AP: Darryl O'Young crowned 2006 champion

O'Young Crowned 2006 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion After Double Victory in China Team Jebsen and Darryl O'Young clinched the 2006 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia title this past weekend after a superb pole-to-flag win at the Zhuhai International ...

O'Young Crowned 2006 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion After Double Victory in China

Team Jebsen and Darryl O'Young clinched the 2006 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia title this past weekend after a superb pole-to-flag win at the Zhuhai International Circuit today. This win came after a victory earlier in the day which saw O'Young extend his championship lead. The 26-year-old Hong Kong ace was crowned after title rival Shinichi Yamaji of Tomo Racing came to grief after an incident early on in the 12-lap race. His 13th place finish put pay to his championship aspirations. Second in the penultimate round of the season was Cref Motorsports' Keita Sawa, with Yamaji's team mate, Kazuyuki Nishizawa in 3rd.

O'Young was overjoyed to have clinched the title even before the final race of the season at the Macau Grand Prix next month: "It's been a long, tough year," he said. "I'd like to thank God. My thanks also to Team Jebsen, my sponsors, and my engineer, Sven Schnabl, who have been great. It's an amazing feeling to be champion. I feel sorry for what happened to Yamaji as it would have been great to race him all the way to the end. But it is a good feeling to go to Macau without the pressure of winning the championship, and I'm really looking forward to it. My congratulations to Sawa and Nishizawa who really kept the pressure on this weekend. It was a great race!"

He continued, "It's been a perfect weekend. Quickest in practice, taking the Pole position, winning both races, recording the fastest lap, and lastly winning the overall championship for Team Jebsen. What more could you ask for in a race weekend especially under the pressure of a championship battle. I am extremely happy!"

Not only were the grandstands full of several thousand eager Chinese racing fans, who came out in force to see the Hong Kong racer clinch the title, but a full contingent of Jebsen supporters were on hand to cheer their driver.

With 170 points, Yamaji has clinched the runner-up slot, while Sawa lies 3rd on the leaderboard just five points in front of 2004 series champion Matthew Marsh in the Gates GR Asia car.

Sawa was pleased to be on the podium for the second time today: "In the first race, I thought I had a chance of winning. In the 2nd race, I knew I had no chance. I was on used tyres, so I couldn't challenge Darryl. I'm looking forward to Macau. It will be my first time, so I hope I enjoy it."

Darryl put out a special thanks to all of his sponsors. Porsche Hong Kong, Taiwan Secom, TransAsia Airways, Goldsun Group, Blue Girl Beer, Zurich Insurance, Rollei, Cocha, and Puma.

All eyes now turn to the Macau Grand Prix on November 19 and the final round of what has been a truly thrilling Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season.

-credit: af

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Series Porsche
Drivers Shinichi Yamaji , Kazuyuki Nishizawa , Keita Sawa , Darryl O'Young , Matthew Marsh