AP: Series Shanghai qualifying report

Menzel on Pole in Shanghai Team StarChase driver Christian Menzel took pole position for Round 10 of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia as the current points' leader out-paced the next closest driver by four-tenths of a second at the Shanghai ...

Menzel on Pole in Shanghai

Team StarChase driver Christian Menzel took pole position for Round 10 of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia as the current points' leader out-paced the next closest driver by four-tenths of a second at the Shanghai International Circuit today. Joining Menzel on the front row for Sunday's race is Team Jebsen driver Darryl O'Young, while Tim Sugden was third fastest at the end of the 30-minute qualifying session.

In Class B, Corum ThunderAsia Racing's Melvin Choo earned pole position with the sixth overall fastest time of the session, while Team PCS Racing driver Yuey Tan and Jacob & Co Racing Team's Philip Ma were second and third fastest in the category, respectively.

Earning one point for pole position, Menzel is now two points ahead of Sugden in the chase for the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia title, and with Rounds 10 and 11 taking place tomorrow, a tight and intensely competitive race is on the cards.

With his eye on the prize, the experienced German immediately asserted himself in the session, posting the pole-setting time on his second lap. Menzel narrowly missed out on the title last year, and as he rightly observed: "At this stage in the season, every single point is important."

Two-time and defending Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion O'Young also posted his fastest time early in the session. The Hong Kong driver is currently third in the points and knows he must put together a strong weekend if he is to stay in the game.

Joining Sugden on the second row is 22-year old Rodolfo Avila of Asia Racing Team, while another young talent, Dutch driver Danny Chu, qualified fifth.

Taking his third pole position of the season, Menzel believes the point earned is almost more important than ensuring the best starting position for the race: "Qualifying is a chance for me to win a point and now I am two points in front of Tim. Now, every single point is extremely important. I have to say compliments to Team StarChase as at the moment the car is perfect and to get over fourth-tenths of a second over Darryl is very good. I look forward to the races tomorrow."

O'Young said he struggled slightly with the handling during the session and had been trying a variety of measures to achieve the perfect set-up. Still, the Team Jebsen driver was pleased to be on the front row: "Now we just have to catch up a bit, try to pass Menzel at the start and fight from there."

Sugden, meanwhile, was hoping for Lady Luck to pay him a visit in Round 10. "Third was as fast as I could get," the Briton said. "There was much more understeer than before, but never mind -- onto the races! I think we'll be alright in the race and now I just need to look forward to a first corner incident."

Class B pole man Choo attributed his success to concentrating and correcting some "bad habits" which he had picked up over the season. In practice, the Singaporean had worked on his technique: "It paid off in the end!" he exclaimed. "I'm satisfied with the session and I'm driving better."

Five teams and four drivers will fly the flag for China as Rounds 10 and 11 of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia take place Sunday in support of the China Touring Car Championship.

-credit: pcc ap

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Tim Sugden , Rodolfo Avila , Christian Menzel , Melvin Choo , Philip Ma