Tung Takes Maiden Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Victory in Korean Thriller
Wed 07.08.13, 11:11AM
Inje, Korea. Budweiser Kamlung Racing driver Tung Ho-Pin took his maiden Porsche Carrera Cup Asia victory today in Round 8, held at the new 4.208km Inje Speedium International Circuit in South Korea. The Chinese driver started from the third row of the grid, and adeptly avoided multiple dramas to stay out of trouble and take the win.
Second was Team C&D ace Jason Zhang Zhiqiang, his best result so far in his debut Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season, with Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila of Macau taking the final podium finish.
However, first across the finish line was Team Eagle’s Martin Ragginger, but he was subsequently handed a 30 second penalty by race officials for a false start. It was a disappointing end to what had been a challenging race for the Austrian, who had recovered well from an early incident.
Continuing his spectacular run of Class B victories this season, Mentos Racing’s Egidio Perfetti added a win on the new track to his impressive racing CV, finishing fourth overall in front of Korean guest driver Recardo Bruins who, like much of the field, had more than his fair share of incidents. Second in Class B was Nexus Racing’s Alif Hamdan of Malaysia, his first podium finish since the season opener in Malaysia. Dorr McElrea Racing’s Yuey Tan took third, describing the incident-filled race as “pretty crazy!”
Going in to Round 9, Bamber has a 17 point lead at the top of the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia overall championship points table from Ragginger, with Avila just five points behind the Austrian. In Class B, Perfetti is the runaway leader, but Tan has closed up to Li in second, and just five points now separate the pair.
A visibly delighted Tung was quick to thank his Budweiser Kamlung Racing team for their enthusiastic support as he celebrated his maiden series victory: “As they say, ‘you must first finish to finish first’, and I’m happy to have made it to the line. I was hit from behind, in the side, had a damaged rear tyre…it was a very active race! I was a bit unlucky in Shanghai and Malaysia, so it’s good to be lucky here in Korea. On this track, it’s quite difficult to overtake, and many of the drivers were quite aggressive on the opening lap, trying to gain position, but in the final two laps everything settled down a bit. I had a good start and run into Turn 1. That was quite tight, but most got through, but that’s when the carnage started.”
Jason Zhang Zhiqiang had much to celebrate on his Korean debut: “I’m very excited to take my first Porsche Carrera Cup Asia podium finish in my first season, and on a very challenging track.” Avila, meanwhile, was grateful to take the podium but believed there was still more to come from his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
More can be expected from Perfetti in Round 9, the Mentos Racing driver throwing down the gauntlet to the professionals after this impressive overall finish: “It is a new track, so I had to be a bit careful in the beginning. I made progress all the way through the race and found some pace. I like the track and am getting more comfortable on it. I have saved a new set of tyres for the next race, and have my eyes set on a couple of cars in front…”
Ragginger stole the march on pole-sitter Bamber off the grid, for which he was later penalised, and led the field as it thundered into the first turn. Clearly furious to have lost his pole advantage, Bamber was in hot pursuit of the Austrian, rashly attempting to nudge his way past and shoving Ragginger off the track. Ragginger used the escape road to avoid the grass, before rejoining in the lead. As he rejoined, Imperatori, who had been aggressively challenging Bamber, came together with the Nexus Racing driver, spinning into the barriers. The incident put Bamber back down the field, and brought out the Safety Car for the first time. Bruins was involved in that incident but his car was undamaged, however he spun on the last corner of the first lap but was able continue albeit down the order.
When the Safety Car pulled off, Ragginger immediately set about pulling a gap from the chasing pack, with Tung unable to challenge for the lead and Avila piling the pressure on to Zhang, his eye firmly on a podium finish. Meanwhile, Bamber was on a charge back up through the field, as was Bruins.
The Safety Car was called out for a second time after an incident involving Dr. Ma Chi Min, who took drastic action to avoid a slow moving car on track. When the debris was cleared, and the Safety Car pulled off for the second time, just two laps remained before the chequered flag.
Ragginger led the field away cleanly and once again set about pulling a gap from his rivals. Zhang had a look at Tung, but couldn’t see a way to get by without putting his podium finish in jeopardy before the flag.
Avila was delighted to learn he had inherited a podium finish, and the valuable points that go with it, but for Ragginger, his time penalty was a crushing disappointment.
While emotions were running high after the incident, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers were already looking forward to their second South Korean race. With Round 8 one of the most dramatic races of the season so far, anticipation is high as the passionate rivalries of the region’s finest sportscar racers are reignited in Round 9.
About Porsche Carrera Cup Asia
Now in its 11th season, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia blasted off the starting grid in 2003 and has never looked back. Joining the family of hugely successful Porsche “one make” series, it is now firmly established as the Number One racing series in Asia.
The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia offers extremely exciting racing across the region and is truly international, with competitors from all over Asia as well as Europe and the Pacific. The field is made up of a combination of professional race drivers and ambitious and talented gentlemen drivers.