Asia: Series Beijing preview

Stellar Field to Set Pulses Racing at Fascination Porsche Weekend The electrifying, 23-strong Porsche Carrera Cup Asia field will set pulses racing in Beijing next week as the drivers take to the 2.4km Goldenport International Circuit ...

Stellar Field to Set Pulses Racing at Fascination Porsche Weekend

The electrifying, 23-strong Porsche Carrera Cup Asia field will set pulses racing in Beijing next week as the drivers take to the 2.4km Goldenport International Circuit for Rounds 3&4 of the 11-race season.

The two, 25-lap races will be the jewel in the crown of the Fascination Porsche weekend from May 21-23, which will cover a host of Porsche and motorsport-related activities.

The Fascination Porsche event includes a range of activities for Porsche owners and enthusiasts, including short courses on sports car handling, and the opportunity to experience a 'hot lap' of the track with racing drivers and instructors. The Porsche Kids Driving School will give younger fans the opportunity to take Porsche pedal cars around a tailor-made circuit.

A further highlight of the two-day festival includes a display of vintage Porsche cars, brought especially to Beijing from the Porsche museum in Stuttgart, Germany. The impressive line-up will comprise such notable racing cars as the 550 Spyder which Hans Hermann drove to a class victory in the Carrera Panamericana of 1954, the record-breaking Porsche 904/8, and an icon of Porsche performance, the Porsche 917 Langheck which gave Porsche its first overall victory at Le Mans in 1970. Also featured will be a Porsche 959, the model which took first and second places in the 1986 Paris-Dakar Rally.

Moving firmly into the present with this season's new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is picking up right where it left off after the opening rounds in support of the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix last month - with its signature high-octane, no-holds-barred on-track action.

Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Christian Menzel of Chinese Team StarChase got his title defense off to an impeccable start, wowing the crowds in Shanghai with pole position and two lights-to-flag victories, making him the man to beat this season.

However, the long, sweeping lines of the 5.5km Shanghai F1 track are in stark contrast to the short, tight and twisty Beijing circuit the drivers will face this time, and which will demand a completely new set-up and a drastically different driving style. The race will be on to see which drivers can master the demanding circuit quickly and, with overtaking opportunities severely limited, grab a crucial place at the front of the grid.

While no doubt enjoying his place at the top of the leaderboard going into the next rounds, Menzel will face determined opposition from the Class A field, each driver on the hunt to grab the title this season.

The StarChase ace can expect fierce competition from PCS Racing's Craig Baird. The sportscar and V8 star is currently 11 points adrift of Menzel in the championship race, and has the disadvantage of being new to all but one of the circuits on the 2010 calendar. Although also a newcomer the Beijing circuit, Baird will have done all he can in advance to acquaint himself with it's tricky twists and turns even before taking to the track in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.

Another driver planning to make his mark is 2007 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Vice Champion and winner of the Macau GT Cup at last year's Macau Grand Prix, Keita Sawa. Taking the place at LKM Racing Team of former two-time Champion Darryl O'Young, who is on duty in the FIA World Touring Car Championship the same weekend, the Japanese driver will be a force to be reckoned with.

The championship aspirations of Red Bull Racing's Marchy Lee suffered an early setback in the opening rounds. Having spent most of the first race chasing fellow Hong Kong driver O'Young in third, his resolve to go one better in Round 2 met with disaster. Similarly, Team Jebsen's Rodolfo Avila of Macau, the youngest driver in the field, suffered clutch problems in Round 2 and was unable to finish the race.

Expect both Lee and Avila to be back with a vengeance in Beijing!

This season's Class B entries are proving the power of consistency in this closely-fought series, with category points leader and Baird's Team PCS Racing teammate Mok Weng Sun lying fourth on overall championship leaderboard after two rounds. An early and intense three-way battle has already emerged between Mok, seasoned professional Ringo Chong of Team Kangshun, and series newcomer Francis Tjia of Hong Kong, who is racing with OpenRoad Racing. Currently tied for second in Class B, Chong and Tjia battled hard in the opening rounds, and but will be looking to take the fight to Mok in Beijing.

After two strong debut Porsche Carrera Cup Asia races, Francis' brother and teammate Christian Chia is fourth in Class B, with Wimobilize McElrea Racing's Yuey Tan and Modena Motorsports' Wayne Shen tied in 5th.

Mr. Helmut Broeker, Chief Executive Officer of Porsche (China) Motors Ltd., said: "Coming to Beijing for the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia weekend is always an unforgettable occasion, and this year will be no different. The drivers and Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Cars seem to continually raise their standards of performance with every new season. It's also a great opportunity for Porsche to share something of our proud racing heritage, providing further evidence of our strong commitment to promoting the excitement of motorsports across China as a whole."

Rounds 3 and 4 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will be held on Sunday, May 23rd.


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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Keita Sawa , Darryl O'Young , Rodolfo Avila , Christian Menzel , Marchy Lee , Ringo Chong , Mok Weng Sun , Hans Herrmann , Wayne Shen , Francis Tjia
Teams Red Bull Racing