AP: Series Bahrain preview

2008 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion to be Crowned in Season Grand-Finale On its spectacular Middle East debut next weekend, the final two rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2008 are gearing up to be the year's most exciting races to...

2008 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion to be Crowned in Season Grand-Finale

On its spectacular Middle East debut next weekend, the final two rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2008 are gearing up to be the year's most exciting races to date as the title chase comes down to the wire in both the Class A and Class B Championships.

In Class A, the four drivers who remain in contention for the title are separated by just seven points, and in Class B the gap between the two leaders is a mere three points.

In a season that has been full of historical "firsts" for Asia's premier sportscar series, it is only fitting that the year is rounded out with yet another, as the field takes to the state-of-the-art Bahrain International Circuit for the first time in the season-closer double header. Also on the bill at the weekend are the V8 Supercars from Australia, the first time both series have raced together on the same programme.

Leading the Class A Classification is Christian Jones, who snatched the top spot on the leader board after finishing second in Round 10 in Shanghai this month. After his wheel- perfect weekend in Zhuhai in June - which saw him take a pair of pole-to-flag victories - the Australian has been on the podium in each of the last three races. Having come so close to winning the Championship in 2007, Jones is on the hunt for his first Porsche Carrera Cup Asia title.

Though Jones is on fine form, his slim three-point lead in Class A means there is no room for complacency. Three drivers are hot on his tail and all are determined to take the 2008 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia title for themselves.

Champion in 2006, Hong Kong racer Darryl O'Young now lies second in the title chase after suspension problems in Shanghai saw the Team Jebsen driver relinquish his hard- earned points advantage. Third is Round 10-winner Christian Menzel of Team StarChase, with both team and driver looking to lift the title in their debut Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season. Reigning Champion GruppeM Racing's Tim Sugden is seeking to defend his title and, despite a run of bad luck this year, finds himself in fourth place, just seven points behind Jones.

The foursome make for a fiercely competitive set of drivers and in the unpredictable world of motorsport, only one thing can be certain -- all four will fight hard right to the finish.

In Class B, Corum ThunderAsia Racing's Melvin Choo leads Malaysia's Tunku Hammam by just three points, and expect the arch rivals to go head-to-head as they battle it out for the coveted title.

All season the field of skilled and exciting sportscar racers from Asia, the Pacific and Europe have provided truly breathtaking high-octane thrills and now, with only two rounds remaining and everything on the line, the stage has been set for a truly remarkable season-closer.

Supporting the Porsche 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 led to every new Porsche engine being filled with Mobil1 high-performance lubricant. Porsche 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 Carrera Cup Asia has emerged from a worldwide agreement signed between Porsche AG and the Michelin group.

-credit: pcc asia

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Series Porsche
Drivers Tim Sugden , Darryl O'Young , Christian Jones , Christian Menzel , Melvin Choo