Published on May 14th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2015 – Preview Rounds 3&4 Korea
After a thrilling season-opening double-header at the Chinese F1 Grand Prix in Shanghai last month, the 28-strong Porsche Carrera Cup Asia field makes its debut this week at the Korea International Circuit, host to that country’s own F1 showcase from 2010 to 2013.
Leading the charge into Rounds 3 and 4 will be Clearwater Racing’s Craig Baird, who has a single point advantage over Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila as the region’s premier GT championship prepares to take on the 5.62km Hermann Tilke-designed track.
Five different drivers were on the podium after the first two races of the 2015 season – the series’ 13th – including Budweiser Team Absolute Racing’s Tung Ho-Pin who made a brilliant start to his title campaign in Shanghai. The Chinese star’s victory in Round 2 puts him third on the overall leaderboard, a single point behind Avila. However, the man currently tied with Tung in third, Team Porsche Holding’s Martin Ragginger, will be absent from Korea as he will be contesting the famous Nürburgring 24 Hours. Taking Ragginger’s place on the team will be Chinese driver Zhang Zhen Dong, who turns 23 on May 16, and who finished an impressive ninth overall on his series debut in 2014.
Fifth overall after a confident start to his second season is Team Yonda’s Ro Charlz Skyangel ahead of series newcomer and former A1GP team mate of new Porsche LMP1 driver Earl Bamber, Chris van der Drift. Van der Drift scored an impressive second place on his debut in the opening round, but disappointingly was not able to take the start of Round 2.
China’s Bao Jin Long was another driver to make a remarkable start to his second season, with the Zheng Tong Auto driver taking his best finish to-date in Round 2. There were fireworks in Shanghai between reigning Class B champion, 24-year-old Alif Hamdan of Malaysia, and series. Newcomer Nico Menzel of PICC Team StarChase who, at just 17, is the series’ youngest-ever driver. The pair came together more than once over the weekend and each will be looking to give the other a wide berth in Korea.
After an equally-dramatic opening to the season in Class B, Modena Motorsports’ Wayne Shen of Hong Kong tops the leaderboard thanks to a podium finish and victory in Shanghai, but Avila’s team mate, Yuey Tan, is in hot pursuit just three points behind despite more than his fair share of ill luck in Shanghai. Team BC Racing’s Johnson Huang took a podium in Round 2 to put him third in the standings ahead of Samson Chan.
Making their first appearances of the 2015 season in Korea will be Class B drivers Kenneth Lau of Prince Racing Hong Kong, Team Kangshun’s Ringo Chong of Singapore, and 2013 Class B champion Egidio Perfetti with Spark Motorsports. Making his series debut in the second OpenRoad Racing car, alongside Francis Tjia, is Gary Cheung of Hong Kong. Cheung is an experienced touring car driver who has competed in the Hong Kong Touring Car Championship and Touring Car Series in Asia, and this season contests the Clio Cup.
As well as going all-out to earn valuable championship points, all the drivers will have an added incentive to succeed on the Korea International Circuit. The overall and Class B championship leaders after Round 6, to be held next month in Fuji, will receive an invitation to compete on Belgium’s renowned Spa Francorchamps circuit. The entries to the Porsche Carrera Cup 24 Hours of Spa 2015, which will run in support of the 24 Hours of Spa, are fully supported by Porsche China and its partners, and will provide two of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers with the exciting opportunity to fly the flag for regional motorsport competition, as well as their championship, on one of Europe’s most respected race tracks.
The latest innovation from the series which stands proudly at the pinnacle of regional GT competition adds yet more intensity to an already-compelling season. The international field represents an unrivalled level of competition, and it is already clear that any one of the drivers is capable of piloting their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) racing cars to a podium finish.
As the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia heads towards Yeongam, 400km south of the Korean capital Seoul, and the latest challenge in its 13-year history, all eyes will be on its extraordinary field of sportscar heroes.
Provisional Entry List – Rounds 3 & 4
|2||Prince Racing Hong Kong|
|51||Team BC Racing|
Yuey TAN Yu Hian
|55||Zheng Tong Auto|
BAO Jin Long
Ro Charlz SKYANGEL
|58||Budweiser Team Absolute Racing|
ZHU Jun Han
Christopher van der DRIFT
|72||Alif Hamdan Motorsport|
FUNG Yui Sum
|78||True Visions Motorsports Thailand|
|18||100 PLUS Racing Team|
|80||Racing Spirit Thailand|
|86||Team Porsche Holding|
*ZHANG Zhen Dong
SIU Yuk Lung
|99||PICC Team StarChase|