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It‘s a dead heat for the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship table going into mid-season. After a perfect score in Round 5 and 6,  FAW T2M’s Will Bamber is now head-to-head with early-season dominator Martin Ragginger of Team Porsche Holding, with the two preparing to faceoff in a critical tie-breaker during  Round 7 and 8 at Sepang International Circuit from July 21 to 23.

Will Bamber.

Ragginger had a commanding point lead early on in the season, winning a first and second place podium in both Shanghai and Fuji. But, as is the nature of motorsport, things can change in an instant. Two thundering first-place performances from Will Bamber and a tough qualifying session for Ragginger at Bangsaen tilted the tables, leaving both tied at 116 points at the end of the last round.

While the table leaders will undoubtedly clash at the top, Team Formax’s Chris van der Drift is not one to overlook for the championship. Displaying an insatiable thirst for victory over the past two stops, van der Drift stubbornly challenged Bamber for the podium from second place during both Bangsaen races and earned a well-deserved first place win during Round 4 in Fuji. The 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion is just two points behind the leaders with 114 points. 

Martin Ragginger.

Beyond the championship‘s top 3 is a mid-table free-for-fall, with slim point differences across a heavily talented pack of young drivers. Porsche China Junior Team’s Andrew Tang has kept busy between stops, joining fellow Porsche China Junior Team driver Zhang Dasheng to compete in the Porsche GT3 Cup Trophy China during the China GT race weekend at Zhuhai International Circuit at the beginning of July.

Tang currently holds on to 4th place with 77 points, narrowly leading a pack of the Carrera Cup Asia Talent Pool drivers with Absolute Racing’s Tanart Sathienthirakul in 5th with 76 points, Team StarChase’s Philip Hamprecht in 6th with 73 points, Zhang Dasheng in 7th with 71 points and Force Asia’s Akash Neil Nandy in 8th with 46 points. 

The Carrera Cup Asia Talent Pool – comprised of the series‘ 6 drivers under 26 that are given special coaching and training from Porsche China – will bring fresh insights to the next round after undergoing the season’s second training camp in the days following Round 6. Earl Bamber, a two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia winner, will also be onsite in Sepang to provide star coaching for the Talent Pool.

Bamber & Van de Drift battling.

Rounding out the Pro class, Team C&D’s Yuan Bo continues his push to make up lost ground from 9th place after exiting Round 5 early due to technical troubles, while Team Jebsen’s Cui Yue will look build on a strong performance seen during the qualifiers in Bangsaen to further a pad out his lead on ZhengTong Auto’s Bao Jinlong.

Piling on to what is set to be among the most suspenseful race weekends so far this season is a friendly invitational between Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and Australia that will see the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) take to the circuit for two rounds – Professional and Pro-Am. The first time for the Australian sister series to host a race event offshore, it is the second invitational between the two after the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia debuted at the Sydney Motorsport Park last year.

As a fun preface to the invitational, drivers from both series will take part in a karting challenge to kick off the race weekend on Thursday.

“We knew from the onset of this season it was going to be a highly-competitive year for the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia – we certainly haven’t been disapointed so far. The opportunity to host a second invitational alongside our friends from Australia at such a heated point in our season makes the occassion all the much better. Motorsport doesn’t get more exciting than this,“ Head of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Alexandre Gibot said. 

Evan Chen and Yuey Tan in close contention.

Excitement is also building in Pro-Am as a tit-for-tat rivalry between Kamlung Racing’s Evan Chen and Team Jebsen’s Yuey Tan continues. Tan managed to advance on Chen for a first place victory during Round 5 in Bangsaen, but finished third in Round 6, leaving Chen slightly ahead in the tables with 116 points to Tan’s 114. 

Currently in third with 77 points, Team Betterlife’s Li Chao joins fresh from the China GT  weekend, where he teamed up with van der Drift in the GT3 class to finish top among 4 Porsche 911 GT3 R (Type 991) entries in the second race at Zhuhai International Circuit. Chao holds onto third by 6 points after facing pressure from True Visions Motorsports Thailand’s Suttiluck Buncharoen, who maximized his home turf advantage in Bangsaen to fortify his fourth place position with 71 points.

Meanwhile, sibling rivalry may color the competition between Modena Motorsport drivers John and Wayne Shen as the two brothers are seperated by a single point – with Wayne at 64 and John at 63. Closely trailing the two brothers, OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia has charged up the ranks to 7th with 62 points after finishing Round 5 and 6 in third place and first place respectively. 

Pro-Am drivers Yuey Tan, Francis Tjia and Evan Chen (L-R).

Starkly contrasting the tight turns and narrow straights of the Bangsaen Street Circuit,  the 5.543-km Sepang International Circuit offers wide straights that give plenty of room for passing. The Hermann-Tilke designed track has been a regular on the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia calendar for several seasons, giving series‘ veterans like Paul Tresidder, LKM Racing’s Siu Yuk Lung, Arrows Racing’s Fung Yui Sum and Racing Spirit Thailand’s Sontaya Kunplome an advantage as they face their Australian Pro-Am counterparts in the invitational. 

Arrows Racing’s Kenneth Lau and guest driver Christian Chia with RC Racing complete the Pro-Am line-up as both drivers return to the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia for Round 7 and 8 after a short break away from the series. 

Fans have a chance to catch the action as it happens through livestream broadcasts on carreracupasia.com, LeTV sport and PPTV sport, with Round 7 on Saturday at 16:00 (local UTC+8) and Round 8 on Sunday at 09:55 (local UTC+8). The invitational races will also be livestreamed at 14:25 (local UTC+8) for Pro-Am and 15:20 (local UTC+8) for Overall, while the Karting Challenge on Thursday can be followed on the Porshce Carrera Cup Asia’s social media platforms. 

Provisional Entry List

Comp No. Entrant Name

Driver 

Cls Nat Comp No. Entrant Name

Driver

Cls Nat
2 Arrows Racing

Kenneth LAU

Pro-Am MAS

HKG

22 LKM Racing

SIU Yuk Lung

Pro-Am MAS

HKG

3 OpenRoad Racing

Michael  S.

Pro-Am HKG

INA

23 Paul TRESIDDER

Paul TRESIDDER

Pro-Am AUS

AUS

5 Team Jebsen

Yuey TAN Yu Hian

Pro-Am HKG

SIN

28 Modena Motorsports

John SHEN

Pro-Am HKG

HKG

7 Team Formax

Chris Van Der DRIFT

  HKG

NZL

29 Force Asia Racing

Akash Neil NANDY

  MAS

MAS

8 Racing Spirit Thailand

Sontaya KUNPLOME

Pro-Am THA

THA

55 Zheng Tong Auto #

BAO Jinlong

  CHN

CHN

9 Team Betterlife #

LI Chao

Pro-Am CHN

CHN

68 Kamlung Racing #

Evan CHEN Yi Fan

Pro-Am CHN

TPE

10 Porsche China Junior Team

Andrew TANG

  CHN SIN 69 RC Racing

Christian Chia

  SIN

HKG

12 FAW T2 Motorsport

Will BAMBER

  CHN

NZL

77 Team Jebsen #

CUI Yue

  HKG

CHN

15 Absolute Racing

Tanart SATHIENTHIRAKUL

  HKG

THA

78 True Visions Motorsports Thailand

Suttiluck BUNCHAROEN

Pro-Am THA

THA

16 Modena Motorsports

Wayne SHEN

Pro-Am HKG

HKG

86 Team Porsche Holding #

Martin RAGGINGER

  CHN

AUT

17 Arrows Racing

FUNG Yui Sum

Pro-Am MAS

HKG

88 Team C&D Auto #

YUAN Bo

  HKG

CHN

19 Porsche China Junior Team

ZHANG Dasheng

  CHN CHN 99 Team StarChase #

Philip HAMPRECHT

  HKG

AUT

21 OpenRoad Racing

Francis TJIA

Pro-Am HKG

HKG

       
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia

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