Imperatori Takes Win after Ragginger Penalised
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia – Rounds 7 & 8 Sepang International Circuit, August 30 – September 2, 2012
Kuala Lumpur. PICC Team StarChase driver Alexandre Imperatori completed a maximum points haul this weekend by taking victory in Round 8 of the
Ragginger crossed the line first after an 11-lap thriller at the 5.54km Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. The Austrian had fought off an unrelenting attack from points leader Imperatori to lead Round 8 from 7th on the grid.
Third over the line, but second in the results, was Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila of Macau, with just over half a second separating the top three at the finish.
Asia Racing Team’s Huang Chu Han of China took the Class B win, with Modena Motorsports’ Wayne Shen, who had started from pole having finished Round 7 in 8th, joining him on the podium along with OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia.
Imperatori further strengthens his hold in the championship leaderboard, although the title is still wide open. The Shanghai-based Swiss talent leads from reigning champion Keita Sawa of the LKM Racing Team by 34 points, with Avila and Budweiser Team StarChase driver Tung Ho-Pin tied in third. In Class B, Shen has increased his lead over second-placed Egidio Perfetti to 32 points.
For Imperatori, who started from 8th on the grid having won Round 7, the epic battle was further evidence that the new reverse grid regulation is proving a masterstroke: “It’s offering a great show for spectators. Martin and I both had a great start, and it was quite amazing to be up in the top five after the first couple of corners. At one stage I had to go on the grass to avoid contact with Martin, but I kept the championship points in mind so was pushing hard but trying to avoid contact. Martin made no mistakes and stayed on the line as he should, and I couldn’t find a way past.”
Avila was thrilled to be back on the podium, having maximized his new tyres: “I started well, but released the clutch too quickly so lost some places with wheelspin. Then the tyres came in, and I made some places but was held up for a while. Once I made it past (Keita) Sawa, I decided to join the party. I knew if Martin or Alex made a mistake, I was right there.”
In Class B, winner Huang, who had finished 3rd in the earlier round, was already looking ahead to the next races: “This time I was more cautious with my tyres, but this is the start of many more wins to come!”
Starting alongside Shen on the front row was Team Yongda Dongfang driver Benjamin Rouget, who shot off the grid like lightning at the start, building up a gap of more than 1.5 seconds by the close of the opening lap. As the Frenchman set about pulling away at the front, behind him LKM Racing Team’s Sawa was on a charge, passing Ragginger to grab 2nd. Any thoughts the Austrian had of reclaiming the position had to be put hold as Imperatori pounced, piling on the pressure and briefly giving Sawa the smallest of breathing spaces.
Right on the limit, Imperatori dramatically ran wide and onto the grass, allowing Budweiser Team StarChase driver Tung Ho-Pin to get by briefly. Avila tried but failed to follow Tung, remaining behind Imperatori, as Ragginger took the chase to Sawa ahead. Rouget, meanwhile, had increased his lead to more than two seconds by the end of Lap 3, but it was to be short lived.
In searing heat, Ragginger held off a sustained and fierce attack from Imperatori while keeping Sawa firmly in his sights, plunging past the Japanese driver on Lap 5, and hunting down Rouget. Imperatori was not far behind though, and was back on Ragginger’s bumper almost immediately. Avila, too, was on a charge, passing first Tung then Sawa, and suddenly looming large in Imperatori’s mirrors.
By the end of Lap 7, the pack had reeled in Rouget, with Ragginger and Imperatori getting by and Avila joining the epic four-car battle, the Macau racer getting by the Frenchman. Sawa, too, was still in the fight, also passing Rouget in the penultimate lap.
The last-lap thriller saw Imperatori giving it everything he had, headlights ablaze, Ragginger holding his line superbly, and Avila glued to the Swiss driver’s bumper awaiting an error. Following an inquiry by race Stewards, Ragginger was handed the penalty which demoted him 9th in the order.
As it thunders towards the brilliant climax to its 10th season, the series is back in action later this month with the
Fastest Lap: Alexandre Imperatori/PICC Team StarChase/2:12.119/149.092kph
#86 – 30 second penalty added to total time (overtaking under yellow flag)
**Provisional Points After Round 8
No Driver Entrant Points
1 99 Alexandre IMPERATORI PICC Team StarChase 147
2 1 Keita SAWA LKM Racing Team 113
3 98 TUNG Ho-Pin Budweiser Team StarChase 88
20 Rodolfo AVILA Team Jebsen 88
5 86 Martin RAGGINGER Team Eagle-Jiejun & Junbaojie 87
No Driver Entrant Points
1 16 Wayne SHEN Modena Motorsports 138
2 88 Egidio PERFETTI Seminole Racing Team 106
3 21 Francis TJIA OpenRoad Racing 97
4 81 HUANG Chu Han Asia Racing Team 95
5 6 ZHENG Ting BBT 78
**Results and Points provisional, pending a technical investigation
Stronger, wider, faster, the new version of the
The engine is largely identical to the production unit in the 911 GT3 RS: with a capacity of 3.8 litres, the six-cylinder motor delivers 30 hp more than its predecessor. The power output is 450 bhp, with a maximum engine speed of 8,500 rpm.
The racing exhaust features a fully controlled catalytic converter. Via a ZF Friedrichshafen AG race clutch, a sequential six-speed dog-type gearbox and a limited slip differential, the engine power is transmitted to the rear axle.
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