AP: Round nine race notes

A-Ha Wins Big in Korea Briton Matthew Marsh notched up a convincing win for his A-Ha Racing team today in Round 9 of the series at South Korea's Taebaek Circuit. Marsh led from pole to chequered flag unchallenged to take his third win of ...

A-Ha Wins Big in Korea

Briton Matthew Marsh notched up a convincing win for his A-Ha Racing team today in Round 9 of the series at South Korea's Taebaek Circuit. Marsh led from pole to chequered flag unchallenged to take his third win of the season.

Series leader, Fuspeed Racing's Charoensukhawatana Nattavude crossed the line in 2nd followed by fellow Thai Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak, who had held off a determined Rizal Ramli in the opening stages of the race. Despite experiencing problems which slowed the car, reigning champion and Team Infineon-Novellus driver, Charles Kwan of Hong Kong held on to finish in 4th.

Marsh, who had opened up a lead of more than 4.2 seconds by the chequered flag, was adamant his win was no walk over and is well aware of the threat the experienced championship leader will pose as the fight for points continues unabated: "Anyone who is confident with Nattavude behind them (at the start of a race) is a fool!" he said.

Marsh got a good start from pole with Kwan, who had qualified second, right on his tail with the two Thai drivers joining the chase.

However, true to form the race was full of action, and behind the leaders Malaysian ace Ramli, starting from 5th, spun right in front of Team Jebsen's Darryl O'Young. O'Young was forced to go off the track to avoid a collision, which dropped the pair back down the field. "We were bumper-to-bumper and Ramli was sideways in the middle of the track. I missed him by inches -- we were so close we could look each other in the eye!" said the PUMA and Blue Girl-backed 24-year-old.

From then on, the crowd was treated to a superb charge by O'Young, who not only negotiated his way through the fighting pack, but held off Ramli to finish a creditable 5th at the end of the 20-lap race.

In Class B, it was guest driver and series newcomer Akira Hirakawa of Japan who took victory on the 2.5km circuit, followed by Class points leader Max Chen of Taipei. William "Chip" Connor II was thrilled to take the third podium place in only his second race in the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia.

Akira was obviously thrilled to be on the podium in his first series race, but just as pleased to have been welcomed so warmly into the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia fold. "Everyone has been so kind and welcoming I already feel like part of the family," he said.

A1 Racing Team's Chen also enjoyed his race. "I got a good start and held my line into the first corner. Chip had to give way and let me through, for which I thank him," he said.

Looking ahead to the next race, although Connor - as a guest driver - is not eligible for points this season, he, like every other driver in the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia, will be fighting all the way. "May the best man win!" he declared.

The Class A championship is still open to the top five: Nattavude, Marsh, Kwan, O'Young and Ramli, and the battle looks likely to go right down to the wire.

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> Round 9 Results

Pos No. Drivers                         Class   Entrant                         Time
1   33  Matthew MARSH (GBR)             A       A-Ha Racing                     19:08.503
2   13  C. NATTAVUDE (THA)              A       Fuspeed Racing                  19:12.736
3   18  Vutthikorn INTHRAPHUVASAK (THA) A       Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak       19:14.204
4    1  Charles KWAN (HKG)              A       Team Infineon-Novellus          19:21.985
5   88  Darryl O' YOUNG (CAN)           A       Team Jebsen                     19:28.953
6   55  Rizal Ashram RAMLI (MAS)        A       Crest Jaseri Racing Team        19:29.170
7   15  Akira HIRAKAWA* (JPN)           B       Akira Hirakawa                  19:35.781
8   89  Ringo CHONG (SIN)               A       Eurokars Racing                 19:47.275
9   28  Max CHEN (TPE)                  B       A1 Racing Team                  19:48.364
10  19  Dilantha MALAGAMUWA (JPN)       A       Team IWS Holdings               19:49.053
11  77  William E. CONNOR II* (HKG)     B       The Pizza Company               19:52.443
12   3  William E. HEINECKE (THA)       B       The Pizza Company               19:17.078
13  66  SIU Yuk Lung (HKG)              B       Siu Yuk Lung                    19:18.637
14  22  SIU Tit Lung (HKG)              B       Siu Tit Lung                    19:27.839
15   2  Scott MIAU (TPE)                B       Scott Miau                      19:29.962
DNS 98  Patrick MA (HKG)                B       P. Ma

*Non series registered.


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