AP: Series Singapore race two report

O'Young Conquers World's Newest Street Circuit Team Jebsen's Darryl O'Young conquered Singapore's Marina Bay Circuit today, and extended his Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship lead, with a superb victory in the dramatic Porsche SC Global...

O'Young Conquers World's Newest Street Circuit

Team Jebsen's Darryl O'Young conquered Singapore's Marina Bay Circuit today, and extended his Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship lead, with a superb victory in the dramatic Porsche SC Global Carrera Cup Asia -- Singapore 2008. Second was Team StarChase driver Christian Menzel, with Christian Jones taking the final podium spot for new backers Clarksons.

Singaporean drivers shone in their home event, with Melvin Choo taking the Class B victory for his Corum ThunderAsia team, followed across the line by arch on-track rival Tunku Hammam, and Team Porsche Club Singapore Racing driver Tan Ian Mao in third. Tan was thrilled to be on the podium, and thanked series regular Mok Weng Sun for whom he was standing in for this race.

The drama began from the moment the lights went out at the beginning of the 12-lap race when pole-sitter Tim Sugden was judged to have jumped the start. The GruppeM racer was not aware he had been handed a penalty until after the chequered flag.

Despite being first across the line, the Briton was finally classified as fifth, behind Speed Sri Lanka's Dilantha Malagamuwa, who put in a superb performance.

Sugden led the field off the grid in front of the throngs of enthusiastic Singapore fans, followed by O'Young, Team BetterLife's Marchy Lee, Menzel, SC Global Racing's Matthew Marsh and Jones. Lee was immediately on the tail of Menzel, and made his move as the pair emerged from beneath the Marina Bay grandstand to snatch third position on track.

Jones was the next to make his move on the German, relegating him to fifth and leaving him to defend from Marsh. As Indonesia's Danny Chu came upon the battling pair, Marsh moved back to defend his line and the pair came together, ending the race for both drivers. It was a disappointment for Marsh, who was flying the flag for SC Global Racing at their "home" event.

The incident brought out the Safety Car, which closed up the field, and O'Young was on the attack from the second it pulled off, closing up to Sugden. The leading four were nose-to-tail, before Sugden managed to pull out a gap at the front.

Menzel closed the gap to Jones meanwhile, and the Australian made an error, running wide and handing fourth place to the German. With two laps to go, Sugden had pulled out a gap of 2.850 seconds from O'Young at the front, with Lee looking all set for the final podium place. It was not to be, however, when a puncture ended Lee's race just minutes from the chequered flag.

O'Young, recording his ninth podium of the season so far, now has a 15 point lead in the Class A championship as Team Jebsen continue their campaign to capture a second Porsche Carrera Cup Asia title. As there was an element of confusion as to Sugden's penalty, he was sympathetic to his championship rival and his fellow Hong Kong driver, Lee: "Tim drove a fantastic race, and I feel really bad for him but at the same time, it's great for Team Jebsen. The race was really good even though I struggled with the car a little, but I just kept driving hard. I drove as though Tim was still in the race. It's a shame for Marchy as well."

For Menzel, it was an eventful 12 laps: "The first lap was interesting, with many contacts. Marchy touched me and I lost some positions." Speaking of the error by Jones which put him up to fourth before Lee's retirement, he said: "I made no mistakes. I know this corner as I made the same mistake in qualifying yesterday there."

Said Jones, second in the Class A championship chase, the podium finished went some way towards making up for his disappointing qualifying session on Saturday, his birthday: "It does some way to making up for that! To finish on the podium in the first Grand Prix here is very satisfying."

For Lee, the puncture, which it is suspected was caused by debris on the track, has effectively put pay to his championship aspirations. However, Sugden and Menzel remain in contention, along with the two Class A leaders.

In Class B, Choo's victory gives him a 12 point lead from Hammam, with Australian Paul Tresidder third. It was a happy day for Choo: "I'm very proud. I've had goose pimples all weekend. The whole world is looking at us, and I hope I can race at this event for as long as I am able." However, he did admit that the best part of the weekend was when rival Hammam spun in front of him: "A race is still a race!" he said.

After a good start, Hammam stayed in front of Ringo Chong, until his bumper came loose and flew off. "I had no downforce after that, but I just went for it," he said, however he spun allowing the chasing pack to catch him, but held on to take a well-deserved second place.

After a triumphant weekend as part of the 2008 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX on the world's newest street circuit, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia next travels to Shanghai to support another round of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The October 18-19 event will see the field of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars do battle on the state-of-the-art purpose-built Shanghai International Circuit.

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.

-credit: pcc ap

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Dilantha Malagamuwa , Tim Sugden , Darryl O'Young , Christian Jones , Christian Menzel , Marchy Lee , Melvin Choo , Ringo Chong