Asia: Series Shanghai qualifying report
Menzel on Pole in Shanghai Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion Christian Menzel of Team StarChase took pole position for Round 9, setting an impressive qualifying time which was 1.8 seconds faster than the next quickest driver in the ...
Menzel on Pole in Shanghai
Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion Christian Menzel of Team StarChase took pole position for Round 9, setting an impressive qualifying time which was 1.8 seconds faster than the next quickest driver in the 23-car field in the wet session on the shorter, 4.603km configuration of the Shanghai International Circuit in China in support of the China Touring Car Championship.
Earning one point for pole position, Menzel, who forfeit his 2010 Championship lead to Team PCS Racing's Craig Baird after the previous rounds in Singapore, chipped away at the four-point gap and is now three points behind the New Zealander, who was fourth-fastest in the session.
Lining up alongside Menzel for Round 9 will be FIA World Touring Car Championship driver Darryl O'Young of Hong Kong, with LKM Racing, while Team Jebsen's Rodolfo Avila was third quickest after moving up two positions on the timing sheets on his final qualifying lap.
Menzel clinched pole on his first lap out, clocking a time of 2:06.390 which would go unmatched for the rest of the session as the rain began to fall harder and heavier.
"I like these kinds of conditions," said a smiling Menzel. "I like it a little tricky, more difficult. For the championship, I am in a better situation now. For the last two years we have been in this situation and maybe we need this pressure. The only difference this year is that I am not so comfortable and we must fight harder now."
O'Young, for his part, made an error on his first quick lap and, while he recovered on his second lap, the Hong Kong driver acknowledged that second was the best he could do: "The trick was to get the time in the first lap. I made a pretty big mistake on the first lap and I'm glad to have recovered on the second, but the time needed to come
at the start. That being said, I only did two laps and didn't use my new tyres so I should be good for the race. After I set my time, I came in right away because with the rain coming down harder, I thought it would be nearly impossible to better my time," said O'Young.
The same could not be said for Avila who, after a difficult qualifying session, was able to put it together on his final lap and was less than one-tenth of a second shy qualifying in second: "I had been stuck in traffic and missing the final corner and then, on the last lap, I got the last corner and my time was good enough for third. I know I could have done way better than third, so let's see the race."
Class B championship leader Mok Weng Sun took Class B pole, and will start Round 9 from sixth on the grid, while OpenRoad Racing driver Christian Chia had his best qualifying session of the season so far, and will start from seventh on the grid. Modena Motorsports Wayne Chen rounds out the top three for the Class B drivers, qualifying eighth overall.
Said Mok: "I used a few laps to feel the track, then came in for new tyres. I should have pushed harder at the beginning as the track condition was getting worse, but my gamble paid off. I managed to improve the time with the new tyres on a wetter track."
-source: pcc aisa