Excitement builds as fight for inaugural Porsche Carrera Cup Asia title heats up Hong Kong's Charles Kwan took a second convincing win at South Korea's Taebaek Circuit today in Round 9 of the inaugural Porsche Carrera Cup Asia series. ...
Excitement builds as fight for inaugural Porsche Carrera Cup Asia title heats up
Hong Kong's Charles Kwan took a second convincing win at South Korea's Taebaek Circuit today in Round 9 of the inaugural Porsche Carrera Cup Asia series. Tensions are rising and the on track competition is heating up by the round as drivers fight for valuable championship points.
Briton's Nigel Albon was once again denied victory, after fighting tooth and claw with Thailand's Charoensukhawatana Nattavude throughout the 20-lap race. Although Kwan took the win, he admitted it had not been an easy victory and he was glad of the battle which kept his pursuers busy.
"I was pushing all the time!" exclaimed an exhilarated Kwan. "I had a very good start. Nigel and Nattavude were having a close fight behind, which meant I could pull away a little."
Desperate to find the extra edge to beat Kwan, Albon admitted he had made a mistake. "At the end of the last race, my tyres were very good. I decided to use the same tyres in the race as I thought it would give me an edge," he said.
Under the circumstances, Albon was happy with the results, although he clearly would have preferred to be leading the pack. "I was very lucky to keep second place as Nattavude did a good job of pressuring me. We played defensive, which was good for Charles. I'd love to have been in Charles' position, but I was busy fighting!"
Having changed the setting on his car, Nattavude saw an improvement but was still not fully convinced of its competitiveness. Although his championship aspirations have been dented by two decisive wins by rival Kwan, the Thai was resolved to keep pushing. "I will fight to the end!" he said.
Kwan agreed that the remaining three rounds of the series are going to be tough, with the championship going right down to the wire. "For me, the next three races are going to be hard," he said. "In every race, I have to get ahead of Nattavude who is very, very fast."
Porsche Asia Pacific VIP driver, Korean movie star Ryu Siwon was unable to start Round 9, having crashed out of the previous round in only his first outing in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine. However, Ryo made a strong impression on the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia family, and could well make a welcome return next season.
In fourth was non-series driver Manit Vravut of Thailand, followed by Tommy Lee of Malaysia.
Nattavude still has a slim margin in the championship standings after nine rounds, but rival Kwan is just six points behind, with Albon a mere six points behind him. The race for the title of this prestigious series is still wide open, promising plenty of thrills and spills to come in the closing stages.
The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia next travels to Beijing's Goldenport Circuit on October 25 and 26, with the final round being held as part of the 50th Macau Grand Prix in November.
Supporting the series are two of the most recognised names in international motorsport, Mobil1 and Michelin. Mobil and Porsche have been partners since 1996. Close co-operation in research and development has to led to every new Porsche engine being filled with Mobil 1 high-performance lubricant. Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers also have the advantage of high technology tyres, supplied by series partner Michelin, that have consistently improved the performance of many teams in international motorsport. The partnership between Michelin and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia has emerged from a worldwide agreement signed between Porsche AG and the Michelin group in 2001.
<pre> ROUND 9 RESULTS 1. 29 Charles KWAN (HKG) Team Infineon-Novellus 19:36.652 2. 8 Nigel ALBON (GBR) Naza Racing Team 19:38.812 3. 13 C. NATTAVUDE (THA) Fuspeed Racing 19:40.676 4. 18 Manit VRARUT (THA) Porsche Centre Bangkok/Red Bull 19:53.207 5. 55 Tommy LEE (MAL) Jaseri Racing 19:54.806 6. 88 Kenji KAWAGOE (JPN) Kenji Kawagoe 20:06.825 7. 22 SIU Tit Lung (HKG) Siu Tit Lung 20:19.062 8. 28 Max CHEN (TPE) A1 Racing Team 20:21.846 9. 11 SIU Yuk Lung HKG) Siu Yuk Lung 20:30.649 10. 98 Patrick MA (HKG) Patrick MA 20:30.857 11. 3 William HEINECKE (THA) The Pizza Company 20:35.105 12. 16 Graham JUPP (RSA) Porsche Asia Pacific 20:36.212 13. 99 Alex YAN (HKG) Alex Yan 20:38.680 DNF 77 Matthew MARSH (GBR) The Pizza Company 18 laps DNF 66 WANG Shuo-I (TPE) A1 Racing Team 17 laps DNF 11 C.ASAVAHAME (THA) Porsche Centre Bangkok/Red Bull 7 laps