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Porsche Carrera Cup Asia brings glitz, glamour and high-speed thrills to South Korea After seven thrilling rounds, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia visits Korea for the first time on August 23rd and 24th. The 2.5km Taebaek International Circuit...

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia brings glitz, glamour and high-speed thrills to South Korea

After seven thrilling rounds, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia visits Korea for the first time on August 23rd and 24th. The 2.5km Taebaek International Circuit will play host to some of the best drivers in Asia, competing to reign supreme in this prestigious series making its debut this year.

The series, which is providing some of the most exciting four-wheel racing action ever seen in the region, is also bringing glitz and glamour to the race track, attracting a host of famous names for a seat in the Porsche Asia Pacific VIP car.

Korea is no exception and nationally-acclaimed movie star Ryu Siwon will be behind the wheel of the state-of-the-art Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine this weekend. Ryu made his racing debut in 1998 in the Korea motor championship, finishing third. Further outings followed in 1999, and this year he competed in the Click Speed one make race finishing 6th.

With the Rounds 8 and 9 crucial for the championship race, the stage is set for a hard-charging clash between the top three points holders - Charoensukhawatana Nattavude of Thailand, Hong Kong's Charles Kwan and Briton Nigel Albon. However, the championship is far from decided and all series drivers have shown how competitive they can be, with the overall standard of driving, as well as the speeds, have been increasing as the series progresses.

Commented Porsche Carrera Cup Asia General Manager, Ian Geekie, "Having seen the intense competition increasing with each round, I wouldn't begin to hazard a guess at the outcome of the next two races. Taebaek is a new circuit that none of the drivers have any experience of, so the form book could well be turned upside down."

In Rounds 6 & 7, Nattavude, who had the backing of the vociferous Thai crowd, suffered a string of bad luck that prevented him from taking the top step of the podium. In Round 6, after leading in the early stages of the race, he had a coming together with Kwan and lost his lead to the Team Infineon-Novellus driver. Despite putting Kwan under a lot of pressure, he couldn't regain the lead and had to be satisfied with 2nd place.

In the following round, Nattavude once again took a commanding lead from the start with Kwan loosing a few places due to missing a gear. But Kwan upped the tempo and started closing in on the Thai. Then disaster struck a second time for Nattavude this weekend when the driver in front of him blew an engine, and he spun on the oil put down on the track. That gave Kwan his chance and once in the lead, he charged unchallenged to the chequered flag with Nattavude once again finishing 2nd. Despite this disappointment, the Thai still leads the championship with 126 points with Kwan closing in on 112, and Naza Racing Team's Nigel Albon a further 2 points behind Kwan.

The Porsche Carrera Cup "one make" concept, identical machines with only minimal modifications permitted, ensures that the combination of skill, talent and experience of the drivers is the deciding factor in competition.

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia forms part of the Asian Festival of Speed and this year travels to Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and China, with a spectacular season-closer to be held as part of the prestigious 50th Macau Grand Prix in November.

-pap-

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Series Porsche
Drivers Charles Kwan , Charoensukhawatana Nattavude