North Track Expected to Bring Surprises As the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia's 2007 season continues at Kuala Lumpur's Sepang International Circuit next weekend, Class A points-leader Briton Tim Sugden is hoping to repeat the two victories he...
North Track Expected to Bring Surprises
As the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia's 2007 season continues at Kuala Lumpur's Sepang International Circuit next weekend, Class A points-leader Briton Tim Sugden is hoping to repeat the two victories he scored in the opening rounds in April. However, the use of Sepang's North Track, which will be new to the majority of the competitors, this time around may well shake things up.
Says the GruppeM driver of the shorter 2.706km North Track: "Usually shorter circuits mean closer racing. I haven't raced on it before so I'll have to learn it during the practice sessions. I really enjoyed the first race meeting and I am looking forward to trying to do it (win both races) again. I know a lot of people will be trying to stop me!"
Top of that list will be Cref Motorsport's Keita Sawa, currently joint second in the Class A championship. Despite suffering misfire during qualifying for Round 1, the determined Japanese ace still qualified 4th, finishing 4th in race one and grabbing the final podium place in the second outing.
Equal to Sawa in the points, former Australian and Asian Formula 3 champion Christian Jones made his Carrera Cup Asia debut with SCC Racing last month, and impressed in his first race ever in a Porsche by taking a podium finish. There is plenty more to come from the son of former Formula 1 World Champion, Alan Jones.
Tied fourth in the points two races in to the 12-round season, Thailand's Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak and Team Vertu's Nigel Albon of Britain are both expected to pick up the pace at the weekend and challenge the points leaders.
Class B is guaranteed to be just as dramatic. Having battled the odds -- and won -- when he turned disaster into success following his car's stubborn refusal to start in Round 1,
Australian Peter Boylan will be determined to retain his place at the top of the leaderboard. However, his impressive Class B win and podium finish give him just a four point lead over Team PCS Racing newcomer Mok Weng Sun of Singapore, who made a spectacular series debut, and the hugely-experienced Philip Ma of Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, Thailand's Ricardo Proost will be a force to be reckoned with at the weekend, as will Hong Kong's William "Chip" Connor, who began the season with an emphatic win before mechanical problems resulted in a DNF in Round 2.
Flying the flag for Malaysia for the second time this season, and hoping for better luck this time out, is Tunku Hammam. Hammam made a thrilling return to the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia by taking pole position for the opening round but was plagued by setbacks in both races.
The continued participation in the series of Hong Kong's Marchy Lee is yet to be confirmed at this time. As a non series-registered driver, and with the support of KK Motors and Michelin, Lee made a brilliant debut in the 997-based Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the opening rounds, taking pole position for Round 1 and finishing second in both races.
The shorter North Track, a radically different driver to the full Grand Prix circuit, gives no let-off for the competitors with hard driving essential all the way through the 20-lap races. Temperatures are expected to be similar to those experienced during the opening rounds, which saw a scorching track hit 58 Degrees Celsius, making "cool suits" vital equipment.
One thing is for certain, the spectators at the weekend's Asian Festival of Speed can look forward to two, superbly hard-fought Porsche Carrera Cup Asia races.
Supporting the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 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 led to every new Porsche engine being filled with Mobil1 high-performance lubricant. Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers also have the advantage of racing on cutting-edge tyres supplied by series partner Michelin. The consistent performance and leading technology of Michelin tyres constantly improve the performance of many teams in international motorsport. The partnership between Michelin and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia has emerged from a worldwide agreement signed between Porsche AG and the Michelin group.
The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia runs as part of the Asian Festival of Speed, organised by Malaysian-based Motorsport Asia Limited.