Team Jebsen team mates Rodolfo Avila and Yuey Tan took the overall and Class B pole positions for the opening round of the 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season, held as part of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix weekend in Shanghai. Second fastest overall on track during the 30-minute Qualifying session was Clearwater Racing’s Craig Baird, the New Zealand driver under half a second off Avila’s pole-setting time, with Team Porsche Holding’s Martin Ragginger and newcomer Chris van der Drift of Kamlung Racing securing the second row of the grid for Round 1.

Behind them, Chinese driver Tung Ho-Pin of Budweiser Team Absolute Racing and Ro Charlz Skyangel of Team Yonda Dongfang, who got his second Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season off to a strong start, will line-up on the third row for the 12-lap race on the 5.451km track. Second fastest in Class B was Max Twigg, competing in place of series regular Henri Richard this weekend, with Modena Motorsport’s Wayne Shen, category champion in 2012, third quickest.

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia ShanghaiWith the first and second fastest laps in the single Qualifying session determining the grids for Rounds 1 and 2 respectively, and despite several drivers having times removed for yellow flag infringements, Avila will also line up on pole for Round 2, his third fastest time still lightning-quick enough to better his rivals. This time though he will have Ragginger alongside. Behind the pair, Tung and Baird will form the second row.

Said Avila: “What a great start! I’m very happy for Team Jebsen; I’m pole overall and Yuey’s on pole for Class B. It was a very good qualifying. Yesterday we showed we had quite good pace although we didn’t really manage to put a lap together in practice, but in Qualifying we knew we had the speed by miles. We managed to put two good laps in straight away on the first set of tyres, and on the second set we went out to try and improve the lap time. I think the track got a little bit warmer, and also I probably over-drove a bit, so couldn’t go down to the [two minute, seven seconds] any more.”

Baird, fifth fastest in Friday’s free practice, was pleased with his return to the series: “I set my time reasonably early, but the track sort of went away and I was panicking a bit to run a second set of tyres. I should probably have stayed out a bit longer on that first run, but P2 first up, that’s not too bad. The car was good, but the driver’s a little bit rusty and made a few mistakes! It’s one of those tracks where it’s very hard to get the whole lap right.”

Ragginger was already looking forward to what promises to be an epic opening race of the 14-round season: “Everything was working well with both sets of tyres. On the first set, we had a yellow [flag] so I had to slow down, and after that I couldn’t finish my lap very well. It was not optimum but I’m looking forward to the race – it’s going to be an exciting one.”

For Tan, runner-up in Class B for the last two seasons, it was a perfect start to his title campaign: “What a way to start the season! We’ve got a good feeling in the car in these conditions, so we’re hoping for more of the same for the race.”

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia ShanghaiMenzel was the first to clock a quick lap as the session got underway, topping the time sheets ahead of Tung, Skyangel and Ragginger, before a trip to the gravel by Thailand’s Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak brought out the yellow flags. When the cars pitted for new tyres mid-way through, it was Avila, Baird, Ragginger, Tung and Menzel who locked out the top five. In the closing minutes, newcomer van der Drift shot up the order, gaining confidence with every lap, while the competition in Class B intensified further with both Wayne Shen and Max Twigg bettering their times.

After an intense Qualifying, and with the grids set for the season-opening double header on China’s premier circuit, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is ready to raise the roof in Shanghai.

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2015 Rounds 1&2 – Qualifying

Round 1 Qualifying

Pos No Driver/Nationality Class Entrant/Nationality Time
1 20 Rodolfo AVILA (MAC) Team Jebsen (HKG) 2:07.715
2 12 Craig BAIRD (NZL) Clearwater Racing (SIN) 2:08.172
3 86 Martin RAGGINGER (AUT) Team Porsche Holding (CHN) 2:08.219
4 68 Chris VAN DER DRIFT (NZL) Kamlung Racing (HKG) 2:08.403
5 58 TUNG Ho-Pin (CHN) Budweiser Team Absolute Racing (HKG) 2:08.456
6 8 Ro Charlz SKYANGEL (SIN) Team Yonda Dongfang (CHN) 2:08.757
7 72 Alif HAMDAN (MAS) Alif Hamdan Motorsports (MAS) 2:08.804
8 99 Nico MENZEL (GER) PICC Team StarChase (CHN) 2:08.926
9 55 BAO Jin Long (CHN) Zheng Tong Auto (CHN) 2:09.280
10 5 Yuey TAN (SIN) B Team Jebsen (HKG) 2:09.953
11 98 *Max TWIGG (AUS) B Max Twigg (AUS) 2:10.553
12 16 Wayne SHEN (HKG) B Modena Motorsports (HKG) 2:10.768
13 21 Francis TJIA (HKG) B OpenRoad Racing (HKG) 2:10.812
14 11 *Andersen P MARTONO (INA) B Team Kangshun (CHN) 2:10.937
15 51 Johnson HUANG (TPE) B Team BC Racing Team (TPE) 2:11.671
16 2 *Samson CHAN (HKG) B Samson Chan (HKG) 2:11.904
17 9 LI Chao (CHN) B Team Betterlife (CHN) 2:12.025
18 69 Christian CHIA (CAN) B OpenRoad Racing (HKG) 2:12.336
19 3 Michael S. (INA) B OpenRoad Racing (HKG) 2:12.500
20 65 ZHU Jun Han (CHN) B Absolute Racing (HKG) 2:12.815
21 28 John SHEN (HKG) B Modena Motorsports (HKG) 2:13.132
22 78 Suttiluck BUNCHAROEN (THA) B True Visions Motorsports Thailand (THA) 2:13.958
23 23 Paul TRESIDDER (AUS) B Paul Tresidder (AUS) 2:14.010
24 88 Hugues RIPERT (HKG) B Spark Motorsport (HKG) 2:14.227
25 17 FUNG Yui Sum (HKG) B Arrows Racing (HKG) 2:16.243
26 22 *SIU Tit Lung (HKG) B LKM Racing (HKG) 2:16.385
27 80 Sontaya KUNPLOME (THA) B Racing Spirit Thailand (THA) 2:19.054
18 Vutthikorn INTHRAPHUVASAK (THA) B Chang Racing Team (THA) DNF



Ben Potter

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