PAC: Series Shanghai qualifying report

Reigning Champion Takes Charge Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Christian Menzel of Team StarChase threw down the gauntlet today to his fellow 22 competitors with a scorching, pole- setting qualifying lap of 2:07.725 at the 5.5km ...

Reigning Champion Takes Charge

Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Christian Menzel of Team StarChase threw down the gauntlet today to his fellow 22 competitors with a scorching, pole- setting qualifying lap of 2:07.725 at the 5.5km Shanghai International Circuit.

The German was the only driver to lap in less than two minutes, 8 seconds, with the second fastest on track two-time champion Darryl O'Young of Hong Kong. The LKM Racing driver will line up alongside Menzel for the start of the opening round of the 2010 season.

The second row will see Red Bull Racing's Marchy Lee of Hong Kong line up alongside Team PCS Racing's Craig Baird.

Quickest in the Class B category, for non-professional drivers, was Singapore's Mok Weng Sun of Team PCS Racing, with an impressive lap of 2:09.605. Mok will line up next to Team Jebsen's Rodolfo Avila of Class A for the start of the first 12 lap race.

Team Kangshun's Ringo Chong was second fastest by the end of the session, with series newcomer Francis Tjia of OpenRoad Racing third.

Menzel has got his title defence off to an excellent start at the 2010 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, collecting one point for pole position: "My experience tells me that all points are important in this series. My car was very good, and this is a result of good team work. I enjoyed every minute."

He set his fastest lap right at the start of the session, explaining: "From my experience, the first five minutes on track are very fast if the Formula 1 cars have been out just before." However, he remained tight-lipped on his race strategy: "Don't ask about strategy as it is changing moment by moment. And anyway, it's a secret!"

For O'Young, this weekend is his first outing in the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car having missed the official test last month. Despite several podium finishes, he is still chasing an elusive win on the Shanghai track: "To win here would be fantastic. It's a tough circuit for me. The car feels quite different, with a lot more power. The grip seems to be a tough one this weekend too."

Lee wrestled with setup this weekend, as well as preparing mentally after an 8-month hiatus from racing: "My race pace will be good, and the setup is OK now. It wasn't good enough before, but starting from the second row is OK."

With a bumper Class B field this season, the competition is fierce, and a heated rivalry is already developing between Mok and Chong. Said Mok: "I'm happy with my qualifying. I had a good first session, and then I came in to see how everything was going. When I saw Ringo doing well on an old set of tyres, I said to my mechanic, 'put a new set of tyres on and let me go!'" It worked, and Mok improved on his best time.

Said friendly rival Chong: "Mok is getting too quick, so I guess I have to drive faster. Mok and I are going to try and keep up with the front group. The goal is to keep looking forward and not look back!"

Newcomer Francis Tjia impressed on his Porsche Carrera Cup Asia debut, and is looking forward to both the race and the season ahead: "It's going to be a great year, and there's always going to be someone to battle with. In my case it may be my brother (Christian) as he's two positions behind me!"

-source: pcc asia

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Craig Baird , Darryl O'Young , Rodolfo Avila , Christian Menzel , Marchy Lee , Ringo Chong , Mok Weng Sun , Francis Tjia
Teams Red Bull Racing