Bamber retains Title at exciting PCCA finale

 2014 PCCA Earl Bamber retains title Reigning Champion Earl Bamber has successfully defended his crown from rival Martin Ragginger at the PCCA (Porsche Carrera Cup Asia) finale in Shanghai, thanks to defining victories in the Rounds 11 and 12. Ragginger remains a runner-up in the final drivers’ standings for a second straight year. The Austrian only managed a third and second in the two races. Third placing Alexandre Imperatori affirmed his standings behind the first two drivers, with second and third place finishes in the two races.

The Round 12 bout at the Shanghai International Circuit was interrupted by a brief safety car period, which didn’t prevent Bamber from his main objective. Bamber blasted off from pole and blocked out Ragginger for the lead at the start of the race. Imperatori managed to match the front two with his fast start on the opening lap. After a couple of laps, Bamber and Ragginger had created a comfortable gap from Imperatori and the rest of the pack. Imperatori would face a stern test from Rodolfo Avila in fourth, but the Swiss driver defended his position fairly well, although he locked up going into a corner on lap 4.

By lap 5, Ragginger picked up his pace and went after the race leader hard. However, Bamber was rather unfazed by the Austrian driver’s attempt. Ringo Chong’s slip-off the track forced a safety car period on lap 8, and allowed everyone to close up behind the SC, with Bamber at the helm. At the restart a lap later, Bamber again easily pulled away from Ragginger and Imperatori on his way to a double win at the Shanghai track. Imperatori then ran wide, but retained his third position. Avila saw an opening to close up on Imperatori’s 911 GT Cup, however passing the experienced Swiss was another matter all together. Bamber managed to increase a comfortable gap to Ragginger in the closing laps and all the way to the flag, with Imperatori barely holding firm in third from Avila. Imperatori and Avila fought tooth-to-nail to the chequered flag and crossed the line only inches apart from each other.

Bamber expressed his satisfaction of a repeat title, “It was very tough as Martin (Ragginger) was on new tyres, but no race has been easy this season. These guys kept me on my toes the whole way. But, winning the PCCA title for a second year running was beyond words!”

The New Zealander’s seven wins this season for a cumulative 199 points in the standings gave him a 28-point advantage in the final points tally.

After 11 races across seven weekends in four countries, the PCCA contingent now rest and recuperate to get ready to do it all over again next year.

2014 PCCA (Porsche Carrera Cup Asia) Round 12, Shanghai, results

(Class A, unless otherwise noted)

1 Earl BAMBER 24:24.594
2 Martin RAGGINGER +1.928
3 Alexandre IMPERATORI +3.864
4 Rodolfo AVILA +4.097
5 Jason ZHANG Zhi Qiang +6.774
6 TUNG Ho-Pin +7.682
7 Carlo VAN DAM B +8.051 (Guest driver)
8 Ro.C. Skyangel +9.939
9 ZHANG Zhen Dong  +10.190
10 Alif HAMDAN  B +11.584

Final PCCA Drivers standings
1 Earl Bamber 199
2 Martin Ragginger 171
3 Alexandre Imperatori 152
4 Rodolfo Avila 142
5 Tung Ho-Pin 135