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.
With 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.”
Menzel 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
|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|