The opening race weekend of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2019 was everything it was pumped up to be! It is by far one of the very best seasons for Asia’s one-make series for one simple reason. As a sum of all its parts, it has never been so awesome and here’s why.
The depth of the quality of drivers is at its best! The top 20 at a long Formula 1 circuit was 5 seconds per lap! I think that’s tighter than the top 20 in Formula 1 so that makes for some great racing! If someone in the front makes a mistake, many cars could pass them and make it more difficult than before to recover from an error.
The 2019 calendar is absolutely awesome! Almost every race weekend on the calendar is of big significance, providing a fantastic atmosphere for the partners and sponsors, as well as the fans and people being involved all throughout the sport!
I just came back from the Shanghai Formula 1 Weekend and it was awesome! The atmosphere was pumping and tickets sold out at the Shanghai International Circuit, not something you would normally put together in a sentence. Liberty Media as the new owners of Formula 1 have definitely changed it up a little bit! Accessibility coming from new target markets for the sport with new experiences such as taxi rides in real cars on circuit during the race weekend, something fantastic for the fans of Formula 1.
On the circuit, we started the race weekend quite badly. We didn’t have a balance in the car and the car was simply not there. We had to go into the brake zone very early in order to post a time and only did so on the 8th lap of the session. By then, the tyres were well past there best for sure. I was definitely a little shaken up but Van Der Drift kept reminding me that it meant nothing. New day, the next day and the car would be sweet!
Though qualifying was a totally different session all together. After getting the car dialed in, I improved a massive 2.5 seconds a lap even though I was also on new tyres in practice. So you can see that it made a massive difference to me. I was feeling a lot more confidence out of the car to push, without putting it into the wall! I set my fastest lap early in the session when the tyres were good for a 2.09.0, putting be p1 in category and four tenths clear of next place Bao Jin Long with Francis Tjia a further four tenths behind him.
Race day came and I was pretty excited to get on the grid. I felt completely relaxed and was having a lot of fun back amongst this championship. We did our warm up lap onto the grid.
We were there for a while! The pause to the lights was much longer than it normally was and then it was GO GO GO. I got an absolutely fantastic start and must say of all the cup cars, this is the only one ive ever managed to start well almost all of the time! I like it!
The first few corners were very close, as Bao and Francis both took turns coming close. Meanwhile I was being helpd up by Yuan Bo and behind up Tanart, though Im sure Tanart would’ve got away if Yuan Bo wasn’t there! And after two laps, the race settled in. I made a great gap to the drivers behind me and felt quite comfortable with five laps to go. Though due to a host of different track incidents, the safety car was deployed and my advantage lost. Two laps later, the race restarted and my tyres weren’t ready although we tried what we could to have maximum grip by the safety car restart. I went a little wide pass the apex of the hairpin with 1 lap and 3 corners to go when Francis got by! It was definitely something that could’ve been prevented if I decided to drive conservatively but in my mind, the gap was there before so I had hoped to make it again.
Fair play to all involved! I finished p2 in the end which isn’t bad and we are still at the very start of the season! Receiving one bonus lap for pole, I am currently one point off the championship lead so we are in a good positon! Lets see what happens in Suzuka for the next round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 24-26 of May!