Singapore. The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia recently made a stop on the stunning street circuit in Singapore as the support race of the Formula 1 Singapore Airline Singapore Grand Prix. Team Porsche Holding’s Martin Ragginger barreled across the finish line to perfect a flawless lights to flag victory as Round 9 wrapped up another exhilarating race weekend.
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia firmly established as Asia’s premier sports car racing series, 2016 sees a formidable international field of brilliant professionals competing wheel-to-wheel with dedicated privateers. A proven testing ground for fledgling talent and a showcase for the world’s leading GT competitors, today the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is the number one choice for the region’s finest drivers. Bringing its signature brand of exhilarating motorsports competition to millions across the region and beyond, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia has earned an impressive fan and media following since its launch in 2003.
Ragginger’s victory was no easy achievement for the Austrian driver, who started in P1, as P2 starter PICC Team Starchase’s Nico Menzel immediately began piling on the pressure on turn 1. Not far behind the two pack leaders was KLM Racing’s Maxime Jousse, who was equally com-bative, locking Menzel in a delicate balancing act of offensive and defensive driving. The race soon turned to a game of wait-and-see as Menzel and Jousse waited for Ragginger to make even a slight slip-up that would open a gap in the front. The window never came, however, as the three meticulous drivers each completed an immaculate, mistake-free race with Ragginger in first, Menzel in second and Jousse in third.
“I managed to do a good start, but Nico was there in the first lap so I had to defend quite a lot. Definitely there was no space for one mistake, I really had to drive on the limit carefully and to not lock-up or make a mistake. In the end it was a race that was really tough for all of us, but nobody made a real mistake,“ Martin Ragginger said in a post-race press conference.
Finding a comfortable pocket in between the front runners and the mid-pack, Absolute Racing’s Mitchell Gilbert executed a fine show of driving, navigating the notorious narrow turns and enclosed spaces that make Singapore a pleasurable challenge for drivers to finish fourth. Leading the mid-pack melee, Fun88 Team Sunfonda’s Zhang Da Sheng and Andrew Tang of the Porsche China Junior Team were locked in a struggle early on the race, with Tang hot on Zhang Da Sheng’s trail from the start.
Zhang Da Sheng managed a valiant defense, deflecting clever attempts by Tang to overtake, but in the end he succumbed to the young driver and was passed mid-race, with Andrew Tang finishing 5th and Zhang Da Sheng earning 6th. In Class-B, est Cola Thailand’s Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak continued his winning streak. Starting off in P1, the Thai driver was in the center of the action, fighting off Team Jebsen’s Yuey Tan and Francis Tjia of Open Road racing while aggressively pushing to improve his position. Meanwhile, Absolute Racing’s Yuan Bo, who was on pole after obtaining the fastest qualifying time but started much further back after receiving a penalty from Round 8 in Australia, glued his foot to the pedal as he shot up the ranks of drivers, overtaking Tan, Tjia and Zheng Tong Auto’s Bao Jinlong. Just as Bo came into view of his Thai rival, Inthraphuvasak managed to pass Team Jebsen’s Cui Yue, giving him some breathing room from Bo’s furious charge forward. In an exciting last lap overtake, Bo managed to pass Inthraphuvasak, but then suffered locked brakes that saw him smash the wall going into the tunnel in Turn 16, crunching his front right bumper and displacing his wheel while giving Inthraphuvasak a final chance to fly into first. Bo still managed to limp across the finish line in second place, followed by Yuey Tan in third and Francis Tjia in fourth. However, a 3-second penalty later applied to Yuan Bo boosted Tan to second place, with Bo officially in third.
“The gap between me and Bo was so close until the last few laps, when he had a chance to over-take me in the last corner. I still tried my best and went as fast I could. He had a brake problem in turn 16, that’s why he went into the wall. But luckily we both managed to come back and cross the finish line,” Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak said during the post-race press conference.
With just two race stops left and one of the tightest late-season point spreads ever witnessed in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, the next stop in Malaysia starting on September 30th will be a truly defining moment for the 2016 season. As preparations are on the way for the grand finale in Shanghai, drivers are ramping up the fight as they pursue Porsche Carrera Cup Asia glory.
Supporting the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia are two of the most recognized names in international motorsport, Mobil 1 and Michelin. Mobil and Porsche have been partners since 1996. Close cooperation in research and development has led to every new Porsche engine being filled with Mobil 1 high-performance lubricant. Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers also have the advantage of racing on cutting-edge tires supplied by series partner Michelin. The consistent performance and leading technology of Michelin tyres constantly improve the performance of many teams in international motorsport. The partnership between Michelin and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia has emerged from a worldwide agreement signed between Porsche AG and the Michelin group. The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is organized and promoted by Malaysian-based Motorsport Asia Ltd.
About Porsche Carrera Cup Asia
Preparing for its 14th season in 2016, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia blasted off the starting grid in 2003 and has never looked back. Joining the family of hugely successful Porsche “one make” series, it is now firmly established as the Number One racing series in Asia.
The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia offers sporting competition at the highest level across the region and is truly international, with competitors from all over Asia as well as Europe and the Pacific. The field is made up of a combination of professional racing drivers and ambitious and talented gentlemen drivers.