PICC Team StarChase driver Alexandre Imperatori converted his pole position into an emphatic win in the opening round of the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season today. By the chequered flag, the 24-year-old Swiss driver had managed to build an impressive gap of 7.754 seconds from runner-up Martin Ragginger of Team Eagle- Jiejun & Junbaojie. Third across the line after 12 laps was Allan Simonsen in the Team Carrera Cup Asia car.
In Class B, Anthony Liu of China took the season’s first win for BBT, while Egidio Perfetti continuing his impressive debut with a podium in his first outing with the series, despite a spin four turns from the flag. Wayne Shen finished third for Modena Motorsports.
However, it will be all change for Round 2 tomorrow, with the top eight finishers reversed on the grid. The new rule will see Budweiser Team StarChase driver Tung Ho-Pin on pole, with Liu along-side. Imperatori and Ragginger will make up the fourth row.
Imperatori’s opening victory gave his team a crucial confidence boost ahead of what he be-lieves will be a tough season, but warned he expects his trouble-free run to the flag to be the exception rather than the rule: “I didn’t get a great start, but it was enough to stay in front. I focused on being quick right from the start and building up a gap. This is a great boost for the team, particularly as it’s a whole new ball game this season. However, this is by no means a sign of what is to come, and we just don’t know what to expect tomorrow with the reverse grid.”
Rival Ragginger, was full of praise for Imperatori as he continues to look for the right balance in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car on a track which is new to him. Simonsen was pleased with his getaway, which saw him gain two places off the start: “I knew I had to get past at the begin-ning. The race was really tough, but fair and square, and I’m happy to be on the podium.”
As a non-series registered driver, Simonsen is ineligible to score points, meaning Ragginger lies three points behind Imperatori going in to Round 2, with Sawa in third.
Said Perfetti of his Porsche Carrera Cup Asia debut: “It took me a while to get past Ringo Chong, and a while to get into a groove, but I felt the last four or five laps were pretty good. On the last lap, I didn’t really know it was the final lap and I had been getting closer to Tung, and thought I might try a move on him. I got a bit too excited, but luckily I had built enough of a cushion to recover. ”
As the lights went out for the start of the 10th Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season, running as part of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UBS CHINESE GRAND PRIX this weekend, Imperatori got away well to lead the largest and most competitive field in the series’ history. However, Simonsen was away like lightning from the third row, diving outside Sawa, then into the inside of Avila to go third.
The opening lap was drama-filled with Sawa diving past Avila to go fourth, and John Shen running in to Team C&D lady driver Rose Tan. Meanwhile, a fierce, race-long battle was ensuing between reigning Class B champion, Wang Jian Wei of Team Betterlife, impressive newcomer Huang Chu Han who, before Friday had never driven the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, and Zhang Da Sheng of Team Basetex. The Chinese trio had the crowds on their feet as they fought for posi-tion lap after lap. Huang spun out on lap 10, but it was nevertheless and impressive debut.
Back at the front of the pack, Sawa claimed a place briefly from Simonsen and, as the Dane charged back to reclaim third, Avila seized the momentum to get by the Japanese driver. With Simonsen determined to hold on to the final podium place, the three were nose-to-tail.
Behind the leaders, Liu got by Budweiser Team StarChase driver Tung Ho-pin to go seventh overall behind Team Yongda Dongfang driver Benjamin Rouget of France.
Lap six saw Avila make a move on Simonsen, the Dane once again reclaiming his position, and a lap later a move by Sawa saw the Macau driver demoted to fifth.
The Class B action when all the way to the flag with Wayne Shen challenging Francis Tjia for the final podium place in the closing stages. His place was assured when Tjia spun, rejoining further down the order and crossing the line fourth in the category for OpenRoad Racing.
Tomorrow will see the new reverse grid in practice for the first time in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia history, and a chance for Tung to gain some valuable points.
Results – Round 1
|1||99||Alexandre IMPERATORI (SUI)||PICC Team StarChase (CHN)||26:05.950|
|2||86||Martin RAGGINGER (AUT)||Team Eagle – Jiejun & Junbaojie (CHN)||+7.754|
|3||3||*Allan SIMONSEN (DNK)||Team Carrera Cup Asia (CHN)||+10.703|
|4||1||Keita SAWA (JPN)||LKM Racing Team (HKG)||+13.526|
|5||20||Rodolfo AVILA (MAC)||Team Jebsen (HKG)||+14.422|
|6||8||Benjamin ROUGET (FRA)||Team Yongda Dongfang (CHN)||+22.745|
|7||37||*Anthony LIU Xu (CHN)||B||BBT (CHN)||+23.800|
|8||98||Ho Pin TUNG (CHN)||Budweiser Team StarChase (HKG)||+25.518|
|9||88||Egidio PERFETTI (NOR)||B||Seminole Racing Team (USA)||+32.108|
|10||11||Ringo CHONG (SIN)||Team Kangshun (CHN)||+35.656|
|11||16||Wayne SHEN (HKG)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)||+44.482|
|12||9||WANG Jian Wei (CHN)||Team BetterLife (CHN)||+48.544|
|13||21||Francis TJIA (HKG)||B||OpenRoad Racing (HKG)||+53.242|
|14||78||ZHANG Da Sheng (CHN)||Team Basetex (CHN)||+53.440|
|15||5||Yuey TAN (SIN)||B||Dorr McElrea Racing (SIN)||+62.738|
|16||23||Paul TRESIDDER (AUS)||B||Hewlett Motorsport (AUS)||+69.594|
|17||25||Christian CHIA (CAN)||B||OpenRoad By ART Motorsports (HKG)||+70.649|
|18||6||ZHENG Ting (CHN)||B||BBT (CHN)||+72.160|
|19||31||*Patrice BONZOM (CHN)||B||PS Racing (FIN)||+78.825|
|20||68||MAK Hing Tak (HKG)||B||OMAK (HKG)||+86.008|
|21||96||LI Chao (CHN)||B||Asia Racing Team (CHN)||+96.103|
|22||18||Marcel TJIA (HKG)||B||OpenRoad By ART Motorsports (HKG)||+97.213|
|23||27||Adrian Henry D’SILVA (MAS)||B||Nexus Racing (MAS)||+98.688|
|24||83||Dr. MA Chi Min (HKG)||B||Dr. MA Chi Min (HKG)||+111.298|
|81||HUANG Chu Han (CHN)||B||Huang Chu Han (CHN)||DNF|
|66||Rose TAN (CHN)||Team C&D (CHN)||DNF|
|28||John SHEN (HKG)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)||DNF|
|55||REN Wei (CHN)||B||PS Racing (FIN)||DNF|
*Non series registered
Fastest Lap: Alexandre Imperatori/PICC Team StarChase/2:09.698/Lap 3/151.302kph
Points After Round 1
1st Position – Comp No. 99: Alexandre IMPERATORI of PICC Team StarChase with 21 points
2nd Position – Comp No. 86: Martin RAGGINER of Team Eagle – Jiejun & Junbaojie with 18 points
3rd Position – Comp No. 1: Keita SAWA of LKM Racing Team with 16 points
4th Position – Comp No. 20: Rodolfo AVILA of Team Jebsen with 14 points
5th Positon – Comp No. 8: Benjamin ROUGET of Team Yongda Dongfang with 12 points
1st Position – Comp No. 37: Anthony LIU Xu of BBT with 21 points
2nd Position – Comp No. 88: Egidio PERFETTI of Seminole Racing Team with 18 points
3rd Position – Comp No. 16: Wayne SHEN of Modena Motorsports with 16 points
4th Position – Comp No. 21: Francis TJIA of OpenRoad Racing with 14 points
5th Positon – Comp No. 5: Yuey TAN of Dorr McElrea Racing with 12 points
The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2012
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 emerged from a worldwide agreement signed between Porsche AG and the Michelin group.
The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is organised and promoted by Malaysian-based Motorsport Asia Ltd.
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
Stronger, wider, faster, the new version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – the best selling race car in the world – was introduced in 2010. Based on the light-weight road-going version of the 911 GT3 RS, the body corresponds largely to the standard model, with Porsche modifying the aerodynamics for racing. The front spoiler lip has been lowered 15 millimetres, providing significantly more downforce. Rear downforce has also increased with the rear wing growing from 1.46 to 1.70 metres.
The engine is largely identical to the production unit in the 911 GT3 RS: with a capacity of 3.8 litres, the six-cylinder motor delivers 30 hp more than its predecessor. The power output is 450 bhp, with a maximum engine speed of 8,500 rpm.
The racing exhaust features a fully controlled catalytic converter. Via a ZF Friedrichshafen AG race clutch, a sequential six-speed dog-type gearbox and a limited slip differential, the engine power is transmitted to the rear axle.
With the rear body 44-millimetres broader than standard, there is sufficient space for wider wheels. The front axle comes with three-piece light-alloy rims measuring 9.5 J x 18 (previously 9 J x 18). The one-piece light-alloy rims on the rear axle grew an inch to 12 J x 18.
Anti-roll bars front and rear, now adjustable to seven different positions, allow an even more precise set-up. The camber, track, ride height, and rear wing can be adjusted within the regulations.
About the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia
Now in its 10th season, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia blasted off the starting grid in 2003 and has never looked back. Joining the family of hugely successful Porsche “one make” series, it is now firmly established as the Number One racing series in Asia.
The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia offers extremely exciting racing across the region and is truly international, with competitors from all over Asia as well as Europe and the Pacific. The field is made up of a combination of professional race drivers and ambitious and talented gentlemen drivers.
words & pix: Porsche