|Double podium finish for Li Zhi Cong at Sepang|
Asia Racing Team’s Li Zhi Cong secured a double podium finish in the opening rounds of the 2012 GT Asia Series in Sepang this weekend. The Chinese rookie driver is currently second in the Drivers’ standings just one point adrift from the Championship leader.
The 18 year old steered his Porsche 911 GT3 R onto the track with the necessary dose of enthusiasm and speed, putting in a strong effort on his first visit to the challenging F1 circuit with a GT car, qualifying fourth for both weekend races.
The youngest driver of the field made a competitive start to the season on Saturday morning, taking an impressive second place finish.
Race One on Saturday saw Li line up in fourth place. Making a flying start, Li was up to P2 by the end of lap one. The Guangzhou native was unlucky to lose one place off the compulsory pit stop, however was quickly keen to retake the position, lining himself up tightly to second after a deft overtaking manoeuvre.
Race Two saw Li Zhi Cong losing one position at the start. He quickly regained the place and by the midway point he was up to the second spot and threatening the race-leader. But the arrival of the safety car was mistimed for Li, ultimately costing him one position. He still managed to take third in the race.
Speaking after the two eventful races, Li commented on a challenging weekend, “in Race One I had a good start and was up to second. The team gave me a good car and I managed to keep my position.
“My Race Two was undermined by the on-track arrival of the safety car but overall I am happy because my driving improved this weekend and the laptimes were consistent. Coming into the weekend I was just a rookie without any GT experience so its fantastic to come away with one point adrift from the Championship lead.”
Team Manager Philippe Descombes added, “we arrived in Sepang with only two days of testing and Peter (Li Zhi Cong) showed a remarkably quick adaptation to GT driving. His first weekend was great as he notched up a great second place on his first GT race. We had a good chance to win in Race Two as he was easily catching up the race-leader Ferrari. Unfortunately the safety car played a really big part in the Sunday race but third is still a great result for everyone in the team. We need to keep pushing though and try and replicate this good result in two weeks.”
Li Zhi Cong lies second in the Drivers’ standings. The Yumin Restaurant sponsored driver therefore also holds the second position in the recently announced AAMC Macau GT Cup.
The GT Asia Series will remain in Malaysia for Rounds 3 & 4 as part of the Super GT event from 8-10 June.
Prepared by www.art-motorsports.com