Published on March 31st, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia – Round 1, Sepang, Bamber and Hamdan Take Victory Each
Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Earl Bamber and talented Malaysian Alif Hamdan took a win apiece in the opening round of the season today, held as part of the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit.
Twenty three-year-old Bamber, racing for LKM Racing, converted his pole position to snatch overall victory from Austrian Martin Ragginger of Team Porsche Holding, crossing the line more than three seconds ahead. PICC Team StarChase ace Alexandre Imperatori joined the trio for the 10-lap sprint, having survived an early tangle with Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila. While Ragginger had the consolation of receiving his second place trophy from ‘Sherlock’ star Benedict Cumberbatch, Imperatori set the fastest lap of the race.
While the three fought for overall victory in the sweltering Malaysian heat, local hero Team Nexus Racing’s Alif Hamdan capitalized on his impressive Class B pole position and sixth overall in qualifying, to take the first class win of the season in style. Second in Class B was OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia, followed by series returnee Mok Weng Sun of Clearwater Racing who grabbed the final podium place from Dorr Havelock Racing’s Yuey Tan on the final lap.
While the 10 laps of the 5.54km circuit were action-packed throughout, two drivers stole the limelight. In a remarkable jump in form, Zheng Tong Auto’s Zhang Da Sheng challenged seasoned driver Tung Ho-Pin for fourth all the way to the chequered flag.
With all the drivers starting their first race in the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991), all 28 cars roared off the grid, dicing for position into Turn 1 as the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season got underway. While Bamber got away well, with Ragginger immediately giving chase, Imperatori came under pressure from a hard-charging Avila. With the Team Jebsen trying to go around the outside, the pair made contact and the Macau driver spun out. Imperatori recovered immediately, hunting down the leading pair.
Hamdan meanwhile hadn’t got the best getaway, losing places to the three Zhangs: Zhang Da Sheng, Team C&D’s Jason Zhang Zhi Qiang and series newcomer Zhang Zhen Dong of Team Basetex. The three Chinese youngsters acquitted themselves superbly, demonstrating the benefit of the expert tuition they have been receiving under the new Chinese driver development programme from Porsche instructor Sascha Maassen.
After a superb start to the 12th Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season, the 28 talented drivers next travel to the Shanghai International Circuit for the Formula 1 support race, the second of two which race on the same programme as the pinnacle of international motorsport. From April 18 to 20, the battle for the two coveted championship titles will resume.
Round 1 – Results
|1||1||Earl BAMBER (NZL)||LKM Racing Team (HKG)||21:57.761|
|2||86||Martin RAGGINGER (AUT)||Team Porsche Holding (CHN)||+3.280|
|3||99||Alexandre IMPERATORI (HKG)||PICC Team StarChase (CHN)||+3.706|
|4||58||TUNG Ho-Pin (CHN)||Budweiser Team Absolute Racing (CHN)||+13.799|
|5||55||ZHANG Da Sheng (CHN)||Zheng Tong Auto (CHN)||+14.547|
|6||66||Jason ZHANG Zhi Qiang (CHN)||Team C&D (CHN)||+15.018|
|7||18||ZHANG Zhen Dong (CHN)||Team Basetex (CHN)||+19.427|
|8||72||Alif HAMDAN (MAS)||B||Nexus Racing (MAS)||+19.955|
|9||8||Ro.C. Skyangel (SIN)||Team Yongda Dongfang (CHN)||+21.556|
|10||88||Egidio PERFETTI (SIN)||Mentos Racing Team (SIN)||+24.323|
|11||11||Ringo CHONG (SIN)||Team Kangshun (CHN)||+36.668|
|12||9||Li Chao (CHN)||Team Betterlife (CHN)||+47.292|
|13||21||Francis TJIA (HKG)||B||OpenRoad Racing Team (HKG)||+49.742|
|14||12||MOK Weng Sun (SIN)||B||Clearwater Racing (SIN)||+60.373|
|15||22||SIU Yuk Lung (HKG)||B||LKM Racing Team (HKG)||+61.284|
|16||28||John SHEN (HKG)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)||+69.326|
|17||68||MAK Hing Tak (HKG)||B||Kamlung Racing (HKG)||+69.334|
|18||5||Yuey TAN (SIN)||B||Dorr Havelock Racing (SIN)||+70.156|
|19||77||Jacky YEUNG (HKG)||B||Tiger Racing Team (HKG)||+74.219|
|20||2||Kenneth LAU (HKG)||B||Prince Racing Hong Kong (HKG)||+81.706|
|21||16||Wayne SHEN (HKG)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)||+91.819|
|22||51||Johnson HUANG (TPE)||B||BC Racing Team (TPE)||+92.661|
|23||3||Michael S. (INA)||B||OpenRoad Racing Team||+93.639|
|24||6||*Daniel BILSKI (HKG)||B||Daniel Bilski (HKG)||+113.746|
|25||98||Henri RICHARD (USA)||B||Silicon Tech Racing LLC (USA)||+84.992|
|–||7||BAO Jin Long (CHN)||Team Synsanly (CHN)||DNF|
|–||33||Samson CHAN (HKG)||B||Samson CHAN (HKG)||1 Lap|
|–||20||Rodolfo AVILA (MAC)||Team Jebsen (HKG)||DNF|
*Non series registered
*Car 98 – 30 second time penalty – Causing a collision (Stewards decision No. 4)
Fastest Lap: Alexandre Imperatori/PICC Team StarChase/2:10.531/Lap2/152.874kph
Overall Points after Round 1 (top 5)
|1||1||Earl Bamber||LKM Racing||21|
|2||86||Martin Ragginger||Team Porsche Holding||18|
|3||99||Alexandre Imperatori||PICC Team StarChase||16|
|4||58||Tung Ho-Pin||Budweiser Team Absolute Racing||14|
|5||55||Zhang Da Sheng||Zheng Tong Auto||12|
|1||72||Alif Hamdan||Nexus Racing||21|
|2||21||Francis Tjia||OpenRoad Racing||18|
|3||12||Mok Weng Sun||Clearwater Racing||16|
|4||22||Siu Yuk Lung||LKM Racing||14|
|5||28||John Shen||Modena Motorsports||12|