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Van der Drift conquers Round 4 for first win of the season as lively invitational rounds out glorious Fuji weekend

June 5, 2017

Fuji. Team Formax’s Chris van der Drift put on a spectacular show of tactical, calculated driving as the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia hosted a tense Round 4 in Fuji followed by a historic second friendly invitational alongside Porsche Carrera Cup Japan.

 

It was a heart-pounding start to the race with the grid instantly shaken up as Team StarChase’s Philip Hamprecht saw his P1 start eliminated by a charging Martin Ragginger of Team Porsche Holding, with Porsche China Junior Team’s Andrew Tang in P3, locked in a tricky game of balancing offense and defense against a zealous start by van der Drift that saw him fly toward the front of the pack.

 

As the dust settled on turn1, the fight continued with Hamprecht quickly recovering his first place position from Ragginger while van der Drift continued his onslaught, taking advantage of the gap left by Hamprecht’s overtake to slide into second and begin the challenge on the leader as Tang was pushed back to fourth behind Ragginger.

 

With Ragginger left defending against Tang, Hamprecht and van der Drift were given time to duel for the race lead going into lap 2.  Van der Drift found a channel shortly into the second lap and made a surgical pass on Hamprecht, pushing the young driver into second.

 

The white-knuckled race came to a devastating climax after Tang, riding Ragginger’s slipstream through Fuji International Speedway’s blistering 1.5-km straight,  made a move on the outside of Ragginger just as the Austrian driver was braking for turn 1, clipping his bumper and sending Tang into a high-speed crash into the barrier.

 

To the extreme relief of fellow racers, fans and everyone at the track, Tang walked away from the crash unhurt, though clearly shaken and upset over his sudden exit from the race.

 

Heavy debris covered turn 1 following the crash, ushering out the safety car in lap 3, slowing the race and closing the gap between drivers.

 

Just one lap into the safety car, Hamprecht made an abrupt exit into the pits, with his car showing damage on the front right corner after he struck a wayward tyre that was sent flying after Tang’s crash, taking the young German driver out of a very promising race due to a broken radiator.

 

The drama continued after the safety car left the track in lap 7.  With Chris van der Drift now in the lead and facing only minimal pressure from Ragginger, the third spot on the podium was wide open.  Porsche China Junior Team’s Zhang Dashang was the first to hold onto the position but immediately faced an onslaught of pressure from FAW T2M’s Will Bamber, who made repeated jabs at Dashang’s defense but had the door slammed shut repeatedly.

 

With Bamber distracted by his offensive on Dashang, Absolute Racing’s Tanart Sathienthirakul swooped in to execute a beautiful display of technical driving as he made a clean pass on Bamber.

 

As the minutes dwindled down, clashes in the mid-pack continued, with Bamber eventually re-taking his position before barreling toward Dashang. But the Porsche China Junior held his own perfectly, finishing the race in third place ahead of Bamber by just .5 second, with Ragginger in second and van der Drift in first.

 

“Yesterday I had a mega start off the line and I was hoping to do the same today, but all the guys around me had just as good of start.  We were tussling through there and I managed to get around the outside earlier on so that put me up in the front. Thanks to the mechanics and our team for working with our car, we were struggling there a little bit and are definitely getting there now,” Chris van der Drift said in the press conference after the race.

 

The race was more straightforward for Pro-Am as Team Jebsen’s Yuey Tan took the pole for the second time of the weekend in Round 4, followed by fellow Pro-Am table leader Evan Chen of Kamlung Racing in P2 and OpenRoad Racing’s Michael S. in P3.

 

Tan expertly held onto the lead position in the early stages of the race, using his hard-earned expertise to outpace Chen, despite the young driver’s lightning pace.  Further back, OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia managed to overtake his teammate Michael S. and was steadily inching his way toward the Pro-Am leaders.

 

With Tan in the lead going into lap 3, he was the first to encounter debris on the track, damaging his tyres and slowing his pace considerably.  This proved to be the advantage Chen needed after the safety car left the track in Lap 7, and he quickly maneuvered into the lead position.

 

Tan, struggling with the decision on whether to carry on the race despite the damaged tyres, held strong as Tjia, his old rival from 2016, steadily advanced on him.  Tan’s persistence paid off, however, and he managed to finish the race in second, with Chen deftly earning his second victory of the weekend.  After two very unfortunate rounds in Shanghai and a tough Round 3 – Tjia managed an optimistic cheer as he finished his first full race of the season in third.

 

“I just didn’t get a really good start, everyone just passed me and I got boxed inside, so I had to wait for an opportunity.  Unfortunately, I think Yuey got into some debris when the crash happened and it destroyed his tyre, so that was the opportunity I needed,” Evan Chen said in the post-race press conference.

 

It was a change of pace from cutthroat to camaraderie as the friendly invitational with Porsche Carrera Cup Japan kicked off in the evening, with 41 cars storming the grid in the largest grid the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will see all season.

 

With the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia winning a coin toss earlier in the weekend, they were awarded with the slightly advantageous inside grid from the start of the race, with Team Porsche Holding’s Martin Ragginger grabbing the pole position for Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and Yuichi Mikasa for Sky Racing representing the pole for Porsche Carrera Cup Japan.

 

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia used its inside lane advantage to the full extent, getting a sharp start to the race with Ragginger completing his second lights to flag victory for the weekend, with the rest of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia occupying the top 5 positions for the Overall competition.

 

In Pro-Am, Racing’s Shinji Takei led the pack for Porsche Carrera Cup Japan from the P1, quickly ascending the ranks to embed himself among the professional drivers.  Not too far behind him was Porsche Carrera Cup Asia’s Pro-Am drivers Evan Chen and Yuey Tan who continued their weekend-long battle into the invitational, passing and being passed by one another repeatedly.

 

In the end, Takei-San proved to be a fierce competitor, building a barrier of professional drivers between him and the rest of the Pro-Am competitors to win first place and earn Porsche Carrera Cup Japan’s only podium spot for the invitational.

 

“It was very exciting for me during this race, I am very happy to be here on the podium, thank you all very much!” Takei-san said during a joint press conference after the race.

 

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia continues with round 5 and 6 on June 30th as the competition heads to Thailand for a thrilling street race weaving along the beachside roads of Bangsaen.

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2017
Fuji International Speedway

POS

NO

Driver/Nationality

Class

Entrant/Nationality

Time

1

7

Chris van der DRIFT(NZL)

Team Formax

31’37.497

2

86

 Martin RAGGINGER(AUT)

Team Porsche Holding

31’38.792

3

19

ZHANG Dasheng(CHN)

Porsche China Junior Team

31’42.761

4

12

Will Bamber(NZL)

FAW T2 Motorsport

31’43.272

5

15

Tanart SATHIENTHIRAKUL(THA)

Absolute Racing

31’44.401

6

29

Akash Neil NANDY(MAS)

Team Force Asia Racing

31’45.341

7

68

Evan CHEN(TPE)

Pro-Am

Kamlung Racing

31’54.866

8

5

Yuey TAN Yu Hian(SIN)

Pro-Am

Team Jebsen

31’58.889

9

21

Francis TJIA(HKG)

Pro-Am

Open Road Racing

31’59.557

10

3

Michael S.

Pro-Am

 OpenRoad Racing

32’00.905

11

77

CUI Yue(CHN)

Team Jebsen

32’00.991

12

16

Wayne SHEN(HKG)

Pro-Am

Modena Motosports

32’01.589

13

11

Stephen GROVE

Pro-Am

 RC Racing

32’02.691

14

78

Suttiluck BUNCHAROEN(THA)

Pro-Am

True Visions Motorsports

32’05.162

15

55

BAO Jinglong(CHN)

OpenRoad Racing

32’06.443

16

28

John SHEN(HKG)

Pro-Am

Modena Motorsports

32’12.548

17

2

Alex Liu Lic Ka(MAC)

Pro-Am

 Arrows Racing

32’15.921

18

8

Sontaya KUNPLOME(THA)

Pro-Am

Racing Spirit Thailand

32’27.906

19

17

FUNG Yui Sum(HKG)

Pro-Am

Arrows Racing

32’29.933

20

22

SIU Yuk Lung(HKG)

Pro-Am

LKM Racing

32’50.359

21

88

YUAN Bo(CHN)

Team C&D Auto

32’16.0318

22

23

Paul TRESIDDER(AUS)

Pro-Am

Paul TRESIDDER

16’24.848

99

Philip HAMPRECHT(AUT)

Team StarChase

20:37.578

10

Andrew TANG(SIN)

Porsche China Junior Team

7’01.626

9

LI Chao (CHN)

Pro-Am

Team Betterlife

DNF

2017 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Championship Points after Round 4(Overall)

Pos

Camp. No

Driver

Nat

Class

Total Points

1

86

Martin RAGGINGER

AUT

88

2

7

Chris VAN DER DRIFT

NZL

77

3

12

William BAMBER

NZL

74

4

10

Andrew TANG

SIN

60

5

19

ZHANG Dasheng

CHN

55

6

15

Tanart SATHIENTHIRAKUL

THA

52

7

99

Philip HAMPRECHT

AUT

41

8

88

YUAN Bo

CHN

37

9

77

CUI Yue

CHN

31

10

68

Evan CHEN Yi Fan

TPE  Pro-Am

30

11

29

Akash Neil NANDY

MAS

28

11

5

Yuey TAN Yu Hian

SIN

Pro-Am

28

13

55

BAO Jinlong

CHN

Pro-Am

25

14

9

LI Chao

CHN

 Pro-Am

19

14

16

Wayne SHEN

HKG

Pro-Am

19

16

21

Francis TJIA

HKG

Pro-Am

17

16

3

Michael S.

INA

Pro-Am

17

18

11

Stephen GROVE

AUS

Pro-Am

16

19

78

Suttiluck BUNCHAROEN

THA

Pro-Am

15

20

28

John SHEN

HKG

Pro-Am

12

21

17

FUNG Yui Sum

HKG

Pro-Am

10

21

22

SIU Yuk Lung

HKG

Pro-Am

10

21

23

Paul TRESIDDER

AUS

Pro-Am

10

21

2

Alex LIU Lic Ka

MAC

Pro-Am

10

21

8

Sontaya KUNPLOME

THA

Pro-Am

10

26

8

Preeda TANTEMSAPYA

THA

Pro-Am

10

27

69

Christian CHIA

CAN

Pro-Am

10

28

33

Antares AU

HKG

Pro-Am

10

2017 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Championship Points (Porsche Dealer Trophy)

Pos

Camp. No

Driver

Nat

Total Points

1

86

Team Porsche Holding

CHN 80

2

88

Team C&D Auto

HKG 62

2

68

Kamlung Racing

CHN 51

4

99

Zheng Tong Auto

HKG 50

5

55

Team Starchase

CHN 48

6

77

Team Jebsen

HKG 48

7

9

Team Betterlife

CHN 31

2017 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Championship Points (Pro-Am Class)

Pos

Camp. No

Driver

Nat

Total Points

1

68

Evan CHEN Yi Fan

TPE

80

2

5

Yuey TAN Yu Hian

SIN

77

3

9

LI Chao

CHN

56

4

16

Wayne SHEN

HKG

52

5

78

Suttiluck BUNCHAROEN

THA

45

6

28

John SHEN

HKG

41

7

23

Paul TRESIDDER

AUS

40

8

3

Michael S.

INA

36

9

17

FUNG Yui Sum

HKG

35

10

11

Stephen GROVE

AUS

34

11

22

SIU Yuk Lung

HKG

32

12

2

Alex LIU Lic Ka

MAC

29

13

21

Francis TJIA

HKG

26

13

8

Preeda TANTEMSAPYA

THA

26

15

69

Christian CHIA CAN

17

16

8

Sontaya KUMPLOME

THA 16
17

33

Antares AU

HKG 13
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