|Imperatori Prevails Amid Drama|
Zhuhai. Alexandre Imperatori was wheel-perfect as he converted his pole position into a third successive victory in Round 3 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, however he was lucky to be ahead of a multi-car incident off the start and into the notorious first turn, which saw the race stopped.
Second on the podium at the end of the shortened, 9-lap race was Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila, with Benjamin Rouget taking a well-earned maiden podium for new China Porsche dealer team, Team Yongda Dongfang.
In Class B, it was a surprised and delighted Egidio Perfetti who took his second win in succession, propelling him to the top of the category leaderboard and fourth overall in the title chase. Perfetti had qualified fifth quickest in Class B. Second was Modena Motorsports’ Wayne Shen of Hong Kong, with series newcomer Zheng Ting taking his maiden series podium with BBT.
Imperatori’s win, plus the extra point for pole positions, strengthens his championship lead. Keita Sawa’s extraordinary performance in Round 3, where he came from the back of the grid to finish 7th, sees him maintain his second place in the title chase, albeit now 18 points adrift of Imperatori.
Rouget was thrilled to have taken his first Porsche Carrera Cup Asia podium finish, and relieved to have avoided the incident at the start: “I was really focused on my own performance, but I saw three cars in front of me spin and just avoided the incident. Someone touched me, but luckily there was only slight damage.”
Said a thrilled Perfetti: “I’m a little surprised as I didn’t qualify well. I survived the start (incident), and then after the re-start I really got it going and was doing faster laps than in qualifying. I hope to keep this (form) going!”
Imperatori got away well from pole, with Avila and Team Eagle – Jiejun & Junbaojie ace Martin Ragginger also making good getaways. However, a brash move by newcomer Huang Chu Han, who had qualified an impressive fifth, sparked a dramatic incident involving almost half the field. Huang shunted into Ragginger, catapulting the Austrian’s car into Avila. Avila got away with body damage to his Team Jebsen car, but it was race over for Ragginger.
The race was stopped, and marshals worked frantically to clear the track of stranded cars and debris. Restarting under the Safety Car, Imperatori again made a great getaway and began pulling out a lead at the front to cross the line with a margin of more than four seconds.
Avila held on to second from Rouget, while behind them guest driver Matthew Marsh was piling the pressure onto Team Betterlife’s Wang Jian Wei. Behind them, the action continued, with reigning champion Keita Sawa, who had adeptly avoided the earlier pile-up, climbing from the back of the grid to cross the line 7th, having got by BBT driver Davide Rizzo in the closing stages of the race.
The excitement is set to continue for Round 4, with the new reverse grid rule seeing Davide Rizzo start from pole, with LKM Racing Team’s Sawa alongside. Championship leader Imperatori will start from the fourth row alongside Avila, setting the stage for a heart-pumping start.
Prepared by PR PLUS