|21 September 2004Round 8 Preview
Shanghai International Circuit, China, 25-26 September 2004
Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia prepares for Shanghai Showcase
Round 8 of the burgeoning Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia will provide the perfect opportunity to show hundreds of thousands of Chinese racing fans just how thrilling and competitive the series is, as the field takes to the track as a support race for the Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix on September 26. This is the first time China will host a round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, and it will be the country’s biggest sporting event this year.
Commented Porsche Asia Pacific Regional Marketing Manager, Dr. Henrik Dreier: “This is a tremendous opportunity for both Porsche Asia Pacific and all our drivers to demonstrate what a spectacular series this is, and just how impressive the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars are on the race track. It will be a tremendous thrill for all of us to be a part of such an historic moment in motor racing history.”
Topping the Class A leaderboard going in to the next round is Fuspeed Racing’s Charoensukhawatana Nattavude of Thailand who leads Briton Matthew Marsh with A-Ha Racing by just five points. However, Team Infineon-Novellus driver and reigning champion, Charles Kwan of Hong Kong comes to Shanghai in fighting form and determined to shine in front of the Chinese fans.
Said Kwan: “This is one of the most important races of my career as it is an historical moment for Chinese motorsport. To win in Shanghai would have to be the highlight of my racing career!” One of Asia’s most successful and well-respected drivers, Kwan typically concentrates on steadily notching up championship points. However, he is now determined to focus on winning each race and take the PICCA championship title for the second year. “I’m going to be out to win races and head for another title,”
The showcase event it equally important to Kwan’s backers and series title sponsor, Infineon Technologies. Said Mr. Loh Kin Wah, President and Managing Director, Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific: “The series reflects the core values of Infineon Technologies – excellence and innovation. We are thrilled to be the title sponsor of a sporting event which so powerfully demonstrates these qualities. Together, we will all be making racing history.”
Just seven points behind Kwan is series newcomer, Team Jebsen’s Darryl O’Young. The 24-year-old has been quicker with each round and the team celebrated two second place finishes at Beijing’s Goldenport Circuit in August. With his father watching from the stands at the new Shanghai International Circuit, the youngster will be going all out to impress probably his biggest fan.
Fifth in the championship standings is Malaysian star, former Formula 3 racer, Rizal Ramli of the Crest Jaseri Racing Team. The 27-year-old began the season like a bolt of lightning, winning the opening round in March, a support race to the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix, in commanding style. He has since notched up a further two wins and a podium finish in this his debut season.
So close is the racing this year that with just four rounds of the season to go, a mere 28 points separates the top six drivers.
Mobil1 VIP driver will be former Formula 1 pilot Alex Yoong of Malaysia. Yoong took a convincing win in the final round of last year’s series at the Macau Grand Prix, again as a Mobil1 guest driver, and has to be a hot favourite for Shanghai.
Porsche Asia Pacific guest driver Jonathan Cocker will be lining up on the grid in Shanghai in his first Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia outing. Multiple race winner and star of the British GT Championship, the 18-year-old became the youngest person ever to claim a podium finish in the FIA GT Championship at Donington Park earlier this year.
Another guest driver for the historic Shanghai round is William E. Connor II, who is also competing in the series for the first time.
Max Chen of the A1 Racing Team has an impressive lead in Class B, a category designed for amateur drivers but just as hard-fought as Class A. Chen’s form has been nothing less than astounding this season, and he is eighth in the overall standings.
Supporting the series are two of the most recognised names in international motorsport, Mobil1 and Michelin. Mobil and Porsche have been partners since 1996. Close co-operation in research and development has to led to every new Porsche engine being filled with Mobil1 high-performance lubricant. Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia drivers also have the advantage of high technology tyres, supplied by series partner Michelin, that have consistently improved the performance of many teams in international motorsport. The partnership between Michelin and the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia has emerged from a worldwide agreement signed between Porsche AG and the Michelin group in 2001.
The Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia runs as part of the Asian Festival of Speed, organised by Malaysian-based Motorsport Asia Limited.
Round 8 Provisional Entry List
Comp. No. Drivers Class Entrant
1. Charles KWAN (HKG) A Team Infineon-Novellus
2. Scott MIAU (TPE) B Scott Miau
3. William E. HEINECKE (THA) B The Pizza Company
8. Jonathan COCKER* (GBR) A Porsche Asia Pacific
13. C. NATTAVUDE (THA) A Fuspeed Racing
15. Toshio NAKAMURA* (JPN) B Toshio Nakamura
17. William E. CONNOR II* (HKG) B William E. Connor II
18. Vutthikorn INTHRAPHUVASAK (THA) A Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak
19. Dilantha MALAGAMUWA (JPN) A Team IWS Holdings
20. Alexander YOONG* (AUS) A Porsche Asia Pacific
22. SIU Tit Lung (HKG) B Siu Tit Lung
28. Max CHEN (TPE) B A1 Racing Team
33. Matthew MARSH (GBR) A A-Ha Racing
55. Rizal Ashram RAMLI (MAS) A Crest Jaseri Racing Team
66. SIU Yuk Lung (HKG) B Siu Yuk Lung
77. Anil THADANI (THA) B The Pizza Company
88. Darryl O’ YOUNG (CAN) A Team Jebsen
89. Ringo CHONG (SIN) A Eurokars Racing
98. Philip MA (HKG) B P. Ma
99. Alex YAN* (HKG) B Alex Yan
*Non series registered.