AP: Rodolfo Avila Sepange finale summary

Avila double podium at season finale Macau's Rodolfo Avila closed out the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season Sunday with a double podium finish at Sepang (Malaysia). The last round of the year was tough and definitely a rewarding result...

Avila double podium at season finale

Macau's Rodolfo Avila closed out the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season Sunday with a double podium finish at Sepang (Malaysia).

The last round of the year was tough and definitely a rewarding result for the Asia Racing Team and Avila, who rallied through a successful campaign through a gruelling first Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season. The respectable results achieved by the series' newest team and youngest driver include six podium finishes, two victories and one pole position.

After qualifying fifth, Race 1 saw Avila doing a poor start losing one position. However, by lap 3, the Macanese driver cunningly overtook Danny Chu, and in turn, took the opportunity to sprint pass Mok Weng Sun but it was already too late to catch the three leading drivers. Christian Menzel's 10 seconds penalty promoted Asia Racing Team's driver to third. The thrilling final race saw Avila returning to the podium. The 22 years old driver lost one position to Menzel at the start and a couple of seconds in the first laps. Mid-way through the 20-lap race, Avila made a tremendous come back and took the fight to Darryl O'Young, passing the reigning champion to finish third right behind the 2009 champion Menzel.

Commenting on his weekend, Avila said, "Overall I am very happy with the results we achieved this weekend. In qualifying I was fifth, and that obviously brought my confidence back up a bit but we bounced back this Sunday. The first race wasn't easy but we got back to our real pace in the Race 2. In the end I was a bit quicker than Christian but I decided to step back because they were fighting for the championship title."

Duarte Alves, Avila's racing engineer since Indonesian round, add "The two Friday's Free Practice sessions on wet didn't help us to solve the car problem we faced at Shanghai. The car was perfect in the rain but the problems were back on the dry qualifying. We did some changes in the car for the Sunday's races but we were not able to test it. The car gave us a good response and we were back on the front pace again."

For Avila, it was a positive end to what has been an impressive debut by the young Macau racer: "I wasn't expecting to win or get podiums, especially against drivers like Christian, Tim and Darryl who have tons more experience than me and are top European racers. It was very good and difficult year with a tiny budget but I'm quite happy with my season. This year, year of the tenth anniversary of Macau SAR, we showed everybody that is possible to put together a credible and competitive outfit in Asian motorsports with local driver, team crew, and sponsors. Nobody did this before at this level."

In the end of the season Avila shows great gratitude to his sponsors and supporters who help him carry out such results: "I would like to thank the whole team for their hard work this year and my sponsors for their astonishing support during the season. I must say that having such a strong support network, especially with The Venetian Macao coming on board, has helped boost the overall confidence and motivation for every member of the team when we were in verge to stop", said the driver sponsored by The Venetian Macao, BNU, Macau, RPmacau, PAL Asiaconsult, Fat Siu Lau, Sujika Crafts, Asia Creative Group (Thailand), TsingTao/San Chon Hong Macau, Sands Macau and The Plaza.

Rodolfo Avila will be busy showcasing his car in its home territory and preparing for the next season.

-credit: rodolfoavila.com

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Rodolfo Avila