Victory for Cocker in Electrifying Race Reigning British GT Champion, 18-year-old Jonathan Cocker took victory in Round 8 of the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia today at South Korea's 2.5km Taebaek Circuit in a race which was nothing short...
Victory for Cocker in Electrifying Race
Reigning British GT Champion, 18-year-old Jonathan Cocker took victory in Round 8 of the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia today at South Korea's 2.5km Taebaek Circuit in a race which was nothing short of electrifying.
Second was SCC Racing's Charoensukhawatana Nattavude, who made the podium after one of the most audacious and perfectly-timed moves the series has seen so far, with Team Jebsen's Darryl O'Young in third. However, it was O'Young who had arguably the toughest race, which saw him battle every inch of the 20-lap race.
Pole-man Cocker was pleased with his win, particularly after reigning Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia Champion, A-Ha Racing's Matthew Marsh had briefly taken the lead at the start: "That was not good!" he said of losing the lead albeit, temporarily. "Matthew must have got a really good start as he came from nowhere. He made a mistake on the second lap and I got the jump on him. I knew my pace was faster under acceleration so I wanted to get past him as soon as I could. You don't want to get held up with drivers coming up behind you."
Starting from third, Marsh made a lightning start off the grid to take Cocker and O'Young, but the eventual winner reclaimed his lead after Marsh made an error. Meanwhile, Eurokars Racing's Nigel Albon was beginning to close in on O'Young while Cocker pulled away at the front.
O'Young, however, was all over Marsh, desperate to get by. Said O'Young: "You either go for the perfect start or a safe start, and I was going for a perfect one which isn't always the best. I spent pretty much most of my race behind Matthew. I had better pace, but couldn't get past."
Running in fourth was series leader going into Round 8, Nattavude. The Korean spectators were treated to the trilling battle between Marsh and O'Young, and Albon and Nattavude behind them, equally as close. This enabled Cocker to pull out a comfortable lead ahead of the battling pack.
However, things took a dramatic turn when the Thai veteran finally got by Albon and began his march on the three leaders.
As he closed in on the epic struggle between the A-Ha Racing and Team Jebsen duo, Nattavude judged the situation perfectly and made his brazen move to take second. "It's tough to make a decision in those circumstances," he said. "All the way, step by step, I was looking for the opportunity. I took a chance at the second hairpin and got the outside line. We were three cars abreast at one time. You only get one chance and I had to bide my time. Lap by lap I was calculating the remaining laps and the situation at the front -- but it's difficult to read minds." His considerable experience and skill paid off and he had judged the situation perfectly.
Perhaps taking a leaf out of Nattavude's book, O'Young then nipped by Marsh into second. Marsh, however, was having none of it and battled hard to regain the final podium slot. At the chequered flag it was the 25-year-old Hong Kong driver who took third for Team Jebsen behind the victorious GruppeM Racing Cocker and SCC Racing's Nattavude.
Behind Marsh in fifth was Albon, with the only Korean driver, Gene Lee finishing a creditable sixth.
In Class B, it was once again Hong Kong's Alain Li who took victory, followed by William "Chip" Connor and Team Thailand's Sontaya Kunplome. Li, making his debut on the Korean track, was thrilled to have taken the win, saying: "I had a good start, and almost got ahead of some of the Class A drivers -- I was keeping up with Gene and Nigel, with Dilantha (Malagamuwa) right behind me. He spun and went into the kitty litter, and from then on I just concentrated on chasing the Class A guys ahead of me."
The Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia continues it's crucial double header weekend this afternoon with Round 9, also to be run over 20 laps of the 2.5km Taebaek Circuit.
<pre> Round 8 Results
Pos Comp# Driver Cls Entrant Time 1 38 Jonathan COCKER (GBR) A GruppeM Racing 19.03.334 2 36 C. NATTAVUDE (THA) A SCC Racing Team +5.236 3 88 Darryl O' YOUNG (HKG) A Team Jebsen +7.423 4 1 Matthew MARSH (HKG) A A-Ha Racing +8.311 5 89 Nigel ALBON (GBR) A Eurokars Racing +10.633 6 19 Gene LEE* (KOR) A Porsche Asia Pacific +13.537 7 11 Alain LI (HKG) B Alain Li +19.865 8 6 Dilantha MALAGAMUWA (JPN) A AI Racing +36.402 9 8 William E. CONNOR II (HKG) B William E. Connor II +52.005 10 28 Sontaya KUNPLOME (THA) B Team Thailand 1 lap
*Non series registered.
Fastest Lap: Jonathan Cocker/GruppeM Racing/00:56.119