AP: Round five Bira summary

Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia Round 5 June 12, 2005 Bira Race Circuit, Thailand Nattavude Unbeatable in Thailand Charoensukhawatana Nattavude proved unbeatable today, winning Round 5 of the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia in ...

Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia
Round 5
June 12, 2005
Bira Race Circuit, Thailand

Nattavude Unbeatable in Thailand

Charoensukhawatana Nattavude proved unbeatable today, winning Round 5 of the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia in breathtaking style, taking command of the race from lights to chequered flag and without putting a wheel wrong.

The race also saw the very definite return of Nigel Albon to the front end of the field, with a decisive second place finish, while Malaysia's Rizal Ramli has to settle for third after a brilliant weekend of racing.

"Last year, Rizal won both the races in Thailand, and this year it was my turn!" said Nattavude. He was also pleased to see Albon back on the podium: "This means all of us are right on form for the next rounds in Beijing."

Albon, the Eurokars Racing ace who has suffered a run of bad luck so far this season, which included two DNFs, was thrilled with his second place. Particularly as he was able to overtake Ramli, although he had his work cut out keeping the lightning-quick Malaysian at bay: "I started from sixth on the grid because in the first race, I didn't want to risk another DNF. In this race I was able to overtake, but Rizal is a driver you just can't ignore. You know he's fast and will never give up -- that's what makes him a great racer. He did a great job and he pushed me all the way. I passed him, he passed me-- but there was no contact and it was very fair -- just what racing should be all about."

Ramli was in awe of the speed at which Albon crept up behind him: "He was quite far away. The next thing I knew, he was right on me. Actually, I was hoping Nigel would put pressure on Nattavude, but it was a scary moment seeing Nigel coming so fast!"

In Class B, it was Patrick Ma of Hong Kong who took the honours this time out, followed by William E. Heinecke and William "Chip" Connor. Said Heinecke: "I'm very pleased! I am pleased to have stayed in front of Chip which is never easy. He was right there occupying the whole of my rear-view mirror all the time."

At the start, Nattavude was off and away at the lights, followed by Ramli, Hong Kong's Darryl O'Young, reigning Champion Matthew Marsh, and Albon, with Jonathan Cocker and Thai driver Vutthikorn Inthrphuvasak. Albon had moved up to third after a quarter distance, while Ramli was pushing Nattavude hard at the front. By the end of lap seven, Albon had taken Ramli and their battle commenced. Behind them, O'Young held on to fourth until Vutthikorn made his move, taking the Team Jebsen youngster. Although Marsh was eyeing O'Young in the closing laps, he held off the A-Ha Racing Briton to keep his fifth place at the finish.

Nattavude now has a 21 point lead in the championship over fellow Thai Vutthikorn, but with six rounds still to go, the 2005 Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia title is still wide open.

Rounds 6 and 7 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will be held at Beijing's Goldenport Circuit on July 16 and 17.

-afos-

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