AP: Series Beijing race one report

On Form O'Young in Pole-to-Flag Victory Team Jebsen's Darryl O'Young was unstoppable at Beijing's Goldenport International Circuit today, taking a pole-to-flag victory in Round 3 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and setting the fastest lap of the...

On Form O'Young in Pole-to-Flag Victory

Team Jebsen's Darryl O'Young was unstoppable at Beijing's Goldenport International Circuit today, taking a pole-to-flag victory in Round 3 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and setting the fastest lap of the race.

Team StarChase driver Christian Menzel was second across the line, ahead of GruppeM Racing's Tim Sugden of Britain, who had been challenged for much of the 18-lap race by series newcomer Rodolfo Avila of Macau who finished fourth.

In Class B, points leader Melvin Choo took the win for his Corum ThunderAsia Racing team, with Jacob & Co Racing's Philip Ma second, and Yuey Tan of Team PCS Racing in third.

Said O'Young: "I'm very happy to be back in Beijing. It's the place where, in 2005, I took the first win for Team Jebsen and we made our podium debut. It was a hard fight today, particularly the first lap, but we gave each other enough room."

Menzel was an early challenger to the race winner, but has his sights set on the championship win this season. The German now has a two point lead over Sugden at the top of Class A, while O'Young still has some catching up to do after his disastrous season start in Shanghai last month, but has climbed from 12th to 7th in the points after his pole position and win.

Said Menzel: "The first three laps I pushed really hard, so we gave the fans and journalists something really exciting to see. Later on I looked in the mirror and saw the gap between me and Tim, so I reduced my speed a little bit. I have a good lead from Darryl in the points, so there was no point in chasing him. I made a mistake last year, so this time I want to keep everything under control."

For Sugden, who is facing several challenges this weekend, it was a good finish: "I'm always happy to be on the podium, but we'll go off now and do something to make the car faster for the next race!"

Choo's win increases his lead at the top of the Class B standings. Concerned before the race that mentally things weren't as they should be, he nevertheless pulled it together when it mattered: "I was forced to focus. The last five laps were really tough, I was tired and it was difficult to concentrate. Even though there was a car in front of me, there was no fuel left in the tank to fight."

Hong Kong's Ma has plenty of experience of the tight and twisting Beijing track: "I started racing here in 2003. It's tight, physically demanding, you have to be careful. If you don't pay proper attention to it, you will definitely pay. It takes time to get used to it."

With temperatures cooler than in yesterday's qualifying session, Ma wasn't alone in believing his set up wasn't 100% correct for today's race. However, with a second, 18-lap race this afternoon, the drivers will have time to make adjustments and come out fighting.

For series newcomer Tan, his first podium was well earned: "I'm happy to bring the car home! I was tired at the end, and the tyres were quite worn out, but I'm happy." The charismatic driver, who is new to the circuit, was then off to recharge his physical batteries for Round 4.

Off the grid, O'Young made a superb start, but Menzel was right on him into the first turn, with the pair two abreast on the opening lap. But the Hong Kong racer held the line, and then set about opening up a gap. He went unchallenged for the rest of the race, crossing the line with a margin of almost six seconds.

Avila, meanwhile, lost a position to Sugden at the start, but stayed with the more experienced Briton throughout the race, looking for a way past and hoping to pressure him into an error. At the flag, just 0.230 of a second separated the hard-charging pair.

Behind them, Sri Lankan Dilantha Malagamuwa was on a charge to Dutchman Danny Chu, headlights ablaze. Having lost a grid position after a regulation infringement during qualifying, Malagamuwa was determined gain back the place, but dropped to 8th after a bad start. He climbed through the field back up to sixth to pile the pressure on Chu. However, Chu held firm and defended well, crossing the line fifth, 0.260 of a second ahead of Malagamuwa.

PRTS Motorsport's Jeffrey Lee ended his race in the gravel after spinning out.

-credit: pcc asia

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Dilantha Malagamuwa , Tim Sugden , Darryl O'Young , Jeffrey Lee , Rodolfo Avila , Christian Menzel , Melvin Choo , Philip Ma Chingh Yeung