Sugden Continues Championship Charge as Connor Bags Class B Victory GruppeM racer Tim Sugden continued his assault on the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Class A title with his third win in a row to take victory over SCC Racing's Christian Jones in...
Sugden Continues Championship Charge as Connor Bags Class B Victory
GruppeM racer Tim Sugden continued his assault on the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Class A title with his third win in a row to take victory over SCC Racing's Christian Jones in Round 3 of the series. Thailand's Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak made a welcome return to the podium in 3rd. Victory in Class B went to William "Chip" Connor after a spectacular drive, with Singapore's Mok Weng Sun in 2nd, followed across the line by Australian Peter Boylan.
Team Vertu's Nigel Albon, starting from 6th, just missed out on a podium place, but there is no doubt the Briton is right back on fighting form. Cref Motorsports' Keita Sawa managed to keep going after an early race incident with Albon which damaged his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
Hong Kong's Alain Li, who had secured his best ever qualifying position, starting from 3rd on the grid, spun in the early stages of the 20-lap race. However, the determined racer then staged an impressive comeback, working his way back up the field to finish 7th.
Sugden was delighted to have continued his perfect run of wins: "It's what I came here to do. It wasn't easy though -- winning a race is never easy. I was careful to control the race. Christian kept coming back at me. He made a mistake near the end which made it easier for me, but he certainly kept the pressure on."
Jones knew exactly where his bid for victory went wrong: "I blew the start! The lights went off so fast. I should have had that start, but you live and learn."
In Class B, Connor was thrilled with the win: "I was happy with my start. I made my way around a couple of cars which had spun. Dilantha and Geoff put the pressure on and both got by. The car was feeling a bit loose, so I backed off a bit." After the race, however, he questioned the wisdom of letting Morgan get by him: "Geoff is a very quick driver in Class A, so I had nothing to gain by blocking him, but after I let him through he held me up, so I'm revising my decision!"
For Mok Weng Sun it was a superb result, but he was modest about his achievement: "I had a decent start and had the benefit of some other driver's misfortune. The first nine laps were nerve-wracking and my mirrors were full of Peter (Boylan). I saw Chip ahead of me and just put my head down, closing the gap on the penultimate lap. Chip is very good and obviously put up a good defensive drive."
Class B points leader going in to Round 3, Peter Boylan, got caught out by his strategy: "I was a little unfortunate as I also got caught out by the lights. I got away slowly, so I knew I'd have to work very hard. I think I burnt by tyres up a bit too soon being too aggressive. Mok was too good for me and Chip was already away!"
Starting from pole, Sugden got away well after Jones made a bad start. However, things were a little more heated further back with Albon making the move on Sawa to go 4th. A furious Sawa fought back, regaining his place before losing it again to the Briton. A spin for Li put him right back down the field, from where he immediately began his spectacular comeback, lights blazing.
Behind them, Connor was on a charge ahead of several of the Class A drivers in 6th, until Sri Lanka's Dilantha Malagamuwa got by. Australian Geoff Morgan did a superb job holding off Li for several laps, but the Hong Kong racer eventually got through and took the chase to Malagamuwa, while Connor let Class A racer Morgan by, against his better judgment. Mok then began closing in on Connor, but he held on to take a well deserved win.
At the front, Jones had a moment when he and Sugden came across the back markers, making an error and putting a wheel on the grass. However, he recovered to cross the line second.