|The astonishing Marina Bay street circuit played host to the Class A and B runners of Porsche Carrera Cup Asia last weekend. Fittingly it was current Championship leader Earl Bamber who captured victory at round 10’s PCCA to keep the lead in the Drivers standings and the 2013 PCCA Class A title within his reach.|
Motorsportchannel.com was at the scene of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix’s Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Round 10, courtesy of Malaysian Porsche distributors, SDAP (Sime Darby Auto Performance).
The astonishing Marina Bay street circuit played host to Class A and B runners of Porsche’s one-make series. Fittingly it was current Championship leader Earl Bamber who captured victory at Round 10’s PCCA to keep the lead in the Drivers standings and the 2013 PCCA Class A title within his reach. Bamber outgunned SC Global Racing’s Craig Baird and former PCCA drivers’ standings leader Martin Ragginger of Team Eagle for the win with two more rounds remaining; the penultimate leg at Shanghai and the finale at Macau. Bamber has a 16-point lead in the drivers’ race over Ragginger, with team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila 37 points behind the leader. There are still 41 points on offer in the last two races of the season, which means the PCCA will go right down to the wire at the Sports Car Champions Festival in Shanghai next month.
Bamber, representing a Malaysian outfit, rocketed from pole to lead the twenty five Porsche Carreras at the start of the 12-lap race. The New Zealander was pursued hard by Baird, with ex-PCCA champ Alexandre Imperatori and Ragginger in close quarters during the run down to the first turn. The Carreras of Imperatori and Ragginger touched at the tricky first corner, with Ragginger pushing up to third place. Ho-Pin Tung, who started behind the leaders, made contact with Avila’s car at the start and lost several positions. Further back, a collision between Benjamin Rouget, Keita Sawa and Zhang Da Sheng caused a chain reaction of several cars spinning out of control.
Bamber from pole to finish at the Marina Street circuit
At the start of the second lap, Bamber led Baird by just under a second, with Ragginger, Tung and Imperatori behind. Sawa, in sixth, led Francis Tjia and Class B runner Egidio Perfetti, with Benjamin Rouget 10th and Mario Farnbacher in 11th. However, when Alif Hamdan hit the barriers, the Safety Car was called out, closing up the field.
The Safety Car pulled off at the start of lap 10 for what was a dramatic, two lap dash to the flag. At the restart, Bamber again got away well from Baird, but Imperatori was immediately looking to find a way past Tung. The Chinese driver slid wide, hitting the barrier and spinning into Imperatori. Tung retired, while Imperatori kept going keeping an eagle eye on the gauges. Just a lap from the finish line though, he retired, pulling over after a water pressure warning.
While Sawa crossed the line fourth, he was later handed a 30-second time penalty for exceeding track limits to gain an advantage. Zhang Da Sheng, too, was excluded from the race for driving standards.
Avila, meanwhile, fought back from behind to cross the line seventh, charging through the field in the final lap of the race. Sawa’s time penalty and Zhang’s exclusion mean Avila remains in championship contention going in to the final rounds.
Bamber echoed in post race, “It’s an incredible feeling, especially for the team. It’s our first time in Singapore and the team provided me with a fantastic car. We had a good tussle at the start and then a great fight before the long Safety Car period. I knew the restart would be important and I managed to jump him and maintain the gap. It’s more than what we expected this weekend.”
In Class B it was Francis Tjia of OpenRoad Racing who took his second victory of the season so far ahead of category pole-sitter Perfetti of Mentos Racing. However second place for Perfetti – who has won eight of the ten races so far this year – was enough to seal the championship title with two races to go. Third in the category was Bamber’s Nexus Racing team mate, Adrian Henry D’Silva.
The PCCA is back in action next month at the Sports Car Champions Festival in Shanghai from 25 – 27 October.
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Round 10, Singapore results
1 Earl BAMBER Nexus Racing 31:54.965
2 Craig BAIRD SC Global Racing +1.159
3 Martin RAGGINGER Team Eagle +4.120
4 Benjamin ROUGET Team Yongda Dongfang +10.988
5 Mario FARNBACHER Team Betterlife +14.255
6 Rodolfo AVILA Team Jebsen +15.276
7 Francis TJIA OpenRoad Racing +17.843 Class B
8 Egidio PERFETTI Mentos Racing +18.049 Class B
9 Adrian Henry D’SILVA Nexus Racing +31.729 Class B
10 Keita SAWA LKM Racing Team +36.028
1 Earl BAMBER 178
2 Martin RAGGINGER 162
3 Rodolfo AVILA 141
4 Keita SAWA 117
5 TUNG Ho-Pin 103
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Singapore 2013 images