Asia: Team StarChase news

Champions StarChase Announce Inspired New Driver Signing

Shanghai, China (January 14, 2011) - Double and reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champions Team StarChase today lifted the lid on plans for its 2011 title defence with the announcement of exciting new driver Alexandre Imperatori.

In a brilliant masterstroke by the China Porsche dealer group StarChase, 23-year-old single seater star Imperatori is an inspired choice, and brings his impressive track record, undoubted talent and limitless potential to the team.

Said Imperatori: "Team StarChase is currently the most successful team in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, and has a car to win races and championships. I was looking for a top championship and a team with a car to win, and these elements are all present. I am very excited by the prospect of this new challenge, and can't wait to get my hands on the steering wheel!"

The Shanghai-based Swiss driver's stellar rise began at the age of four when he first started karting, his talent propelling him up the ladder to see him contest the prestigious Japan Formula 3 Championship, finishing in the top five last season and ending 2010 with a jaw-dropping performance in the category's 'world cup' at the Macau Grand Prix.

Imperatori will be making the transition from single seater racing to competing in the region's premier one-make sportscar championship in the awesome Team StarChase Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The young talent is looking forward to the challenge with considerable relish: "I look forward to the challenge of racing a GT car for the first time. There will be a lot to learn, but I relish the opportunity to go up against established Porsche drivers."

For Team StarChase, the only outfit in the championship's eight-year history to have ever taken back-to- back titles, Imperatori represents an ideal choice. Commented StarChase Group Chairman, Mr. Yaw Chee Ming: "Alexandre is talented young driver who for some time has made China his home. His racing credentials are excellent, and we believe he has great promise. Team StarChase is looking forward to a tremendously successful racing season with Alexandre, and have no doubt it will be thrilling to watch on track."

No stranger to Asian race tracks, Imperatori first competed in the region in 2004, going on to win the China Formula Renault Championship in 2006. Likewise, Team StarChase also has a sterling pedigree, finishing its 2008 debut Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season as Vice-Champions, followed by two consecutive outright titles, all with German sportscar ace Christian Menzel.

Paying tribute to Menzel, StarChase Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Robby Niermann commented: "Christian has been a superb partner for Team StarChase. His experience and talent have been invaluable to the team's development, and have seen us win two, fiercely-contested championships. We are forever grateful to Christian for his enormous contribution to our success."

As the organisation of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, recognised as the most professional and competitive GT championship in the region, moves to Porsche China from the start of 2011, Team StarChase sees greater opportunities to introduce its China customers to the electrifying world of professional motorsport. Said Niermann: "Alexandre will bring new momentum to Team StarChase, and with Porsche Centers in Nanjing, Zhengzhou, Qingdao and Jinan, we have the opportunity to integrate our motorsport programme into a wide variety of experiential activities for our customers across a broad area of China."

Imperatori will have his first outing with Team StarChase at the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia pre-season test at Malaysia's Formula 1 race track in March. The 11-race calendar includes rounds in Shanghai, in support of the Formula 1 UBS Chinese Grand Prix, at the Pearl River Delta's Zhuhai International Circuit, the new Ordos International Circuit in Inner Mongolia, Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit, and the Marina Bay street circuit in support of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix.

Commented the new Team StarChase signing: "With the great support from the whole StarChase team, I look forward to fighting for victory very soon."

-source: starchase

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