AP: Beijing Saturday notes

Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Round 6 - Qualifying Goldenport Circuit, Beijing, China August 14, 2004 Weather -- hot and dry Marsh Grabs Pole in Beijing in Cut Throat Qualifying A delighted Matthew Marsh of A-Ha Racing took pole position...

Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup
Round 6 - Qualifying
Goldenport Circuit, Beijing, China
August 14, 2004
Weather -- hot and dry

Marsh Grabs Pole in Beijing in Cut Throat Qualifying

A delighted Matthew Marsh of A-Ha Racing took pole position in Class A for the start of Round 6 of the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia today with a time of 1:07.533 at Beijing's 3.3km Goldenport Circuit. But it was a close run thing to say the least, with less than one second separating the top five.

The 33-year-old Briton had been fastest in practice all week, and was excited to take pole for the first time this season. "It's fantastic!" he said. "It's the first time (sponsors) A-Ha has brought so many guests to the racing, so it couldn't be a better time. If I don't win tomorrow, I'm stupid." Marsh put his performance down to "sheer luck and bravery".

Reigning series champion, Infineon-Novellus ace Charles Kwan was second quickest, with Fuspeed Racing's Charoensukhawatana Nattavude in third. Kwan and Nattavude are tied at the top of the leaderboard going in to the next rounds, and both drivers were satisfied with their qualifying performances but acutely aware of how important a position at the front of the grid is on a track which has only limited overtaking opportunities.

Kwan pitted half way through the session and resumed with a changed set up. "The new set up worked," he said. "But still not good enough for pole, although second is still good. It's fun to be here."

Malaysian star Rizal Ramli will start from fourth on the grid. "It's a very tricky circuit, especially the last corner. It took me a while to master that corner and I had a moment there," he said of the track on which he is racing for the first time. "Still, I set myself a goal of 1:08 which I achieved."

Team Jebsen's Darryl O'Young, at 24 the youngest of the series drivers, qualified 5th on his 4th lap of the session. "I'm a bit disappointed. On my flying lap I hit traffic, but I'll try and get a good start tomorrow. I have a feeling the opening 3 laps will be important and it'll be a close race. This is definitely a track of patience."

Fastest in Class B was championship leader Max Chen, who also set the 8th quickest time overall and was on a real charge, putting in a sterling performance. Second fastest in the class was Dr. Toshihide Hashimura followed by William Heinecke.

Mobil1 VIP lady driver, Rose Tan enjoyed every moment of the session, in this her first experience of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. The 33-year-old from Beijing, who can more usually be found competing in rallies, has adjusted quickly to both the car and circuit racing, with a marked improvement on every lap. "The Porsche is a very exciting car and easy to control, although it's very powerful. I can see that I'm learning all the time, which is great."

Rounds 6 and 7 of the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia will be run over 20 laps each of the 3.3km Goldenport Circuit.

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 Mobil1 high-performance lubricant. Porsche Infineon 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 Infineon Carrera Cup Asia has emerged from a worldwide agreement signed between Porsche AG and the Michelin group in 2001.

The Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia runs as part of the Asian Festival of Speed, organised by Malaysian-based Motorsport Asia Limited.

<pre> Qualifying -- Round 6

Pos No Drivers                          Cls Entrant                     Time
1   33 Matthew MARSH (GBR)              A   A-Ha Racing                 01:07.533
2    1 Charles KWAN (HKG)               A   Team Infineon-Novellus      01:08.010
3   13 C. NATTAVUDE (THA)               A   Fuspeed Racing              01:08.122
4   55 Rizal Ashram RAMLI (MAS)         A   Crest Jaseri Racing Team    01:08.128
5   88 Darryl O' YOUNG (CAN)            A   Team Jebsen                 01:08.138
6   18 Vutthikorn INTHRAPHUVASAK (THA)  A   Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak   01:08.849
7   89 Ringo CHONG (SIN)                A   Eurokars Racing             01:09.058
8   28 Max CHEN (TPE)                   B   A1 Racing Team              01:09.377
9   19 Dilantha MALAGAMUWA (JPN)        A   Team IWS Holdings           01:09.705
10  15 Toshihide HASHIMURA (JPN)        B   Toshihide Hashimura         01:10.542
11   3 William E. Heinecke (THA)        B   The Pizza Company           01:10.586
12  66 SIU Yuk Lung (HKG)               B   Siu Yuk Lung                01:10.984
13  22 SIU Tit Lung (HKG)               B   Siu Tit Leung               01:11.058
14  98 Philip MA (HKG)                  B   P. Ma                       01:11.733
15   2 Scott MIAU (TPE)                 B   Scott Miau                  01:12.398
16   8 *Rose TAN (CHN)                      Porsche Asia Pacific        01:13.258

*Non series registered.

-afos/pprplus-

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Rizal Ramli , Charles Kwan , Darryl O'Young , Matthew Marsh , Nattavude Charoensukhawatana