Kamlung Racing’s Maxime Jousse sealed a perfect race weekend on Sunday, taking home an assured first place in the overall class in the second race of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia’s 2016 season at the Shanghai International Circuit. The 24-year-old Frenchman began first on the grid and refused to relinquish his position despite increasing pressure from PICC Team StarChase’s Nico Menzel, who finished less than a second behind Jousse. Completing the podium in the overall championship was Zhang Da Sheng of Fun88 Team Sunfonda, whose clever defense of his position after dropping a place early on to Menzel earned him third.
It was a simply amazing weekend for Class B. Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak of est cola Thailand snatched victory from Yuan Bo of Absolute Racing, getting by him on turn 14 of the final lap. Yuan, then, clawed his way back on the home straight and the drivers were wheel to wheel in a photo finish that left spectators hanging on until the very end. Li Chao of Team Betterlife completed the podium in third.
Blue skies were abound as racers took to the track for the second race of the weekend, offering a stark contrast to the previous day’s rain-saturated race. As soon as the lights went out, Jousse went foot-to-pedal, giving him immediate breathing space to maintain his track position. Meanwhile, Menzel, who began the race in third place, began looking for an opening to get past Zhang Da Sheng, overtaking him in the third lap to renew yesterday’s battle with Jousse at the front of the pack.
Menzel then piled increasing pressure on the leader as the race unfolded, doing his best to blemish the French racer’s immaculate record. But in the end, Jousse was unstoppable, clocking the fastest lap of the race and earning top honors in the season’s first double-header.
On his flawless victory over the weekend Jousse said: “I’m quite happy having had a perfect race weekend. I won both pole positions, both races and had the fastest laps for both races. In the last race, Nico was putting pressure on to me but I knew I had to keep my position, so I had to work hard to stay ahead.”
Further back in the field, Andrew Tang of the Porsche China Junior Team in fifth and Absolute Racing’s Mitchell Gilbert in fourth were locked in a battle that lasted much of the race. Tang continued to probe for a gap only to find Gilbert slamming the door again and again. That game of cat and mouse lasted until the penultimate lap, when Tang finally got past Absolute Racing’s young Australian allowing the Porsche China Junior to finish a hard-fought fourth.
Just behind, Team Porsche Holding’s Zhang Zhen Dong got the better of Cui Yue of Team Jebsen with the drivers coming in sixth and seventh overall respectively.
Boiling among Class B drivers further back was a rivalry between Absolute Racing’s Yuan Bo and Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak of est cola Thailand. After immediately falling from a fifth place starting position to eventually settle in eighth, Yuan Bo found himself in a clean but fierce fight for the winner’s trophy with Inthraphuvasak. As tensions built in the 12th and final lap, Inthraphuvasak seized on a small mistake by Yuan to get ahead. But Yuan Bo would not lay down easily. As the two racers completed the final turn, Bo was hot on the trail, nudging wheels with Inthraphuvasak as they crossed the finish line in a white-fisted finish that left fans and managers gasping. Just five hundredths of a second separated the pair who have already laid down firm markers for the Class B title at this early stage of the season.
In high spirits after the race, Inthraphuvasak joked about the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia’s newly added incentive for the winning Class B driver at each Round – a presentation box of three bottles of luxury champagne, “Yesterday I saw that Yuan Bo got a free case of champagne and I had to get some for myself! But seriously I really enjoyed the race, it was a great finish and great battle with Bo.”
Yuan Bo’s disappointment at the last-gasp defeat was offset with the announcement that he would receive a gift of a free set of Michelin tyres after securing the highest points total in Class B over whole the weekend.
Eager for a chance to stand proudly on the podium, Team BetterLife’s Li Chao, having had a strong first lap moving up from his twelfth place starting to position to tenth, sparred with the likes of John and Wayne Shen of Modena Motorsports.
Reveling in a long-awaited podium placement, Li said: “Last time I stood on the podium was two years ago. Yesterday’s race was not so good and in today’s race everything went quite well. I feel quite satisfied with the result and have really enjoyed the first race weekend of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.”
It was a captivating finish for the opening weekend of the Carrera Cup Asia’s 14th season with a range of clashes taking place that set the stage for what promises to be a breathtaking season. The competition resumes at the Fuji International Speedway alongside the Porsche Carrera Cup Japan in June in what is already a hotly anticipated weekend of action of Asia’s premier race series.
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2016 Round 2 – Results
|1||68||Maxime JOUSSE (FRA)||Kamlung Racing (CHN)||26:04.592|
|2||99||Nico MENZEL (GER)||PICC Team StarChase (HKG)||+0.984|
|3||19||ZHANG Da Sheng (CHN)||Fun88 Team Sunfonda (CHN)||+7.342|
|4||10||Andrew TANG (SIN)||Porsche China Junior Team (CHN)||+11.979|
|5||88||Mitchell GILBERT (AUS)||Absolute Racing (HKG)||+14.840|
|6||86||ZHANG Zhen Dong (CHN)||Team Porsche Holding (CHN)||+17.043|
|7||77||CUI Yue (CHN)||Team Jebsen (HKG)||+19.823|
|8||18||Vutthikorn INTHRAPHUVASAK (THA)||B||est Cola Thailand (THA)||+25.782|
|9||6||Yuan Bo (CHN)||B||Absolute Racing (HKG)||+25.838|
|10||9||LI Chao (CHN)||B||Team Betterlife (CHN)||+47.489|
|11||55||BAO Jinlong (CHN)||Zhen Tong Auto (CHN)||+51.309|
|12||21||Francis TJIA (HKG)||B||OpenRoad Racing (HKG)||+60.591|
|13||28||John SHEN (HKG)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)||+62.719|
|14||16||Wayne SHEN (HKG)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)||+74.930|
|15||23||Paul TRESIDDER (AUS)||B||Paul Tresidder (AUS)||+75.531|
|16||2||Samson CHAN (HKG)||B||Arrows Racing (MAS)||+77.619|
|17||11||Jeffrey CHIANG (TPE)||B||RC Racing (SIN)||+80.567|
|18||5||Yuey TAN (SIN)||B||Team Jebsen (HKG)||+85.009|
|19||22||SIU Yuk Lung (HKG)||B||LKM Racing (MAS)||+98.411|
|20||8||Sontaya KUNPLOME (THA)||B||Racing Spirit Thailand (THA)||+100.903|
|21||17||FUNG Yui Sum (HKG)||B||Arrows Racing (MAS)||+111.144|
|22||78||Suttiluck BUNCHAROEN (THA)||B||True Visions Motorsports Thailand (THA)||+128.367|
|23||7||WANG Xi (CHN)||B||Team Formax (MAS)||1 LAP|
|3||Michael S. (INA)||B||OpenRoad Racing (HKG)||DNF|
Overall points after Round 2 (top 5)
|1||68||Maxime Jousse||Kamlung Racing||43|
|2||99||Nico Menzel||PICC Team StarChase||36|
|3||19||Zhang Da Sheng||Fun88 Team Sunfonda||25|
|4||6||Yuan Bo||Absolute Racing||23|
|5||18||Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak||est Cola Thailand||22|
|86||Zhang Zhen Dong||Team Porsche Holding||22|
Class B points after Round 2 (top 5)
|1||6||Yuan Bo||Absolute Racing||41|
|2||18||Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak||est Cola Thailand||38|
|3||16||Wayne Shen||Modena Motorsports||26|
|4||28||John Shen||Modena Motorsports||24|
|5||21||Francis Tjia||OpenRoad Racing||19|
|23||Paul Tresidder||Paul Tresidder||19|