Toughest Test Yet for Championship Decider In what promises to be an epic showdown and the toughest test yet this season for man and machine, both the Class A and Class B Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2007 titles will be decided on Macau's...
Toughest Test Yet for Championship Decider
In what promises to be an epic showdown and the toughest test yet this season for man and machine, both the Class A and Class B Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2007 titles will be decided on Macau's demanding Guia Circuit next weekend.
Overall Championship honours will go to either GruppeM Racing's Tim Sugden or former Asian Formula 3 Champion and GT racing newcomer Christian Jones of SCC Racing China. Just two points separate the pair going to Macau, and both know they have their work cut out.
Sugden has always wanted to race at Macau, but hadn't planned on having to fight for the title on such a tough circuit and one which is completely new to him: "I'm really looking forward to it as an event, but it would be nice to know the track just a little bit. Most if not all of the other drivers have raced there before, but I've only ever watched it and never taken part. I'm going to buy the video game tomorrow and I'll be practicing on that, and then of course go round when I arrive in Macau. Of course the intention is to go and get a podium and beat Christian. I'll do everything I can!"
Says Jones, who has some experience of the Guia: "Macau is the greatest -- and toughest -- street circuit in the world. I raced there once before in Formula 3 in 2004, and I can't wait to get back on it. It's going to be a wild ride around there in a Porsche!"
As they duel for honours on Macau's narrow and complex street circuit they will be joined by a formidable line-up of exciting sportscar racers. Cref Motorsports' Keita Sawa was left devastated after the penultimate rounds in Zhuhai last weekend as a series of mishaps saw his championship chances slip away. Having finished 2nd in Macau last year, the Japanese ace will be looking to end his season on a high by taking arguably the most coveted victory of the season.
Team Jebsen's Darryl O'Young, winner at Macau in 2005 and 4th last year, is equally determined to round off a season which saw him make his Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup debut, as will fellow Hong Kong racer Marchy Lee. Lee took two wins in Zhuhai and knows the Guia Circuit well having raced there in both a Formula 3 car and a Porsche, although he has yet to tackle the 6.12km track in the 997-based race car.
Team Vertu's Nigel Albon will be one to watch, as will Australian Geoff Morgan. Having dominated the Class B championship in 2006, Morgan has made an impressive graduation to the ranks of professional racers and is currently 5th in the Class A standings.
However, the "cat amongst the pigeons" will be the wildcard GR Asia entry of Danny Watts. Watts was untouchable in Macau last year, shaving almost a second off the previous best qualifying time, winning the race with an eight- second margin, and setting the fastest lap for good measure.
For Sugden and Jones though, it is the championship which takes precedence over victors' laurels. Says Jones who, as a sportscar newcomer has had everything to learn this season and has proved he is more than up to the challenge, gaining in confidence with every outing: "The priority is to take the championship over the overall win, but I may have to win the race to take the championship! It's going to be tough as we only have limited time on the circuit, so it will be very important to start off with a good car set up. Unfortunately that's going to have to be a guess as I have no data or set up from there before."
In Class B, the title could go to any one of four drivers, but series newcomer Mok Weng Sun of Singapore currently tops the leaderboard with a six point advantage over Hong Kong's William "Chip" Connor. Not to be discounted however are fellow Hong Kong racer Philip Ma and Australian Peter Boylan who are tied in 3rd, ten points behind Mok and still in with a shot at the title.
Malaysia's Tunku Hammam has recorded some impressive finishes this season and, were it not for some seriously undeserved bad luck during the year, would be a serious title contender.
As well as fielding Watts in the professional category, GR Asia is also pitching for glory in Class B. Macau regular Richard Meins returns to the Guia Circuit for the season-closer.
With so many quick drivers, each and every one unshakably determined to add a victory at Macau to their CVs, the final round of the 2007 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia could very well turn out to be the best ever!