Kwan takes pole for opening round. One of Asia's most successful racing drivers, Charles Kwan of Hong Kong set the fastest time in qualifying today for round one of the new Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, after a tremendous battle for pole. The Team...
Kwan takes pole for opening round.
One of Asia's most successful racing drivers, Charles Kwan of Hong Kong set the fastest time in qualifying today for round one of the new Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, after a tremendous battle for pole.
The Team Infineon-Novellus driver will lead the charge of the 20 Porsche GT3 Cup machines off the grid for tomorrow's 10-lap opening round, a support race for the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit.
Although Kwan clinched pole position, it was Naza Racing Team's Nigel Albon who topped the times for most of the session, with the four quickest drivers making frequent changes to find that extra 10th of a second.
Using tactics learned from his long and successful racing career, Kwan bided his time until the closing stages of the session, waited for a clear track then went out and set the fastest time, just 0.337 of a second quicker than Albon, with a brand new set of Michelin tyres.
"I'm extremely happy with my efforts today after a closely fought battle with Albon" said Kwan. "I'm expecting a very close race tomorrow".
The battle for 3rd and 4th places on the grid changed several times before Toby Venter edged out Nattavude with a time of 2:19.612. Malaysian Driver Tunku Hammam overcame yesterday's setback to qualify 8th. Fellow countryman and Jaseri Racing team driver Tommy Lee, who finished 6th in yesterday's practice session, moved up a place for tomorrow's race.
Round one of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is expected to be close fought, with several drivers improving their times today. Commented Ian Geekie, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia General Manager, "We've had an indication today of how close the battle is between the fastest drivers, but the mid-field times are getting closer too and dropping all the time. It's going to be a tremendous race."
Hong Kong performing artist and Porsche Asia Pacific VIP driver for the opening round, Aaron Kwok, qualified 18th but won praise from Geekie. "I'm very happy with Aaron. With more practice and time in the car, he is continuing to improve. He's doing a good job."
The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia action continues tomorrow (Sunday), over 10 laps of the 5.6km Sepang International Circuit, for what promises to be an exciting debut season.
The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia brings a new level of professionalism to Asian Motorsport. The Series will visit Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and China throughout the year with a total of 12 point-scoring rounds. All races will follow the sprint format of the current Porsche makes cups, and the series is expected to be broadcast to 400 million potential television viewers worldwide.
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 and teams is the deciding factor in competition. A comprehensive service concept supports the series.