Double victory gives Bamber Porsche points lead

Craft Nexus Racing ace Earl Bamber took his second Porsche Carrera Cup Asia victory today to put him top of the championship leaderboard ahead of Team Eagle’s Martin Ragginger of Austria who finished third in Round 5 behind Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila of Macau, who took his second podium finish of the weekend.

In Class B, points leader Egidio Perfetti took the win to strengthen his championship advantage, with Asia Racing Team’s Li Chao of China in second.  OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia took the final podium place after Dorr McElrea Racing’s Yuey Tan dramatically spun out on the final lap.

Bamber now leads the race for the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia overall championship with a four point advantage over Ragginger, with Avila a further ten points adrift.  In Class B, Perfetti has a comfortable lead of 36 points ahead of Tan, with Li Chao just a single point behind the Singaporean.

Said Bamber following his second victory: “We’ve been good at starts this season, and we got a great jump off the line.  I was hoping to get ahead of Martin, and then put in three or four hard laps, which we managed to do.  The car was fantastic, and Craft Nexus gave me a very strong car.  I’m just looking forward to the next race!”

Avila had it all to do in the race, keeping Bamber within striking distance but at the same time holding off an unrelenting Ragginger:  “My main concern was Martin.  He’s ahead of me in the championship, so that was the priority.  Our pace was very good.  At one point, near the beginning, I thought Martin could catch me, but then I saw the three of us stabilized our lap times.  At the end of the day, it’s good for me, the team and our championship campaign – a good weekend all round.”

Ragginger admitted he never had a realistic chance of getting by Avila.  Asked if there had been a window of opportunity, he was adamant:  “Never!” he said.  “It’s so tight.  We had a good pace but it’s difficult to pass here.”

Class B points leader Perfetti was pleased to have his Mentos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car back in optimum form after technical problems earlier in the weekend:  “It was a good result, and the car is now back to how it was in Shanghai.  Both myself and Francis got a good start, but I think my tyres were a bit better and I tried to stay with them.  I made a mistake on the back, so then I just tried to control the race a bit.”

Francis Tjia had predicted a tougher race than in Round 4, and his was certainly not short of drama:  “I passed Egidio into Turn 1, but I knew he was quick and after a couple of laps it was too difficult to keep him behind me.  I made a mistake – braked a bit late – and went onto the grass and gravel and a few cars passed me.  It was only on the last lap when Yuey and Li Chao were battling and Yuey went out that I got the podium position back, so I’m very happy.”

Li Chao was delighted to take his first Class B podium:  “As a Chinese driver I’m very happy to be on the podium at a home track of Zhuhai.  In yesterday’s race I was a bit unlucky, but today I was more consistent and finally I’m here (on the podium)!”

Bamber stole the march on pole-sitter Ragginger as the lights went out, and didn’t put a wheel wrong for the entire 12-lap race.  Avila and LKM Racing Team’s Keita Sawa also got by Ragginger at the start, while reigning champion, PICC Team StarChase driver Alexandre Imperatori, also dropped back down the order from his third row grid position.

While Sawa had been running in third, first Ragginger got by and then a flying Zhang Da Sheng of Team Basetex passed him too, demoting the Japanese driver to fifth in the order ahead of Budweiser Kamlung Racing’s Tung Ho-Pin of China.

At the end of Lap 2, Bamber had pulled out a margin of just over a second, with Ragginger closing in fast on Avila.  Behind Zhang Da Sheng in fourth, Sawa, Tung and Team Yongda Dongfang’s Benjamin Rouget were tightly packed.

On Lap 8, Tung was desperately looking to find a way past Sawa and made his move with the Japanese ace defending his position.  The move cost Tung dearly, dropping him down the order to eighth behind Imperatori.

Bamber crossed the line 0.799 of a second ahead of Avila in second, with Ragginger taking a well-earned podium finish after a challenging weekend.  Zhang Da Sheng, although missing out on a podium this weekend, continued to demonstrate his continued improvement in pace this season with a strong performance to take fourth ahead of former Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Sawa, Rouget and Imperatori.  Said Zhang: “I’m very happy, even if I’m not on the podium.  Nearly, nearly there but I need to work harder.  The competition is tougher this season.  In the first lap, I was beside Sawa, but he braked too late and I got by him, but the other three were too fast for me.”

It was an unlucky weekend for Team Betterlife’s Wang Jian Wei.  After a heavy off in Round 4, chassis damage meant he was unable to take the start in Round 5.

After a spectacular Zhuhai weekend, and with the competition for the championship titles heating up with every passing race, the stage is set for a thunderous return to the demanding Ordos circuit in Inner Mongolia from July 5 to 7.

 

2013 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia

Round 5 Results

PosNoDriver/NationalityClassEntrant/NationalityTime
17Earl BAMBER (NZL)Craft Nexus Racing (MAS)19:43.331
220Rodolfo AVILA (MAC)Team Jebsen (HKG)+0.799
386Martin RAGGINGER (AUT)Team Eagle (CHN)+1.512
478ZHANG Da Sheng (CHN)Basetex Racing (CHN)+7.586
538Keita SAWA (JPN)LKM Racing Team (HKG)+13.929
68Benjamin ROUGET (FRA)Team Yongda Dongfang (CHN)+15.623
799Alexandre IMPERATORI (HKG)PICC Team StarChase (HKG)+16.306
858TUNG Ho-Pin (CHN)Budweiser Kamlung Racing (MAS)+17.478
988Egidio PERFETTI (SIN)BMentos Racing (SIN)+24.665
1096LI Chao (CHN)BAsia Racing Team (CHN)+32.568
1116Wayne SHEN (HKG)Modena Motorsports (HKG)+33.276
1221Francis TJIA (HKG)BOpenRoad Racing (HKG)+34.083
133*Daniel BILSKI (HKG)BTeam Carrera Cup Asia (CHN)+38.390
1411Ringo CHONG (SIN)Team Kangshun (CHN)+38.962
1566Jason ZHANG Zhi Qiang (CHN)Team C&D (CHN)+46.873
1628John SHEN (HKG)BModena Motorsports (HKG)+1:02.904
1727Adrian Henry D’SILVA (MAS)BNexus Racing (MAS)+1:03.279
1822SIU Yuk Lung (HKG)BLKM Racing Team (HKG)+1:04.066
1918Marcel TJIA (HKG)BOpenRoad Racing (HKG)+1:21.179
5Yuey TAN (SIN)BDorr McElrea Racing (SIN)DNF
68Peter LI Zhi Cong (CHN)Kamlung Racing (MAS)DNF
83Dr. MA Chi Min (HKG)BDr. Ma Chi Min (HKG)DNF
33Samson CHAN (HKG)BSamson Chan (HKG)DNF
72Alif HAMDAN (MAS)BNexus Racing (MAS)DNF
9WANG Jian Wei (CHN)Team Betterlife (CHN)DNS

*Non-series registered

Fastest Lap: Earl Bamber/Craft Nexus Racing/1:37.687/156.981

 

Points after Round 5

Overall

PosComp NoDriverEntrantPoints
17Earl BAMBERCraft Nexus Racing92
286Martin RAGGINGERTeam Eagle88
320Rodolfo AVILATeam Jebsen78
438Keita SAWALKM Racing Team70
58Benjamin ROUGETTeam Yongda Dongfang50

Double victory gives Bamber Porsche points lead

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