AP: Zhuhia Saturday notes

O'Young takes Pole under Intense Pressure Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship leader Darryl O'Young of Hong Kong took a crucial pole position today for the first of the final three rounds of the season. The Team Jebsen ace set a blistering...

O'Young takes Pole under Intense Pressure

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship leader Darryl O'Young of Hong Kong took a crucial pole position today for the first of the final three rounds of the season. The Team Jebsen ace set a blistering time of 1:38.793 in the closing minutes of the session at Southern China's Zhuhai International Circuit, ahead of Cref Motorsports' Keita Sawa of Japan. The pair was the only drivers to lap the 4.3km circuit in less than 1 minute 39 seconds.

Third fastest of the day was another Japanese driver, Tomo Racing's Kazuyuki Nishizawa ahead of team mate and championship contender Shinichi Yamaji. The third title contender Matthew Marsh, racing for Gates GR Asia, had to settle for 5th.

Said O'Young: "It was really good. The yellow flag early on in the session was a bit disruptive. I started with cold tyres and I knew I had to be patient. The first lap didn't go so well for me, and I made mistakes but after the second lap I got the job done -- and I got pole! I'm extremely pleased to start tomorrow's race from pole. I have completed the qualifying session well and now I really have to start focusing on winning the race itself. Everything seems to be clicking for me now and I'm hoping for the best. I just have to stay focused and calm."

O'Young will start the first of tomorrow's two 12-lap races with two drivers between him and his arch rival Yamaji. However, both are equally determined to beat him. Said Sawa: "I'm determined to win the Zhuhai rounds. My minimum target for this session was to be front row of the grid, so I'm delighted. The track is simple to drive but hard to set up for. It fits my driving style very well. I hope to get by Darryl tomorrow -- maybe I can do it."

Yamaji thought he'd set a better time than 1:39.400, but is counting on Nishizawa to stop O'Young's title charge, and is looking for a Tomo Racing one-two finish -- with his team mate taking the win!

Nishizawa will also be on a charge to catch the points leader, saying: "I got stuck in traffic on my final flying lap, otherwise I could have gone faster. I'm a little disappointed to have lost 2nd position to Sawa, but there was nothing at all I could do. I'm still confident for tomorrow's race because I'm good at starts and think I can take the lead."

In Class B, Australian Geoff Morgan continued his domination of the category with yet another pole position, while Philip Ma, who had been involved in a spectacular mishap in yesterday's practice session when his car rolled several times, staged a brilliant recovery to set the second fastest qualifying time. Morgan tops the Class B points ahead of fellow countryman Rusty French and Hong Kong's William "Chip" Connor.

Said Morgan: "The car is great -- they guys (EKS Motorsport) are fantastic. All the circuits are new to me this season, so I'm flying blind. I was running on old tyres until this session. I went out and tried a few things and it was great to have some grip!"

Ma and his car's recoveries appear complete, although he would have like to be closer to Morgan on the time sheet. He was also full of praise for the EKS Motorsport team who had repaired his car overnight: "They're very good. Luckily I also tried to save the car from a big impact. The qualifying session was OK, but the race is more important. I had a couple of spins on cold tyres and had to avoid a few cars spinning in front of me, but everything was fine."

-credit: porsche.asia

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Series Porsche
Drivers Shinichi Yamaji , Kazuyuki Nishizawa , Keita Sawa , Geoff Morgan , Darryl O'Young , Matthew Marsh , Rusty French , Philip Ma