Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2014 – Round 1 Qualifying, Sepang, Bamber On Pole & Hamdan Tops Class B


Published on March 30th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2014 – Round 1 Qualifying, Sepang, Bamber On Pole & Hamdan Tops Class B

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia

Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Earl Bamber got his title defense off to a strong start this weekend taking a commanding pole position for Round 1 held as part of the 2014 FORMULA 1 PETRONAS MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX weekend. As the astonishing new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) made its debut in Asia, it was local hero Alif Hamdan of Nexus Racing who took the honours in the closely-contested Class B category, ending the 30-minute session an impressive sixth overall.

Bamber, competing with LKM Racing, set a scorching lap of 2:08.311 to take the top spot for the start of Sunday’s 10-lap race, almost half a second quicker than closest challenger Martin Ragginger of Team Porsche Holding. The Austrian, who celebrates his 26th birthday today, was frustrated by the challenging track surface conditions, the F1 rubber making handling dramatically different to that during the pre-season test.

Lining up on the second row will be 2012 champion, Alexandre Imperatori of PICC Team StarChase with Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila alongside.

Second fastest in Class B was 2012 category title winner Wayne Shen of Modena Motorsports, followed by OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia.  Quickest of the China Junior Development Programme trainees was Zhang Da Sheng of Zheng Tong Auto, making a strong start to his third Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season by setting the seventh fastest lap of the session.

Said Bamber: “It’s a great start to the season, and the car felt like it was on rails! It’s great for me to be on pole with LKM Racing for the second time. I was quite surprised by the gap we managed, but there wasn’t much left [to get from the car] and I could see the rain was coming. The start is everything though, and nobody has done a start in the new car.”

Ragginger was clearly frustrated not to have been able get closer to Bamber’s time, particularly after torrential rain had disrupted Friday’s free practice session: “After the test, we thought we had found the right line to take with the set up, but we tried it for the first time today and it wasn’t as I had expected. The track was slower for sure, but I’m still not that confident with the [new] car. It’ll be an interesting race: Earl has very good speed and Alex will fight hard. It’ll be a good race.”

Hamdan was thrilled to have taken the first Class B pole position in 2014: “I’ve been working very hard with the team and the new car, and even since the end of last year, to keep up with the professionals. I want to give them a bit of a run for their money this year, and I think all the hard work has really paid off.”

Like many of the drivers, Zhang Da Sheng agreed that grip levels on the 5.54km Sepang International Circuit were markedly different to the pre-season test, but glad to have expert tuition from Porsche driver coach Sascha Maassen.  “It was OK on my first set of tyres, but on the second set I hit traffic. Let’s see what happens tomorrow, but my target is to be closer to the front. After each session, I always talk with my coach.  It always helps me a lot, so that’s where I go straight away!”

The Malaysian crowds have a treat in store as Round 1 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia finally gets underway tomorrow, and 28 of the impressive new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) racing cars roar off the grid on their Asian racing debut.

Round 1 – Qualifying

11Earl BAMBER (NZL) LKM Racing Team (HKG)2:08.311
286Martin RAGGINGER (AUT) Team Porsche Holding (CHN)+0.488
399Alexandre IMPERATORI (HKG) PICC Team StarChase (CHN)+0.570
420Rodolfo AVILA (MAC) Team Jebsen (HKG)+0.953
558TUNG Ho-Pin (CHN) Budweiser Team Absolute Racing (CHN)+1.165
672Alif HAMDAN (MAS)BNexus Racing (MAS)+1.680
755ZHANG Da Sheng (CHN) Zheng Tong Auto (CHN)+1.958
818ZHANG Zhen Dong (CHN) Team Basetex (CHN)+2.021
966Jason ZHANG Zhi Qiang (CHN) Team C&D (CHN)+2.065

Goodyear f1 650x85(DSF)

108Ro.C. Skyangel (SIN) Team Yongda Dongfang (CHN)+2.259
1188Egidio PERFETTI (SIN) Mentos Racing Team (SIN)+2.378
1216Wayne SHEN (HKG)BModena Motorsports (HKG)+3.537
1311Ringo CHONG (SIN) Team Kangshun (CHN)+3.544
147BAO Jin Long (CHN) Team Synsanly (CHN)+3.624
1521Francis TJIA (HKG)BOpenRoad Racing Team (HKG)+3.734
165Yuey TAN (SIN)BDorr Havelock Racing (SIN)+3.757
179Li Chao (CHN) Team Betterlife (CHN)+4.154
1898Henri RICHARD (USA)BSilicon Tech Racing LLC (USA)+4.157
1933Samson CHAN (HKG)BSamson CHAN (HKG)+4.658
2012MOK Weng Sun (SIN)BClearwater Racing (SIN)+4.659
216*Daniel BILSKI (HKG)BDaniel Bilski (HKG)+4.736
2222SIU Yuk Lung (HKG)BLKM Racing Team (HKG)+4.983
233Michael S. (INA)BOpenRoad Racing Team+5.614
242Kenneth LAU (HKG)BPrince Racing Hong Kong (HKG)+6.571
2577Jacky YEUNG (HKG)BTiger Racing Team (HKG)+6.647
2628John SHEN (HKG)BModena Motorsports (HKG)+7.101
2768MAK Hing Tak (HKG)BKamlung Racing (HKG)+7.145
2851Johnson HUANG (TPE)BBC Racing Team (TPE)+8.931

*Non series registered

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