AP: Shanghai round nine qualifying notes

Impressive Return for Reigning Champion O'Young Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion Darryl O'Young made a spectacular return to the series following the completion of his debut Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season, taking pole position for ...

Impressive Return for Reigning Champion O'Young

Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion Darryl O'Young made a spectacular return to the series following the completion of his debut Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season, taking pole position for tomorrow's race at the 2007 Formula 1 sinopec Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

The Hong Kong racer was the only driver to lap the 5.451km track in under two minutes 11 seconds, and was an incredible half a second faster than his nearest challenger GruppeM Racing's Tim Sugden. Said O'Young: "My times on the first set of tyres were OK, but I was making some mistakes. I came in and sat in the car for a while and just thought it all through. I did one lap on the second set of tyres, and that was my pole time."

Sugden was less than pleased to have missed out on pole position, and joked about the fact that he had been helping O'Young with his Supercup campaign this season, forgetting that he would be an adversary come the China rounds of the Carrera Cup. Like several of the series newcomers, the Shanghai circuit is new to the Briton: "I really like the circuit, it's the best so far this year!" he said.

Hong Kong's Marchy Lee, Racing for Charity, was third quickest and will start from the second row of the grid alongside SCC Racing China's Christian Jones. Lee, who has the benefit of expert assistance of Supercup race engineer Sander van Hintem for the remainder of the season, was upbeat about his chances in the race: "It's my first time in a Porsche on this track. It was good fun, and close. The second row of the grid is nothing to be ashamed of, and I think I have a good chance to win". Series leader going in to Round 9, Cref Motorsports' Keita Sawa was fourth, just over a second off the pole lap.

In Class B, William "Chip" Connor took pole from Mok Weng Sun, with Melvin Choo third. Mok tops the points in close-run category along with Peter Boylan of Australia. Boylan was not on the spectacular form he has shown recently, and had a disappointing session: "I just don't know what it is that's wrong," he said. "I'm mystified. I hate to blame the car as it was absolutely perfect in Chengdu, so it might be a bit of both -- car and driver!"

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: porsche.com/carreracup

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Series Porsche
Drivers Keita Sawa , Tim Sugden , Peter Boylan , Darryl O'Young , Christian Jones , Marchy Lee , Melvin Choo , Mok Weng Sun