Inje, Korea. Team Eagle’s Martin Ragginger of Austria put in a wheel-perfect performance on the 4.208km Inje Speedium International Circuit today to take a convincing victory in Round 9 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. Second across the line was PICC Team StarChase driver and reigning champion Alexandre Imperatori, who defended superbly throughout the 14-lap race from a persistent Earl Bamber of Nexus Racing, third.
In Class B, Mentos Racing’s Egidio Perfetti took his fifth successive victory, while category pole-man Alif Hamdan of Nexus Racing took second and Dorr McElrea Racing’s Yuey Tan of Singapore claiming the final podium spot.
Ragginger’s victory narrows the gap between him and Bamber on the championship leaderboard to just 13 points. With three races to go, and a total of 62 points on offer, five drivers remain in contention for overall honours. Third in the running is Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila followed by LKM Racing Team’s Keita Sawa and Budweiser Kamlung Racing’s Tung Ho-Pin.
Perfetti has a comfortable points advantage at the top of Class B ahead of Asia Racing Team’s Li Chao and Yuey Tan.
Ragginger was quick to thank his Team Eagle for giving him the perfect car, adding: “I had a good start and tried to control the race. Alex was quick, but I knew he and Earl were fighting, so I was able to take the win.”
Imperatori admitted Bamber had made it tough going for him, but despite this he still set the fastest lap of the race: “I had to work very hard for that. We had good pace all weekend. I had a good start, and I wanted to start work on Martin, but my mirrors were full of Earl so I had to focus on that. Overall though, I’m very happy with the weekend.”
Back with a vengeance after the disappointment of his time penalty in Round 8, which robbed him of victory, Ragginger blasted off the grid from pole position and couldn’t be touched, building up a lead of more than a second by the end of Lap 1. Another man on a mission was Imperatori who wasted no time in getting alongside then passing Bamber at the hairpin on the opening lap. The Shanghai-based Swiss driver then had to fend off an increasingly furious challenge from Bamber throughout the race with a crowd-pleasing display of hard, fair racing.
Behind the trio, Team Carrera Cup Asia guest driver Recardo Bruins, racing for Stuttgart Sports Cars, held on to fourth. The Korean driver impressed on his debut in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, going one better than his debut in Round 8 to finish fourth. Round 8 winner Tung got away well from the third row of the grid, getting by Sawa to go fifth early on.
Jason Zhang Zhiqiang of Team C&D got by Avila who then defended well from Team Yongda Dongfang’s Benjamin Rouget. Avila claimed his position from Zhang mid-way through the race, passing Sawa on Lap 12, then getting on the power to take the fight to Tung up ahead. On the penultimate lap, the Macau driver made a brave move on Tung, only to spin and drop back down the order to finish 9th.
The brand new Inje Speedium International Circuit won acclaim from the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. The facility, built at a cost of USD 200 million (excluding land costs), is an impressive new addition to the Asian motorsport scene.
As the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia leaves the mountains of Inje, next up for the region’s premier sportscar championship is a highlight of the season, the Porsche SC Global Carrera Cup Asia – Singapore 2013, held at the FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX. With three rounds of the 2013 season to go, the championship remains wide open and the competition will be red hot as the 25-strong field swoops down on the Marina Bay street circuit.
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.