Porsche SC Global Carrera Cup Asia – Singapore 2011 – Round 10: Menzel Completes Singapore Sweep

Published on September 26th, 2011

Singapore. Christian Menzel of Team StarChase completed his domination of the Porsche SC Global Carrera Cup Asia – Singapore 2011 today taking his second victory of the weekend on the Marina Bay street circuit.

Mad dash

The 12-lap race was again interrupted by a brief Safety Car period, but the German held his nerve to lead from pole to chequered flag.  Another substitute driver, SC Global Racing’s Craig Baird, collected his second runner-up finish of the weekend, unable to catch Menzel despite his best efforts.  LKM Racing’s Keita Sawa took the final podium spot and leapt to the top of the championship leaderboard.  The Japanese ace now holds a one point advantage over Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila of Macau,  who finished fifth behind Sawa’s team mate Darryl O’Young, as the series looks forward to its two-race grand finale in Shanghai next month.

With O’Young on FIA World Touring Car Championship duty next month, the battle for the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship going in to the final two races is between Sawa, Avila, and StarChase regular Alexandre Imperatori.

Winner of the Class B category was Pauian Archiland Absolute Racing’s Jeffrey Lee, completing his strongest-ever Porsche Carrera Cup Asia weekend with a pair of well-deserved victories.  OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia continued his strong season with second, followed across the line by Class B championship leader, Team BetterLife’s Wang Jian Wei of China.

In the race for the Class B crown, Wang now holds a 30-point advantage over nearest challenger Ringo Chong, but with a maximum of 41 points on offer, there’s still everything to race for in Shanghai with Tjia still in with a shot at the title.

Podium

Menzel: “It was perfect!  The last time I was in this version of the car it was in February, but I felt no trouble at all.  It was very easy – I know the team, I know the people, it really wasn’t a problem for me.  It might have looked easy, but it was hard – I think Craig and I both pushed very hard. There was always a lot of pressure in my mirror and a small mistake and he could have caught me.  I thought to myself, I will give you no chance to get the trophy.”

A successful weekend for Baird and title sponsor SC Global Developments, with two strong podium finishes and a fastest lap in the second race, despite the frustration of not being able to get closer to Menzel:  “Today we pushed as hard as we could.  I think yesterday Christian was a bit faster than me, but today we ran together.  I want to thank SC Global for giving me the chance to come back.  It’s a tough place to race, the humidity is unbearable in the car.  Second place is not so bad, but of course this year is not as good as last year!”

Lee’s strong weekend has filled him with confidence ahead of the season finale in Shanghai:  “It’s my best weekend so far in three years!  The team did a really great job and gave me a car which gave me a lot of confidence.  I have more confidence going in to Shanghai now, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Bridgeshot

Menzel once again made a thunderous getaway off the grid, leading the field into the first turn and almost immediately building up a lead.  Baird, however, wasn’t letting him out of his sights, and kept up with the German refusing to let him extend his advantage.  O’Young meanwhile was mindful of the opportunity to put himself between Avila and his team mate Sawa, and the Team Jebsen driver was left to try and find a way past without jeaopardising his points haul.

As the 26-strong field tussled for position off the start, Team Kangshun’s Ringo Chong of Singapore dropped back from his grid advantage, eventually crossing the line in tenth.

Lap five saw a superb battle between Top Speed Racing Team’s Anthony Liu, Hong Kong’s Alain Li and Singaporean Yuey Tan of Wimobilize McElrea Racing.  The trio put on a superb display of high-speed jostling, skillfully avoiding the unforgiving walls of the Marina Bay street circuit.

Two laps later though the Safety Car was called out after Wayne Shen, who had been pushing Singapore’s Philip Briandet hard, managed to get by then got it wrong turning into grandstand tunnel, hitting the wall.  As the car was cleared, the Safety Car led the field as the drivers waited to see if they would get another racing lap before the flag.

With Baird in with another shot at getting by his nemesis, and Avila looking for a chance to dive by O’Young to retain the championship lead, much was resting on the final few kilometers of competition.

The Safety Car pulled off and Menzel once again roared away while, try as he might, Avila couldn’t find a way past O’Young.  Last lap casualties were Team PCS Racing’s Mok Weng Sun after Liu tried an over-optimistic overtaking move.

With the successful conclusion of the Porsche SC Global Carrera Cup Asia – Singapore 2011 at the 2011 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX, the series now readies for what promises to be a spectacular double header at the season finale at the Shanghai International Circuit from October 21-23.

words & pix: Porsche Carrera Cup Asia & PR Plus

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