 20, with Kunplome on 15 and Hong Kong's Philip Ma on 9.
Malaysian motorsport fans turned out in force today, with several thousand thronging to the Sepang International Circuit for a day of the finest regional motorsport in Asia and a host of off-track activities including pit walkabouts, car displays and drifting demonstrations.
Supporting the Porsche Infineon 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 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 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 Infineon Carrera Cup Asia has emerged from a worldwide agreement signed between Porsche AG and the Michelin group.
The Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia runs as part of the Asian Festival of Speed, organised by Malaysian-based Motorsport Asia Limited.
<pre> Round 2 Results
Pos Comp# Driver Cls Entrant Time 1 38 Jonathan COCKER (GBR) A GruppeM Racing 22:59.028 2 18 Vutthikorn INTHRAPHUVASAK (THA) A Team Thailand 23:00.276 3 36 C. NATTAVUDE (THA) A SCC Racing Team 23:03.982 4 1 Matthew MARSH (HKG) A A-Ha Racing 23:07.237 5 55 Rizal Ashram RAMLI (MAS) A Jaseri Racing Team 23:11.686 6 11 Alain LI (HKG) B Alain Li 23:49.440 7 6 Dilantha MALAGAMUWA (JPN) A AI Racing 24:04.018 8 8 William E. CONNOR II (HKG) B William E. Connor II 24:53.342 9 28 Sontaya KUNPLOME (THA) B Team Thailand 1 lap 10 88 Darryl O' YOUNG (HKG) A Team Jebsen 2 laps DNF 21 Gene LEE* (KOR) A Porsche Asia Pacific DNF 89 Nigel ALBON (GBR) A Eurokars Racing DNF 20 Danny WATTS* (GBR) A Porsche Asia Pacific DNF 98 Philip MA (HKG) B Philip Ma
*Non series registered.
Fastest Lap: Driver Time Speed Class A: Rizal Ramli 01:6.982 145.11kph Class B: Alain Li 01:08.475 141.95kph
Pole Position: Jonathan Cocker 01:07.030 145.01kph