Ordos, China (July 10, 2012) PICC Team StarChase and talented driver Alexandre Imperatori may have faced the most challenging weekend of their partnership to date at the Inner Mongolian Ordos International Circuit, but the powerful pairing still managed to hold their lead in the championship.
After Rounds 5 and 6 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at the unforgiving 3.751km track, PICC Team StarChase has a 21-point advantage at the top of the 2012 championship leaderboard.
For Imperatori’s team mate, Tung Ho-Pin in the Budweiser Team StarChase car, it was also a successful outing, despite a debilitating bout of stomach flu. The Chinese driver also put in a fantastic performance to climb from 7th to 4th in the points.
Qualifying saw Imperatori miss out on pole by less than three tenths of a second, the first time he hadn’t topped the time sheets.
Round 5 saw him fight hard right off the line but, on a track which offers few overtaking opportunities, Imperatori knew better than to risk all for the glory of victory and collected the valuable points for second place.
With the top eight reversed for the start of Round 6, it was a different story. The tricky track surface conditions were worsened when the heavens opened and torrential rain drenched the circuit. Again, Imperatori came out fighting, but a coming together with a rival sent the pair spinning out and, although able to rejoin, he had to settle for 11th place.
Although PICC Team StarChase and Imperatori have not yet broken their Ordos duck, the team gave the weekend their best in less-than-ideal conditions.
Said Imperatori: “We never expected to win every race. We are here to compete in a highly-competitive field of the highest calibre. The challenges of this weekend have made us stronger and better as a team. We didn’t risk our championship position just to stand on top of the podium, but we still gave it 110%. That is what is rightly expected of us, and that is what our partner PICC deserves. We knew the points situation, we knew who our rivals were, worked out our strategy in any given situation, and have come away with a healthy advantage at the top of the points table.”
The two hard-fought and richly-deserved 4th place finishes for Tung offered a glimpse of what is in store as the highly talented driver becomes more familiar with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Said StarChase Chief Operations Officer Mr. Robby Niermann: “I am extremely proud of the team after this weekend. We have demonstrated that not only are we quick, but both our drivers are skilled in racecraft and tactics, and compete with their brains as well as with their courage and talent. It was a tough weekend with plenty of challenges, but we have maintained our lead despite this.”
Next PICC Team StarChase will take on the searing heat and humidity of Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit where they will continue their charge towards the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship title in Rounds 7 and 8, from August 30 to September 1.