Menzel Regains Championship Lead Team StarChase driver Christian Menzel regained the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship lead when he won Round 9 at the Shanghai International Circuit in support of the China Touring Car Championship. Second...
Menzel Regains Championship Lead
Team StarChase driver Christian Menzel regained the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship lead when he won Round 9 at the Shanghai International Circuit in support of the China Touring Car Championship. Second across the line was LKM Racing driver Darryl O'Young of Hong Kong, while Team Jebsen's Rodolfo Avila of Macau celebrated his first podium of the 2010 season.
With points leader going in to Shanghai Team PCS Racing's Craig Baird finishing fifth. Menzel now leads the New Zealander by five points, with just three races remaining, including Sunday's Round 10. Menzel led the series from the start of the season, but following the last two races in Singapore, dropped to second.
"After my mistake from Singapore, I'm back in the lead," Menzel said. "Believe me, I had so many problems - oversteer, understeer, aquaplaning - and it was very hard for me. But then I look in my mirror and Darryl is very far behind me and I guess all the other drivers were having the same problems I had. Now I hope we have rain again because I think this weekend we have an advantage with the conditions."
In the non professional Class B category, Team PCS Racing driver Mok Weng Sun took his ninth consecutive victory, ahead of J2M Racing's Jean Marc Merlin of France, and OpenRoad Racing's Christian Chia, who collected his maiden Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Class B podium.
The rain-soaked race began under Safety Car conditions and, when the racing got underway at the start of Lap 3, Menzel held the lead, pulling away from O'Young and Avila. Red Bull Racing driver Marchy Lee quickly overtook Baird to go fourth, igniting a battle between the pair.
While Baird would retake fourth on the same lap, Lee wasn't done, reclaiming the position on Lap 5, and holding it to the flag despite the best efforts of Baird.
Class B points leader Mok also got away cleanly from sixth on the grid, with Chia and Modena Motorsports' John Shen behind. Midway through the race, Shen made an error, allowing Merlin to move up to seventh. Chia moved up to eighth overall, to earn him his first-ever Class B podium.
"I am very happy," Chia said. "The start was very difficult, there was fog on the screen, the visibility was impaired and there was a lot of aquaplaning. While there is still some more set-up work to do, the team has done a great job and hopefully we can make the podium again in the next race."
Chia wasn't the only driver celebrating a first. Avila also found success in Round 9, earning his first podium of the season after making a strong Porsche Carrera Cup Asia debut last year. "I'm happy because it's my first podium (this year), but it was not an easy race. I didn't have new tyres and that was a bit tricky. I went off the track twice and so after I built up a gap, I thought that I'd better not push and risk losing the podium. I have been a bit stressed this season in trying to win and I hope to get a few more podium places this year."
-source: pcc asia