AP: Zhuhai round six race report

Jones and Choo Celebrate Double Victories as O'Young Snatches Championship Lead Australian Christian Jones took his second Porsche Carrera Cup Asia victory of the day, winning Round 6 with another faultless performance on the ...

Jones and Choo Celebrate Double Victories as O'Young Snatches Championship Lead

Australian Christian Jones took his second Porsche Carrera Cup Asia victory of the day, winning Round 6 with another faultless performance on the 4.2km Zhuhai International Circuit. Jones crossed the line with a comfortable margin of more than four seconds from GruppeM Racing's Tim Sugden. Hong Kong's Darryl O'Young was 3rd for the second time today, but his consistency paid off to put Team Jebsen top of the Championship leaderboard after six races.

O'Young now leads with a one point advantage over Jones, who had arrived in Zhuhai 3rd in the standings. Team StarChase driver Christian Menzel, Class A leader at the start of the weekend, now lies 3rd after a dramatic change in fortunes for the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers.

Jones, fastest in qualifying, untouchable on his way to two emphatic victories and setting the fastest lap in both races, proved beyond doubt he is worthy of the support he is seeking so he can contest the rest of the season, and continue his fight for the title.

Team Jebsen's O'Young was delighted to put his team top of the leaderboard, despite a trying weekend: "Leading the Championship is the best part of the weekend, and that's where I want to keep us for the rest of the season," he said.

SC Global Racing's Matthew Marsh crossed the line 4th ahead of Team PCS Racing's Mok Weng Sun, both drivers recording their best finishes so far this season.

In Class B, ThunderAsia Racing's Melvin Choo also notched up his second win of the day, ahead of Hong Kong's Philip Ma and Australian Paul Tresidder. Tressider had had a disappointing qualifying session on Saturday, but had fought back superbly to claim a podium finish in the second race of the day.

Jones got away well from pole, however Sugden was not as quick off the start and had to fight off a hard-charging O'Young. Meanwhile Menzel was on a charge, getting by Team BetterLife's Marchy Lee to go 4th off the start.

Malaysia's Tunku Hammam, 2nd in Class B, had a disastrous start from the 4th row of the grid, but fought back hard to finish 11th, setting the fastest Class B lap on the way.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Danny Chu had started from the back after a disappointing first race, but was up to 9th by the third lap. Chu is new to both the series and GT racing this season, but there is no doubt he is now finding his feet.

Disaster struck for Hong Kong's Marchy Lee on Lap 3, when the Team BetterLife ace went off. On the same lap, Marsh got by Menzel, but the German immediately began piling on the pressure, headlights blazing. Marsh held him off valiantly, but Menzel reclaimed 4th position on Lap 5, only to crash out four laps later after making an uncharacteristic driver error.

Choo's win strengthens his grip on the Class B standings even further, and he now has a 25 point margin from rival Hammam, whom he admitted he almost missed during the race: "It feels different without him around. I was looking out for him. I won't go so far as to say I missed him, but it was definitely different."

After two 12-lap races in searing temperatures, all the drivers were feeling the effects, particularly those who elected not to use their cool suits. Choo was experiencing cramps in the final two laps, while Sugden had taken liquids with him in the car in an attempt to rehydrate enroute.

Although it was not the happiest of birthdays for Menzel, he and Team StarChase were able to raise some funds for the victims of the recent China earthquake. Along with the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, and Ringo Chong and Team Kangshun, they gave donors the ride of a lifetime with some hot laps in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia now travels to Indonesia for Rounds 7 and 8 at the 3.9km Sentul International Circuit outside Jakarta from July 18-20. The next races will be run as part of the Asian Festival of Speed weekend.

-credit: porsche.com/carreracup

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Series Porsche
Drivers Tim Sugden , Matthew Marsh , Christian Jones , Christian Menzel , Marchy Lee , Melvin Choo , Ringo Chong , Philip Ma , Mok Weng Sun