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Porsche Carrera Cup Asia ready for action as drivers trade top times during Shanghai testing sessions

March 21, 2017

Shanghai. Unseasonably cold weather conditions greeted Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers as they took to the 5.451-km Shanghai International Circuit to get the season underway with 5 Official Test sessions over the weekend.

It was three days of intense trials as drivers sought to set the tone for the season to come by clocking the fastest lap time, with the top slot traded throughout each test session – solidifying predictions that 2017 will be among the most competitive seasons yet. With a last minute entry by series veteran Ringo Chong of RC Racing, who announced he would be participating in select stops throughout the season, 2017 will see 25 cars with drivers from 12 different countries and regions compete.

Making a strong first impression in the first test sesion on Friday was Team Starchase’s Philip Hamprecht, who began his transition as a single-seat champion in the Formula Masters China Series to debut with the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia with a promising 2:09.038 lap time. Porsche China Junior Team’s Andrew Tang also arrived fully prepared to fight, registering a hasty 2:09.070 lap in the first session.

Proving the competitive nature of this season’s drivers, the second and shorter test session on Saturday offered an almost entirely different set of names at the top. Achieving the top time was 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion Chris Van Der Drift, racing for Team Formax, who one-upped fellow drivers with a 2:08.709 fastest lap time. Philip Hamprecht once again showed his natural affinity for the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car with a solid 2:09.155, while experienced Porsche Carrera Cup Asia driver Martin Ragginger of Team Porsche Holding registered third quickest with 2:09.161.

Benefiting from the guidance of two-time Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion and 2015 24
Hours of Le Mans winner Earl Bamber, who was onsite as a star coach for the Porsche China Junior Programme, Andrew Tang dominated the third testing session on Saturday afternoon to achieve the weekend’s best result at 2:08.350 after hitting a blistering 186.92 km/hr. He was joined in the top 3 by fellow young driver Akash Neil Nandy, racing for Team Force Asia Racing in his first GT championship after a successful single-seat career, who had the second fastest time in the afternoon session with 2:08.611. In third with 2:08.682 was the 2016 Pro-Am Champion Yuan Bo, who is racing with Team C&D for his 2017 premier season in the Overall class. Also registering his quickest time during the third session was newcomer Absolute Racing’s Tanart Santhienthirakul, who managed an impressive 2:08.961 in his first test weekend after coming from single-seat.

Session four saw yet another new name at the head of the tables as FAW T2 Motorsport’s Will Bamber, following in his older brother Earl’s footsteps as he debuts into the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia this year, blazed through with a 2:08.610 time on his 21st lap, shortly before light-rain wet the track. Securing another steady result, Martin Ragginger clocked in second with 2:08.823, and Akash Neil Nandy in third with 2:08.920.

With light-but-steady rain throughout most of the final session of the weekend on Sunday afternoon, drivers were given the chance to strap on their wet tyres and refamiliarize themselves with the tricky task of navigating a moist track. Experience shined through in the end as Andrew Tang, familiar with the Shanghai International Circuit on wet conditions having raced his first Porsche Carrera Cup Asia race in the rain during Round 1 in 2016, took the fastest time in the fifth session with 2:19.686, followed by Chris Van der Drift with 2:19.954 and an impressive performance by Kamlung Racing‘s Evan Chen with a 2:20.508 lap.

Notable among the Pro-Am drivers were series‘ regulars such Team Jebsen’s Yuey Tan and Modena Motorsports‘ Wayne Shen, who ranked in the top three timings for a majority of the test sessions and newcomer Evan Chen, who managed the fastest lap times among Pro-Am in session 4. Li Chao also showed steadfast determination throughout the weekend, making him one to watch as the season progresses.

“We saw a lot of great performances during the test sessions this weekend, with a strong showing by several of our new drivers. From what we witnessed on the track over the past couple days, 2017 is going to be an unforgettable season with some of the toughest competitors we’ve seen since the serie’s began, ” Alexandre Gibot, Porsche China Motorsport Manager, said.

With the cobwebs shaken off after a long winter, there are just four weeks to go until the season starts in full with Round 1 and 2 taking place back at the Shanghai International Circuit alongside the F1 on April 7-9.
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2017
Series Registered Entry List

Comp No. Entrant Name Driver                                          Cls Nat Comp No. Entrant Name Driver Cls Nat
2 Prince  Racing

Kenneth LAU

Pro-Am HKG HKG 21 OpenRoad Racing

Francis TJIA

Pro-Am HKG HKG
3 OpenRoad Racing

Michael S.

Pro-Am HKG INA 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

Sontaya KUNPLOME

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
11 RC Racing

Ringo CHONG

Pro-Am SIN SIN 69 OpenRoad Racing Christian CHIA Pro-Am HKG CAN
12 FAW T2 Motorsport

Will BAMBER

CHN NZL 77 Team Jebsen

CUI Yue

HKG CHN
15 Absolute Racing

Tanart SATHIENTHIRAKUL

HKG THA 78 True Visions Motorsports Thailand

Suttiluck BUNCHAROEN

Pro-Am THA THA
16 Modena Motorsports

Wayne SHEN

Pro-Am HKG HKG 86 Team Porsche Holding Martin RAGGINGER CHN AUT
17 Arrows Racing

FUNG Yui Sum

Pro-Am MAS HKG 88 Team C&D

YUAN Bo

CHN CHN
19 Porsche China Junior Team ZHANG Dasheng CHN CHN 99 Team StarChase Philip HAMPRECHT HKG GER

 

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