Porsche SC Global Carrera Cup Asia – Singapore 2011 – Qualifying: Returning Champion Grabs Pole for StarChase

Published on September 25th, 2011

Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion Christian Menzel is making every minute of his return to the series count, having topped Friday’s practice times and following up with an emphatic pole position for the first of the two races which make up the Porsche SC Global Carrera Cup Asia – Singapore 2011.

Menzel’s opening flying lap was good enough to give him pole, but as his rivals’ lap times began to fall during the interrupted 30-minute session, the German returned to the track and put in his best time on the Marina Bay Circuit on his final flying lap.  Second quickest was another substitute driver and winner of both races in Singapore last year, Craig Baird, competing once again with title sponsor team SC Global Racing. Third fastest was LKM Racing’s Darryl O’Young, just ahead of team mate Keita Sawa who is racing in Singapore for the first time in his career.

Both Sawa and Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila of Macau are looking to take maximum advantage of the absence of championship leader and 2011 StarChase regular Alexandre Imperatori, while both Menzel and Baird have their sights firmly set on race wins.

Said Menzel:  “It is the perfect comeback to be on pole and a good feeling, especially on this circuit.  And now I’m ready to go for the race!  To bring the car home on pole is great for the team, sponsors, guests, and it’s a good feeling for me to know I’m not too slow.”

For Baird, who is carrying the hopes of the local SC Global Racing outfit: “I didn’t get the cleanest of laps in and I’m a little bit off Menzel, but front row is alright.”

Quickest amongst the superb field of non-professionals was Team Kangshun’s Ringo Chong, who was also quickest Singaporean driver out on track.  “I’m very happy with the run.  I pushed very hard and improved over last year by about 1 ½ seconds.  It’s my home ground, and I want to win!  I just wish there were more Singaporeans taking part.  It’s your only chance to race on home soil.”

The session was red flagged after an incident involving Brian Wong, currently fourth overall in the championship.  Wong went over the first chicane:  “I heard a pop, and then I lost my steering and went through the second chicane with nothing and went into the wall.”

The race is on for Wong’s Absolute Racing mechanics to fix the damage in time for the start of Round 9.

words & pix: Porsche Carrera Cup Asia

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