Sugden Grabs Victory from Sawa in Dramatic Style GruppeM Racing's Tim Sugden had to wait until the last turn of the final lap of Round 5 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia today to grab the Class A victory from Cref Motorsports' Keita Sawa, who...
Sugden Grabs Victory from Sawa in Dramatic Style
GruppeM Racing's Tim Sugden had to wait until the last turn of the final lap of Round 5 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia today to grab the Class A victory from Cref Motorsports' Keita Sawa, who had led from pole and defended brilliantly from the hard-charging Briton.
Having set a phenomenal pace in qualifying, and held on to the lead for most of the race, the Japanese driver was understandably crestfallen to have lost the win after making a tiny mistake in the closing metres of the race. SCC Racing China's Christian Jones crossed the line in 3rd. Hong Kong's Marchy Lee finished where he had started in 4th, having lost two places to Alain Li and Nigel Albon, who got a blinding start off the grid from 7th, and having to fight hard to claw them back.
Said Sugden who, try as he might couldn't find a way past Sawa until the final seconds of the race: "The problem with overtaking on this track is there is no grip off the racing line. Sawa and I were both quick and were absolutely on the limit throughout the race. Sawa is a very quick driver -- he did three qualifying laps which were faster than my best -- and I have to say I enjoyed that race more than I've enjoyed one for a very long time."
Sawa was gracious in defeat, but frustrated he was unable to convert his pole position into valuable maximum championship points: "Everything was OK until the last corner of the last lap! I can't complain. I tried to stay on line, but I made a little mistake. I must catch Tim up in the championship standings, so this isn't good. I'm hoping for a bit of luck."
Class B honours went to Australian Peter Boylan, ahead of pole-sitter William "Chip" Connor and Malaysia's Tunku Hammam.
Said Boylan: "I knew it would be a close race and that a good start and to get in front of Chip would be crucial. Off line it's very slippery making it hard to pass, so to get in front and stay there is important."
Connor enjoyed the race despite being unable to convert his pole position into a win: "There was some traffic at turn one, and then Tunku put me under a lot of pressure for a couple of laps. They were all driving very smoothly and I knew the only way to get by was for one of us to make a mistake, and I didn't want to be the one to do that!"
Hammam enjoyed his first race on Indonesia's Sentul International Circuit but admitted it's not an easy track to drive: "I had a decent start, like Chip, and we were side-by-side into turn one. I was on the pace but made a mistake and lost some ground."
Off the line, the front runners got away well, with the exception of Lee who dropped back in the melee. Albon was up to 5th from 7th and straight away began putting the pressure on Li, until Lee caught him and he was forced to defend. That allowed Li to pull away a gap from the battling pair. As Sugden closed the gap to Sawa up ahead and their battle commenced, Lee managed to pass first Albon and then Li, but was unable to close the gap to Jones by the flag, crossing the line in 4th ahead of Li and Team Hayashi's Dilantha Malagamuwa.