O'Young on Pole while Jones Eyes Title Team Jebsen's Darryl O'Young took pole position today for the 13th and final round of the 2007 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia on Macau's legendary Guia street circuit. The Hong Kong racer set his pole time of...
O'Young on Pole while Jones Eyes Title
Team Jebsen's Darryl O'Young took pole position today for the 13th and final round of the 2007 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia on Macau's legendary Guia street circuit. The Hong Kong racer set his pole time of 2:29.171 early on in the session. Although he came to grief shortly after his scorching lap, crashing into the barrier and sustaining damage to one side of the car, he had done enough and his time couldn't be beaten.
Said O'Young: "Last year there were a lot of yellow flags (during the session), so this year I was really trying hard in the first few laps, but I went too quickly and I locked the brakes. When you are driving on the limit it's easy to make a mistake, but on this unforgiving track even a small mistake can end in a crash. I'm really relieved to know I am on pole, and I am sure the boys can fix the car."
Second fastest was last year's Macau round winner Danny Watts, once again racing with GR Asia and who, despite a tremendous effort in the closing stages of the session, could not quite match O'Young. The Briton's lap was just 0.007 seconds off pole in what was a thrilling qualifying outing.
Another Hong Kong racer, Marchy Lee, was third quickest and the final driver to lap the Guia in less than two minutes 30 seconds.
However in the tense championship battle, which sees the two title contenders separated by just two points going in to the final round, it was SCC Racing China's Christian Jones who emerged the fastest, ahead of Cref Motorsports' Keita Sawa of Japan, second in Macau in 2006.
Jones has tackled the track before in a single seater car and, although the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers only have limited time on the circuit before the race, doesn't believe this gives him a real advantage: "The Porsche is totally different from the Formula 3. In the first practice I was still learning. I only know the direction of the circuit, but in a Porsche I have to learn it all over again."
Jones' title rival, GruppeM Racing's Tim Sugden who is making his Macau debut this weekend, was sixth fastest in the session, just one thousandth of a second faster than Team Vertu's Nigel Albon. Said Sugden: "I am actually a lot happier because in the practice I was five or six seconds off the pace, but now I'm only 1.8 seconds away. Of course I'm disappointed to be 6th, but this is already the best I can hope for."
In Class B it was Briton Richard Meins, the second GR Asia entry this weekend, who took pole ahead of Mok Weng Sun of Singapore and Peter Boylan of Australia.
Said Meins: "I'm not fully satisfied with the times. I could have been three to four seconds faster. I had planned to come in around the same time (as the incident with O'Young) to change tyres as I thought there was an accident on the track and they were clearing it up. I was also slowed down by a lot of traffic."
Boylan, in the chase for Class B honours, fell foul of the demanding track, crashing at San Francisco bend: "I got away a little early and went in a little hard. Maybe it was also because other cars had crashed there before me. I felt good in the car today, but it was a slippery track. We had new front shocks in and it was nice to drive."
With the championship to be decided this weekend, like all the drivers, Hong Kong's William "Chip" Connor is aware of just how much is at stake, particularly after having a moment at the notorious Lisboa Bend: "I tried to brake coming in at 150kph, but had to go down the slip road. It was a thrilling course, and the track was unforgiving. It's come down to the wire and my word for the day is "cautious" -- I tried to drive safe and fast!"
Round 13 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will be run over 10 laps of the 6.2km Guia Circuit on Sunday, November 18.