Shanghai, China. Team Eagle’s Martin Ragginger dominated the final round of the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at the Shanghai International Circuit, stamping his authority over the field with a lights-to-flag victory to end the season on a high. In a brilliant display of GT racing at its finest, with close battles throughout the field all the way to the chequered flag, the 12-lap Round 12 was a fitting end to what has been the most competitive in the championship’s 11-year history.
Newly-crowned champion Earl Bamber of Nexus GSH Racing was second across the line, this time around unable to take the fight to his season-long title rival, while series newcomer and Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup regular Ben Barker took his maiden Porsche Carrera Cup Asia podium for Team Betterlife after just his second race.
Bamber’s Nexus Racing team mate Alif Hamdan of Malaysia finished his debut season with his maiden Class B win, with Yuey Tan of Dorr McElrea Racing second and securing the runner-up position in the category championship. Third for the second time this weekend was OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia of Hong Kong.
On Saturday’s Round 11 race, Earl Bamber sealed the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship with an emphatic victory, thundering from pole to chequered flag to take the title with a race to spare. The 23-year-old Nexus GSH Racing driver didn’t put a wheel wrong on the way to his sixth victory in his debut season, setting the fastest lap of the 12-lap race for good measure.
Second across the line was 2012 champion, PICC Team StarChase driver Alexandre Imperatori, who is having a strong weekend on home turf. Third in Round 11, and championship runner-up to Bamber, was Team Eagle’s Martin Ragginger. Ragginger spent much of the race fighting to find a way past Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup driver Ben Barker of Britain, dramatically reclaiming the final podium spot on the final lap.
Newly-crowed Class B Champion Egidio Perfetti took Class B honours after a challenging qualifying, followed home by category pole-sitter, Nexus Racing’s Alif Hamdan. OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia got a brilliant start to lead the Class B field for much of the race, before first Perfetti then Hamdan got by him.
After 12 races, Bamber finished the season 19 points ahead of Ragginger in the overall championship standings, with Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila in third, finishing in the top three for the third successive year. Fourth was 2011 champion, LKM Racing’s Keita Sawa of Japan, followed by top Chinese finisher, Tung Ho-Pin of Budweiser Kamlung Racing just two points behind.
While Mentos Racing’s Egidio Perfetti had wrapped up the Class B title in Singapore, this weekend Tan secured the runner-up spot beating Asia Racing Team’s Li Chao by 11 points.
While Round 12 marked a spectacular end to the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season, Asia’s finest GT drivers will be back in action next month at the 60th Macau Grand Prix. From November 9 to 10, the field will be joined by some of their counterparts on the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Japan for an end-of-seasonal invitational on the legendary Guia Circuit, as well as a very special VIP driver: Nine-time FIA World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb will join the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia for their triumphant return to Macau.