AP: Series Sentul qualifying report

Menzel on pole in Indonesia Team StarChase driver Christian Menzel earned his second pole position of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season at the Sentul International Circuit, as the German out-qualified the next closest driver by ...

Menzel on pole in Indonesia

Team StarChase driver Christian Menzel earned his second pole position of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season at the Sentul International Circuit, as the German out-qualified the next closest driver by nearly eight-tenths of a second.

Joining Menzel on the first row for Round 7 is Asia Racing Team's Rodolfo Avila. GruppeM Racing's Tim Sugden and Team Jebsen's Darryl O'Young will make up the second row, having qualified third and fourth, respectively. Guest driver Ananda Mikola with Humpuss Racing Team qualified fifth, an impressive effort for the Indonesian racing for the first time in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.

In the non-professional Class B, Jacob&Co Racing driver Philip Ma earned his third pole position of the season as the Class B championship leader continues to work his way towards a Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Class B title. Singapore's Melvin Choo with Corum ThunderAsia Racing qualified second in Class B, while fellow Singaporean Yuey Tan with PCS Racing was third fastest.

Menzel set the tone of the session early and then bettered his own time on his sixth lap, with a time of 1:31.045. Heading into Round 7, Menzel is now 12 points behind the leading Sugden and said he was happy to receive the extra point.

"My strategy after my disaster in Zhuhai where I did not finish a race is that I have nothing to lose, I want to win every race, win every qualifying session," Menzel said. "I will say I am a little surprised, because eight-tenths of a second is very much, especially on this track which was very dirty. But the pole position gives me a good feeling for the race."

The drivers behind him, however, were not so pleased with their efforts.

Said Avila, who in June became the first Macanese driver to win a Porsche Carrera Cup Asia race: "I am not very happy. The track is very dirty today and very different from yesterday. I didn't focus on my job very well and I made mistakes. I should have been more cautious knowing that conditions were slippery."

Sugden started his qualifying session with old tyres and after a good lap time was convinced he could find eight-tenths of a second with new tyres on. However, he was only able to do four-tenths better and is now third.

"For whatever reason, the new tyres didn't give me the grip that it should have," Sugden said.

Having previously competed in Asian Formula 3, A1GP and SpeedCar Series, 29-year old Mikola is racing for the first time in a touring car this weekend. Of the experience so far, Mikola said: "I really wanted to be in the top three! I thought we did very well yesterday and I thought we would do really well in qualifying. But at this point, finishing the race is the most important thing for me."

This weekend's two races are part of the Asian Festival of Speed. With the series as competitive as it has ever been and with some of the drivers aiming for more in Round 7, the race is bound to be one to watch. Said Menzel: "I'm ready for a fight!"

-credit: porsche

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Ananda Mikola , Tim Sugden , Rodolfo Avila , Christian Menzel , Melvin Choo , Philip Ma Chingh Yeung