The region’s premier GT championship heads to the challenging Marina Bay street circuit this month for the Porsche SC Global Carrera Cup Asia — 2010.
Photos: PR Plus
Making a sensational debut in the Lion City in support of the inaugural Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix in 2008, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is back for the third time.
Back in 2008, Hong Kong’s Darryl O’Young took victory with Team Jebsen and last year, it was reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Christian Menzel of Team StarChase who conquered the fast and unforgiving 5.1km Singapore street circuit. Both defending champion Menzel, who currently leads the 2010 championship, and O’Young are amongst the stellar line-up of 23 leading GT specialists from Asia Pacific and Europe who will line up for the 12-lap race, all competing in identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars. Menzel has so far notched up four victories in six races this season, giving him an 18 point advantage over nearest challenger New Zealand’s Craig Baird racing in Singapore with race title sponsor SC Global Developments. Last year, Baird finished second in the race, while Danny Watts gave the SC Global Racing team a podium finish. Given that form, the new pairing looks to be a winning combination.
Malaysian, Mok Weng Sun of Team Porsche Club Singapore Racing has had a phenomenal season, dominating the Class B category for non-professional racers. His perfect record of six victories in six races has put him third in the overall championship standings, just six points adrift of seasoned professional Baird. Red Bull Racing’s Marchy Lee of Hong Kong will arrive in Singapore on top form having clinched both victories in Zhuhai, China in June to put him fourth on the leader-board, while Team Jebsen’s new driver Rodolfo Avila of Macau who, at just 23, is the youngest driver in the field, is also expected to put in a strong challenge for the win. Two-time Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion O’Young, who is contesting a full season with the FIA World Touring Car Championship, returns to the series for the Singapore event with the LKM Racing Team. Although not in contention for the title, O’Young will be on the hunt to add a second Singapore victory to his impressive CV. One of Hong Kong’s most respected drivers, Philip Ma of Jacob & Co Racing, is competing in the professional category this year having won Class B championship last season. However, despite strong race finishes, the disadvantage of missing the opening two races has dented his points tally.
Despite Mok’s dominance of the bumper Class B entry this year, the competition has been fierce, with Singapore and Hong Kong vying for ultimate victory, and just 20 points separating the next seven drivers. Series newcomer Francis Tjia of Hong Kong has proved a force to be reckoned with, with four podium finishes to date. Snapping at the OpenRoad Racing driver’s heels are Singapore’s Ringo Chong of Team Kangshun and Hong Kong’s Wayne Shen of Modena Motorsports, another series newcomer, both jointly third on the leaderboard. Keeping victory firmly in their sights however are Yuey Tan of Wimobilize McElrea Racing, the Singapore driver contesting his first ever full season, Frenchman Jean Marc Merlin, Tjia’s team mate and brother, Christian Chia of Hong Kong, and Jeffrey Lee of Chinese Taipei with Pauian Archiland Team.
The 30 minutes qualifying session for the Porsche SC Global Carrera Cup Asia — 2010 is scheduled for early evening on Saturday, September 25, with the race at 5:00pm on Sunday, September 26 just prior to the start of the Grand Prix.