Kamlung Racing’s Maxime Jousse clinched a wheel perfect lights-to-flag victory in an incident-filled season opener for the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. The Frenchman was imperious in his Carrera Cup Asia debut and dictated pace throughout. In Class B, Yuan Bo of Absolute Racing took home a superb double-podium, winning the Class B category and placing third overall.
After heavy rain during the qualifying session earlier in the afternoon, drivers were expecting a dry race. But minutes before the lights went out, another downpour forced a last minute change of tyres for the drivers and resulted in the race being started with the safety car.
With an amazing display of controlled aggression, Yuan Bo managed to move up from his starting position of fifth and hold off numerous challenges in his nerve-shredding fight for championship points. He crossed the finish line eleven seconds behind Nico Menzel of PICC Team StarChase, who drove expertly to stay clear of the pack and keep the pressure on Jousse throughout the race to finish second overall.
When the dust settled, Vuttikorn Inthraphuvasak of est cola Thailand stood second on the Class B podium, finishing in fifth place overall just behind Andrew Tang of the Porsche China Junior Team. Modena Motorsport’s Wayne Shen, who managed to cleverly seize opportunities created by the intense battles raging up front, finished third among the non-professional drivers.
Jousse, who was eager to embrace the wet conditions, has so far earned the maximum points possible at this stage of the season after his pole position in the morning’s qualifying session, his victory in Round 1 and the fastest lap of the race.
Elated after a victory in his first race in Asia, Jousse laid out what was going through his mind in the early part of the race, “Starting under the safety car obviously made it a bit easier for me to keep the lead from pole. The plan was just to have a little bit of a gap on the others and then to manage it.”
The moment the safety car went in, the rivalries ensued with an immediate tussle getting underway between Andrew Tang and Zhang Da Sheng from Fun88 Team Sunfonda, who had both started the race from the second row. Slight contact between the two resulted in a spin from Zhang, which allowed Tang to get by and move up into third.
The youngster’s podium position was not to last, though, as Yuan Bo found a gap and got by him on the inside forcing Tang into a mistake which lost the Porsche China Junior two more places. Just behind Yuan now, Absolute Racing’s Mitchell Gilbert and Cui Yue of Team Jebsen were engaged in a thrilling tit-for-tat struggle for fourth. Gilbert managed to expertly close the door on Cui time and again, however a spin from Gilbert under the relentless pressure of Cui dropped him down the field.
Cui was quick to seize the window of opportunity, patiently bringing the fight to Yuan and making a clean pass in the 10th lap to move up to third place overall. Just when it looked as if he had put enough clean air between himself and Yuan to secure a debut podium at the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, he dramatically spun on turn 14 of the penultimate lap allowing Yuan to reclaim third position in an unforgettable race.
After the race Yuan Bo was modest in pointing towards what he saw as Lady Luck’s role in the day’s success: “This race, my first in the Carrera Cup Asia, was really competitive. I feel extremely lucky to have finished the race on the podium and I just want to thank my team, Absolute Racing.”
The action returns tomorrow for Round 2 where Maxime Jousse of Kamlung Racing once more starts in pole position, with Fun88 Team Sunfonda’s Zhang Da Sheng completing the first row. On the second row will be Nico Menzel of PICC Team StarChase and Porsche China Junior Team’s Andrew Tang, with Class B’s highest starter, Yuan Bo of Absolute Racing, starting in fifth. The season has started in memorable fashion and it is anyone’s guess to how the drama will continue to unfold tomorrow in the region’s leading one-make series.
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2016 Round 1 – Results
|1||68||Maxime JOUSSE (FRA)||Kamlung Racing (CHN)||31:44.698|
|2||99||Nico MENZEL (GER)||PICC Team StarChase (HKG)||+2.493|
|3||6||Yuan Bo (CHN)||B||Absolute Racing (HKG)||+13.357|
|4||10||Andrew TANG (SIN)||Porsche China Junior Team (CHN)||+14.734|
|5||18||Vutthikorn INTHRAPHUVASAK (THA)||B||est Cola Thailand (THA)||+17.998|
|6||86||ZHANG Zhen Dong (CHN)||Team Porsche Holding (CHN)||+19.146|
|7||55||BAO Jinlong (CHN)||Zhen Tong Auto (CHN)||+22.085|
|8||19||ZHANG Da Sheng (CHN)||Fun88 Team Sunfonda (CHN)||+27.050|
|9||88||Mitchell GILBERT (AUS)||Absolute Racing (HKG)||+27.463|
|10||16||Wayne SHEN (HKG)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)||+28.278|
|11||77||CUI Yue (CHN)||Team Jebsen (HKG)||+28.582|
|12||78||Suttiluck BUNCHAROEN (THA)||B||True Visions Motorsports Thailand (THA)||+29.966|
|13||28||John SHEN (HKG)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)||+31.166|
|14||21||Francis TJIA (HKG)||B||OpenRoad Racing (HKG)||+36.415|
|15||23||Paul TRESIDDER (AUS)||B||Paul Tresidder (AUS)||+37.959|
|16||3||Michael S. (INA)||B||OpenRoad Racing (HKG)||+38.848|
|17||5||Yuey TAN (SIN)||B||Team Jebsen (HKG)||+42.992|
|18||2||Samson CHAN (HKG)||B||Arrows Racing (MAS)||+45.700|
|19||8||Sontaya KUNPLOME (THA)||B||Racing Spirit Thailand (THA)||+48.968|
|20||11||Jeffrey CHIANG (TPE)||B||RC Racing (SIN)||+50.388|
|21||7||WANG Xi (CHN)||B||Team Formax (MAS)||+74.805|
|22||22||SIU Yuk Lung (HKG)||B||LKM Racing (MAS)||+80.737|
|23||17||FUNG Yui Sum (HKG)||B||Arrows Racing (MAS)||+81.712|
|9||LI Chao (CHN)||B||Team Betterlife (CHN)||DNF|