Rounds 3 & 4 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia visited the Korean Yeongam International Circuit for the first time, after a highly intense start to the season.
Firstly, may I mention that during the 2015 season, Porsche are sending the lead driver from class A and class B to Spa-Francorchamps in late July to drive the Porsche Carrera Cup support race at Le Mans 24 hours of Spa, which honestly is a dream of mine and a milestone should I achieve it. The criteria is to be leading the category championship by the end of rounds 5 & 6 in Fuji.
Going into round 3, leading the class B championship was the 2012 Champion, Wayne Shen and my sights were set on him. My target was simple; to grab the championship lead. The gap was 4 points.
Race 1 began on Saturday afternoon and after getting a decent start, I was overtaken into turn 1 with a fantastic maneuver from Australia’s Max Twigg. I got to say I like racing with Twiggy as he is known by his friends, as he always leaves just enough racing room. After this, the race settled up and we started to go racing.
Unfortunately just over halfway through the race, I hit a curb which I should not have hit giving the advantage to Francis Tjia that was right behind me. I lost another place to move down into 5th. I picked up some ‘marbles’ from going off the racing line as my race car started to lose grip for around three laps and that was massively frustrating. I was losing speed.
Then I did something real stupid. I chased Tjia as hard as I could and after the marbles came back off the tyres, I was right with him closing a two and a half second gap. I knew I could make the place but when I went to overtake, I took too tight a line sending me into a spin. What a stupid move and I threw more points away. Wayne Shen then got past me with me finishing in 6th. The championship leader had widened his gap to 5 points. Tjia wasn’t my target at that moment. It was Shen. I lost some points. I finished 6th.
Race 2 was a brand new day on the Sunday and the plan was no heroics this time. The chance of engaging in battle was somewhat less as taking the chequered flag without incident was the only target on my mind. Consolidating my championship position was important to me, still thinking of the potential trip to Spa-Francorchamps.
I started 3rd on the grid once again and after the start, things were fine and we settled into 3rd position and a podium finish was a realistic target. We made a two second gap to Francis Tjia and visually, it looked very comfortable as I managed to maintain the gap for over half of the race though as were several laps from the end, my car performance started to fade. We had not got the car quite right so as Francis Tjia started to close in, I decided that the fight was not on anymore and finishing in front of Wayne was the target. I finished 4th just behind Tjia missing out on a podium finish once again. It was massively disappointing.
There is good news though. Going to Fuji, the championship stands as Wayne still leading with 58 points, with myself just trailing the championship class B lead by a point on 57, and my other main rivals Francis Tjia on 44 points and Vitthikorn 8th on the table with 27 points. Game on mates!!