Victories for Sawa and Mok Cref Motorsports' Keita Sawa and Singapore's Mok Weng Sun both credited Lady Luck with their wins in Round 4 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia today, but their success had as much, if not more, to do with racing skill...
Victories for Sawa and Mok
Cref Motorsports' Keita Sawa and Singapore's Mok Weng Sun both credited Lady Luck with their wins in Round 4 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia today, but their success had as much, if not more, to do with racing skill and a cool head under pressure. Second in Class A was Thailand's Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak, followed by Team Vertu's Nigel Albon. In Class B, Malaysia's Tunku Hammam put in an extraordinary performance -- which had nothing whatsoever to do with luck -- to finish 2nd ahead of William "Chip" Connor.
In Class A, Sawa took his first Porsche Carrera Cup Asia victory after championship leader Tim Sugden was given a drive through penalty for anticipating the start. However, that took nothing away from the fact he drove a superb 20-lap race. SCC Racing's Christian Jones, who was running 2nd for most of the race, was forced to retire with radiator damage caused when he challenged Sugden for the lead. As they battled it out in the closing stages of the race, Sawa, Vutthikorn and Albon were completely unaware they were chasing the three podium places.
Said Sawa: "I had a good start, but midway through the race Christian had a problem and put water on the track. That made it almost impossible to stay on the track. It was a very long race, and it's taken me a long time to take this win. There are a lot of very quick drivers in this championship, so I know I have to push myself harder."
Mok, racing in the series for the first time this year, was delighted to have taken the Class B win, having finished 2nd to Connor in Round 3: "I must say, I was under some pressure from my supporters in the Porsche Club Singapore to improve on my earlier result! I was next to Chip by turn one, but I didn't expect to see the blue car (Tunku Hammam) quite so quickly and I was praying for his tyres to go off."
Hammam meanwhile, has put the misfortune which has plagued him since his return to the series at the start of the season firmly behind him, with a phenomenal performance. The sole Malaysian in the field picked his way back from the back of the pack to finish on the podium: "I'm delighted, particularly as I started last. I had a good start and passed three or four cars by the second turn. I saw Mok in front of me and thought I could give him a fight, but my tyres went off, so couldn't reach him."
At the start, pole-sitter GruppeM Racing's Sugden got away well, too well according to race officials, with Jones hot on his trail. Behind them, however, this time it was Sawa who stole the march on Albon, moving up to 3rd after a few tense seconds where the pair were side by side. Behind them, Sunseeker Asia's Alain Li was challenging Team Hayashi's Dilantha Malagamuwa when the pair came together, colliding and spinning. Li embarked on yet another charge through the field, before spinning again and retiring.
Jones' made his move for the win on lap 15, but experienced triumphed and Sugden grabbed back the lead. Jones retired shortly afterwards, while Sugden took his penalty. Oblivious to the fact he had secured a podium finish, Albon was pushing Vutthikorn hard in the closing stages but the, "wily old fox" as Albon later described him, held the Briton at bay to the chequered flag.
Despite a setback, GruppeM Racing and Sugden still top the Class A leaderboard, but Sawa is now in 2nd, just eight points behind, with Vutthikorn in third. In Class B, Mok's results over the weekend put him ahead of Australian Peter Boylan with just a two point margin, and Chip breathing down their necks two points adrift in third.
The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia continues on July 22, when the series travels to Indonesia's Sentul Circuit for Rounds 5 and 6 of the 12-round season.