Porsche Carrera Cup Asia back on track as season opens in Shanghai
Shanghai. The top one-make series in Asia rolls back into action after a long winter break as the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia embarks on its 2017 season by grabbing the global spotlight, hosting the first two rounds at the home of Porsche China in Shanghai.
With the entry list confirmed, 24 drivers from 12 different countries and regions will form what appears to be one of the toughest, youngest grids in the series‘ 14-year history. A perfect blend of professional and pro-am drivers will compete in identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) race cars on the 5.451 -km Shanghai International Circuit as Round 1 and 2 kick off the season during the weekend from April 7 – 9.
The first two rounds will also see the debut of the Porsche Dealer Trophy, an entirely new championship that will see the best performing dealer driver awarded after each round.
Making a notable return to the series after a year away is 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Chris van der Drift, who returns to the competition to race with Team Formax. He will be greeted by experienced series regular Martin Ragginger of Team Porsche Holding who joins for the full season after several guest appearances in 2016 and Team C&D’s Yuan Bo, the 2016 Pro-Am winner now racing professionally in the Overall class.
The inaugural race weekend will see several new faces compete, with numerous young drivers coming from single-seat racing to contend in their first-ever GT races. Posting impressive times during the Test Days in March, young drivers such as Porsche Formula Master China Series winner Philip Hamprecht, racing for Team Starchase, FAW T2 Motorsport’s Will Bamber, Team Force Asia Racing‘s Akash Neil Nandy and Absolute Racing‘s Tanart Sathienthirakul will all be rearing to prove themselves during their first race.
They come prepared after attending a pre-season training session held shortly after the Test Days as part of the expanded Porsche China Junior Programme – the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Talent Pool, which gives all drivers under 26 access to star coaching and the chance earn a place to compete in the global Porsche Junior Shootout.
Carrying the banner for the Porsche China Junior Team for his second year, the super-talented Andrew Tang enters the first two rounds as a seasoned pro, having learned for the Shanghai International Circuit in 2016. He is joined by new 2017 Porshce China Junior Team driver Zhang Dashang, who was appointed as a Porsche China Junior after finishing the 2016 season as the top Chinese driver.
They will join the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Talent Pool in receiving exclusive coaching by renowned Porsche Junior Coach Sascha Maassen during Round 1 and 2.
The first two rounds could also prove a chance for a strong start for the series‘ other two experienced proffessional Chinese drivers, Cui Yue of Team Jebsen and Zheng Tong Auto’s Bao Jinlong, after both performed admirably in 2016.
With 45% proffessional and 55% Pro-Am, the diverse line-up of gentleman drivers are poised for an equally thrilling first two rounds of the season.
With last season’s first and second place Pro-Am winners out of the picture, leaving space for any number of talented drivers to fill the top. After a close finish in 2016 between last year’s third place Pro-Am driver Wayne Shen of Modena Motosport and the 2015 Pro-Am Champion Yuey Tan of Team Jebsen, there is ample room for rivalry at the top. Another top spot contender, Li Chao of Team Betterlife will be one to watch early on after the Chinese driver managed several finishes in the top five last year.
Among the most experienced of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Pro-Am participants joining the 2017 season are drivers like Paul Tresidder of his self-named team and Modena Motorsport’s John Shen, brother of Wayne, who have both proven themselves formidable racers among the Pro-Am ranks.
Returning this season in Pro-Am, Kamlung Racing‘s Evan Chen and Christian Chia of OpenRoad racing both made an impressive first impression during the Test Days but will have to overcome the competent pack of series regulars such as LKM Racing‘s Siu Yuk Lung, True Visions Motorsport Thailand’s Suttiluck Bunchareon and Arrows Racing’s Fung Yui Sum.
There will also be several guest drivers at the opening weekend with Alex Liu Lic Ka entering with Prince Racing, Racing Spirit Thailand’s Preeda Tantemsapya and Antares Au stepping in for OpenRoad Racing.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to start the season than hosting our first two rounds at the home of Porsche China in Shanghai. Everyone is looking forward to seeing how our newcomers perform and getting a glimpse what type of competition we have to look forward to this season. Judging by what we saw during the test days, this will be two rounds of tough battles as drivers try to get an early lead on the season,“ Alexandre Gibot, Porsche China Motorsport Manager, said.
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2017
7 – 9 April
Provisional Entry List
|Comp No.||Entrant Name Driver&||Cls||Nat||Comp No.||Entrant Name Driver||Cls||Nat|
|2||Prince Racing Alex Liu Lic Ka||Pro-Am||HKG HKG||22||LKM Racing SIU Yuk Lung||Pro-Am||MAS HKG|
|5||Team Jebsen Yuey TAN Yu Hian||Pro-Am||HKG SIN||23||Paul TRESIDDER Paul TRESIDDER||Pro-Am||AUS AUS|
|7||Team Formax Chris Van Der DRIFT||MAS NZL||28||Modena Motorsports John SHEN||Pro-Am||HKG HKG|
|8||Racing Spirit Thailand Preeda TANTEMSAPYA||Pro-Am||THA THA||29||Team Force Asia Racing Akash Neil NANDY||MAS MAS|
|9||Team Betterlife LI Chao||Pro-Am||CHN CHN||55||Zheng Tong Auto Bao Jinlong||CHN CHN|
|10||Porsche China Junior Team Andrew TANG||CHN SIN||68||Kamlung Racing Evan CHEN||Pro-Am||MAS TPE|
|12||FAW T2 Motorsport Will BAMBER||CHN NZL||69||OpenRoad Racing Christian CHIA||Pro-Am||HKG CAN|
|15||Absolute Racing Tanart SATHIENTHIRAKUL||HKG THA||77||Team Jebsen CUI Yue||HKG CHN|
|16||Modena Motorsports Wayne SHEN||Pro-Am||HKG HKG||78||True Visions Motorsports Thailand Suttiluck BUNCHAROEN||Pro-Am||THA THA|
|17||Arrows Racing FUNG Yui Sum||Pro-Am||MAS HKG||86||Team Porsche Holding Martin RAGGINGER||CHN AUT|
|19||Porsche China Junior Team ZHANG Dasheng||CHN CHN||88||Team C&D YUAN Bo||CHN CHN|
|21||OpenRoad Racing Antares AU||Pro-Am||HKG HKG||99||Team StarChase Philip HAMPRECHT||HKG GER|