Kamlung Racing’s Chris van der Drift clinched the 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia overall championship after the title chase went right down to the wire at the final race of the 14-round season. Team Jebsen’s Yuey Tan of Singapore lifted the Class B honours by a single point after a white-knuckle finale which almost saw the longed-for title slip through his fingers.

Second overall at the conclusion of what has been a momentous season for the region’s premier sportscar championship was Clearwater Racing’s Craig Baird, 14 points ahead of Nico Menzel, the 17-year-old PICC Team StarChase driver emerging as an exciting new talent in his Porsche Carrera Cup Asia debut season. Fourth in the standings is Budweiser Team Absolute’s Tung Ho-Pin after a strong end to his 2015 campaign, while Team Porsche Holding’s Martin Ragginger, who missed four races of the season, rounds out the top five.

Runner-up to Tan in the Class B championship is est Cola Racing Team’s Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak of Thailand after a four-way fight to the finish between Tan, Modena Motorsports’ Wayne Shen, third, and OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia, fourth. Team Betterlife’s Li Chao finished fifth on the leaderboard.

Thanking his Kamlung Racing team for what has been a fairytale debut for the 29-year-old New Zealander, newly-crowned champion van der Drift commented: “It all began here in Shanghai in April after I got a last-minute call-up. We finished on the podium after my first race in a 911, but then had a DNF. But we came back with a double win and pole position in Korea. It’s great racing with these drivers and the competition in the series is very strong. It keeps you sharp that’s for sure!”

For Tan, it was an emotional title win after a year in which he kept his head down and focused on the main prize, his impressive consistency proving crucial. Heading in to Round 14, which was interrupted by a brief Safety Car period, Tan had a five-point advantage over Inthraphuvasak, but all the top four drivers remained in contention. Understandably, the pressure began to take its toll, nerves getting the better of him allowing all three of his rivals to get by. For two miserable laps for Tan, it looked as though the Class B title would go to Vutthikorn, until Francis Tjia was tripped up by tyre wear, spinning and dropping down the order. Said Tan: “I was thinking ‘I’m not winning this thing at the moment’, with a few colourful metaphors thrown in! Wayne came at me hard and strong after the Safety Car, but we kept it clean and it was a really good race. I was really lucky to have taken pole position and the extra point that went with it.”

Sharing the track with their Porsche Team counterparts in the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Shanghai, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia field took to the 5.45km circuit on Friday for a single qualifying session to set the grids for both races. Ragginger set the fastest overall lap, securing pole for Round 13, while Menzel’s second-fastest time saw him secure pole for the final race of the season. Tan was the quickest amongst the Class B field, earning what was to be a crucial additional point for pole.

As the lights went out for the start of Round 13, Ragginger got away well and didn’t look back, winning from van der Drift and Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila. Baird crossed the line in sixth behind Tung. Tan, meanwhile, was unable to capitalize on his Class B pole, his hard-charging rival Wayne Shen grabbing the win and Francis Tjia nudging the Singaporean down to third.

That set the stage for what was a truly epic season finale, with van der Drift and Baird both in contention for the overall championship, and the four Class B rivals all intent on claiming the crown.

van der Drift stole the march on Menzel off the start, but the youngster fought back, reclaiming the lead and making full use of his new tyres. Menzel set about pulling a gap from the chasing pack, setting the fastest lap of the race. At the restart after the mid-race Safety Car period, he controlled the pace superbly to retain the lead and thunder to the flag more than two seconds ahead of Ragginger in second. Ragginger had got past van der Drift who, with his eye on the main prize, was taking no chances. Tung took the final podium after a superb drive.

The four Class B contenders were locked in a relentless battle, with first Vutthikorn getting by Tan, followed by Francis Tjia and then – crucially – Wayne Shen. As Tan fought desperately to gain some ground on Shen, suddenly Tjia spun, promoting the Team Jebsen driver back up to third and making him the new Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Class B champion.

After 14 hard-fought races across six countries, the Shanghai double-header contained all the ingredients that have made the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia the most admired and respected sportscar championship in the region: the highest standards of motorsport; fair, exciting and close racing; and the most iconic sports car ever built, the Porsche 911 GT3 (Type 991) Cup.

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia

Round 13 Results

Pos No Driver/Nationality Class Entrant/Nationality Time
1 86 Martin RAGGINGER (AUT)   Team Porsche Holding (CHN) 26:00.224
2 68 Chris VAN DER DRIFT (NZL)   Kamlung Racing (MAS) +1.170
3 20 Rodolfo AVILA (MAC)   Team Jebsen (HKG) +4.998
4 99 Nico MENZEL (GER)   PICC Team StarChase (CHN) +5.820
5 58 TUNG Ho-Pin (CHN)   Budweiser Team Absolute Racing (HKG) +10.207
6 12 Craig BAIRD (NZL)   Clearwater Racing (SIN) +10.431
7 72 Alif HAMDAN (MAS)   Alif Hamdan Motorsport (MAS) +12.697
8 8 Ro Charlz SKYANGEL (SIN)   Team Yonda (CHN) +24.875
9 18 Vutthikorn INTHRAPHUVASAK (THA) B est Cola Racing Team (THA) +27.238
10 16 Wayne SHEN (HKG) B Modena Motorsports (HKG) +28.885
11 21 Francis TJIA (HKG) B OpenRoad Racing (HKG) +32.793
12 5 Yuey TAN (SIN) B Team Jebsen (HKG) +33.200
13 11 Ringo CHONG (SIN) B Team Kangshun (CHN) +33.485
14 9 LI Chao (CHN) B Team Betterlife (CHN) +43.382
15 69 Christian CHIA (CAN) B OpenRoad Racing (HKG) +46.120
16 3 Michael S. (INA) B OpenRoad Racing (HKG) +46.756
17 78 Suttiluck BUNCHAROEN (THA) B True Visions Motorsports Thailand (THA) +51.842
18 23 Paul TRESIDDER (AUS) B Paul Tresidder (AUS) +1:10.063
19 28 John SHEN (HKG) B Modena Motorsports (HKG) +1:20.314
20 51 Johnson HUANG (TPE) B Team BC Racing (TPE) +1:20.790
21 65 ZHU Jun Han (CHN) B Absolute Racing (HKG) +1:32.058
22 22 *SIU Tit Lung (HKG) B LKM Racing (HKG) +1:40.646
23 88 Hugues RIPERT (HKG) B Spark Motorsports (HKG) +1:40.793
24 80 Sontaya KUNPLOME (THA) B Racing Spirit Thailand (THA) +1:53.692
25 17 FUNG Yui Sum (HKG) B Arrows Racing (MAS) +2:00.512
26 2 *Kelvin KWAN (HKG) B Arrows Racing (MAS) +2:09.178
DNF 55 BAO Jin Long (CHN)   Zheng Tong Auto (CHN)

*Non series registered

Fastest Lap: Martin Ragginger/Team Porsche Holding/2:08.989/Lap 2/152.1kph

Round 14 Results

Pos No Driver/Nationality Class Entrant/Nationality Time
1 99 Nico MENZEL (GER)   PICC Team StarChase (CHN) 26:53.978
2 86 Martin RAGGINGER (AUT)   Team Porsche Holding (CHN) +2.274
3 58 TUNG Ho-Pin (CHN)   Budweiser Team Absolute Racing (HKG) +4.776
4 68 Chris VAN DER DRIFT (NZL)   Kamlung Racing (MAS) +6.708
5 12 Craig BAIRD (NZL)   Clearwater Racing (SIN) +6.925
6 72 Alif HAMDAN (MAS)   Alif Hamdan Motorsport (MAS) +10.684
7 20 Rodolfo AVILA (MAC)   Team Jebsen (HKG) +15.172
8 18 Vutthikorn INTHRAPHUVASAK (THA) B est Cola Racing Team (THA) +16.995
9 16 Wayne SHEN (HKG) B Modena Motorsports (HKG) +25.515
10 55 BAO Jin Long (CHN)   Zheng Tong Auto (CHN) +26.156
11 5 Yuey TAN (SIN) B Team Jebsen (HKG) +29.008
12 3 Michael S. (INA) B OpenRoad Racing (HKG) +30.221
13 9 LI Chao (CHN) B Team Betterlife (CHN) +31.897
14 78 Suttiluck BUNCHAROEN (THA) B True Visions Motorsports Thailand (THA) +32.466
15 8 Ro Charlz SKYANGEL (SIN)   Team Yonda (CHN) +35.566
16 69 Christian CHIA (CAN) B OpenRoad Racing (HKG) +37.713
17 21 Francis TJIA (HKG) B OpenRoad Racing (HKG) +39.707
18 51 Johnson HUANG (TPE) B Team BC Racing (TPE) +48.718
19 28 John SHEN (HKG) B Modena Motorsports (HKG) +52.807
20 23 Paul TRESIDDER (AUS) B Paul Tresidder (AUS) +1:12.122
21 88 Hugues RIPERT (HKG) B Spark Motorsports (HKG) +1:13.048
22 80 Sontaya KUNPLOME (THA) B Racing Spirit Thailand (THA) +1:13.384
23 22 *SIU Tit Lung (HKG) B LKM Racing (HKG) +1:14.724
24 2 *Kelvin KWAN (HKG) B Arrows Racing (MAS) +1:23.239
DNF 11 Ringo CHONG (SIN) B Team Kangshun (CHN)
DNF 17 FUNG Yui Sum (HKG) B Arrows Racing (MAS)
DNF 65 ZHU Jun Han (CHN) B Absolute Racing (HKG)

*Non series registered

Fastest Lap: Nico Menzel/PICC Team StarChase/2:08.482/Lap 2/152.7kph

Overall Points after Round 14 (top 10)

Pos Comp No Driver Entrant Points
1 68 Chris van der Drift Kamlung Racing 234
2 12 Craig Baird Clearwater Racing 216
3 99 Nico Menzel PICC Team StarChase 192
4 58 Tung Ho-Pin Budweiser Team Absolute Racing 161
5 86 Martin Ragginger Team Porsche Holding 159
6 20 Rodolfo Avila Team Jebsen 140
7 72 Alif Hamdan Alif Hamdan Motorsport 101
8 8 Ro Charlz Skyangel Team Yonda 96
9 18 Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak Est Cola Racing Team 80
 

10

21 Francis Tjia OpenRoad Racing 67
16 Wayne Shen Modena Motorsports 67
5 Yuey Tan Team Jebsen 67

Class B Points after Round 12 (top 5)

Pos Comp No Driver Entrant Points
1 5 Yuey Tan Team Jebsen 201
2 18 Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak Est Racing Team 200
3 16 Wayne Shen Modena Motorsports 196
4 21 Francis Tjia OpenRoad Racing 186
5 9 Li Chao Team Betterlife 136
Ben Potter

Yoong first double Audi R8 LMS Cup championDaniel Bilski & B-Quik Racing Audi R8 LMS Cup AM Champions
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