|Rounds 8 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at the brand new Inje Speedium International Circuit in South Korea over the weekend saw Chinese driver Ho Pin Tung capture his very first victory in the series. Round 9 was won by the former PCCA championship drivers’ standings leader Martin Ragginger.|
The new 4.208km Inje Speedium circuit didn’t present major obstacles for most Carrera Cup racers as Ragginger captured another convincing win ahead of reigning PCCA champion Alexandre Imperatori and current drivers’ standings leader Earl Bamber at Round 9. Ragginger’s victory narrows the gap between him and Bamber in the standings, with just 13 points separating the two. With three races to go, and a total of 62 points on offer, five drivers remain in contention for PCCA ‘top dog’ honors. Ho Pin Tung’s round 8 win allowed the Chinese Carrera Cup driver to jump to fifth place in the drivers’ standings. with 103 points; 54 off the leader’s point tally.
Ragginger dominates Round 9 PCCA
Ragginger missed out on a potential victory in Round 8 due to a time penalty. In Round 9 action, the Austrian showed his class by shooting off the starting grid and never looked back. The veteran quickly increased his lead time lap-on-lap to second place runner Imperatori who had dispatched Bamber at the tight hairpin on the first lap. With Ragginger running away, Imperatori had to fend off Bamber’s charges throughout the race.
At the finish line. Ragginger won it by 1.7 seconds from Imperatori and 2.1 s from Bamber. Recardo Bruins, the Korean PCCA driver, finished an impressive fourth place in front of Round 8’s winner Ho Pin Tung.
PCAA Round 8: Ho Pin Tung gets maiden win
Ho Pin Tung who started from the third row of the grid captured his first PCCA win in the earlier bout. The Chinese beat Jason Zhang Zhiqiang and Rodolfo Avila to the punch. Supposedly it was Ragginger who crossed the line first, but a 30-sec penalty due to a jump start pretty much handed the win to Ho Pin. “As they say, ‘you must first finish to finish first’, and I’m happy to have made it to the line. I was hit from behind, in the side, had a damaged rear tyre…it was a very active race!” Tung commented.
“On this track, it’s quite difficult to overtake, and many of the drivers were quite aggressive on the opening lap, trying to gain position, but in the final two laps everything settled down a bit. I had a good start and run into Turn 1. That was quite tight, but most got through, but that’s when the carnage started,” he added.
In Round 8 action, Ragginger jumped off the grid to lead Bamber as the field tagged the leaders into the first corner. Bamber didn’t give up and pursued Ragginger hard; the two cars touched with Ragginger’s Carrera Cup having to use much of the kerbs to escape from a spin off. Then in the mid-distance of the race, Imperatori challenged Bamber and the two cars ended up in the barriers. The incident brought forth the safety car and Ragginger resumed the race as the leader of the pack, with Tung in second place and Zhang third.
The SC was called out for a second time after an incident involving Ma Chi Min, who took drastic action to avoid a slow moving car on track. When the debris was cleared, and the SC pulled off for the second time, just two laps remained before the chequered flag. Ragginger led the field away cleanly and once again set about pulling a gap from his rivals. Zhang had a look at Tung, but couldn’t see a way to get by without putting his podium finish in jeopardy before the flag.
Though Ragginger had initially won it, the victory was soon passed to Tung, as Zhang and Avila were promoted to second and third placings respectively.
The PCCA Rounds 10 & 11 moves to the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore as part of the support race for the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix from 20 – 22 September.
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA) Round 9 results
1 Martin RAGGINGER 23:01.780
2 Alexandre IMPERATORI +1.742
3 Earl BAMBER +2.136
4 Recardo BRUINS +9.433
5 TUNG Ho-Pin +16.320
6 Keita SAWA +16.626
7 Jason ZHANG Zhiqiang +24.103
8 ZHANG Da Sheng +24.314
9 Rodolfo AVILA +24.697
10 8 Benjamin ROUGET +25.612
1 TUNG Ho-Pin 1:39.382
2 Jason ZHANG Zhiqiang +0.257
3 Rodolfo AVILA +1.250
4 Egidio PERFETTI +2.132
5 Recardo BRUINS +2.617
6 Benjamin ROUGET +4.499
7 ZHANG Da Sheng +4.470
8 Ringo CHONG +7.517
9 Keita SAWA +7.690
10 Earl BAMBER +8.328
PCCA Drivers standings Class A
1 Earl BAMBER 157
2 Martin RAGGINGER 144
3 Rodolfo AVILA 127
4 Keita SAWA 109
5 TUNG Ho-Pin 103