Absolute Racing teams wrapped it all up in the 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia after a nearly perfect race weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit.
- Team StarChase’s Hamprecht wins maiden PCCA Overall title
- Bao Jinlong Repeats Pro-Am Title Success
- Team StarChase conquers Porsche Dealer Trophy
Philip Hamprecht was crowned Porsche Carrera Cup Asia overall champion on Absolute Racing home turf as Team StarChase took the honors of the Porsche Dealer Trophy for the second year in a row.
Similarly, Bao Jinlong brought Pro-Am class title home for the second consecutive time with another weekend in dominating fashion. The Chinese driver captured the title driving the highly-competitive #55 Zheng Tong Auto Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry in which he managed to fight with upper-class cars throughout the season.
Following a quiet Friday of free practice sessions, the action-packed finale to the 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season was concentrated on Saturday with the qualifying session and the two races.
Hamprecht qualified second for the opening race. The German youngster lost a position at the start, but he knew that a third-place finish would meet his goals for the race, so he shadowed his rival throughout. A third-place finish delivered him the 2019 Championship a round early, and Team StarChase also bagged the Porsche Dealer Trophy with one race to go. The pressure was off for Hamprecht.
The second race was much more eventful for the orange 911 GT3 Cup. Hamprecht looked set to take another podium result. Unfortunately, a drive-through penalty for contact with a rival put him back in the pack. Despite a gallant charge over the second half of the race, Hamprecht was only ninth at the flag; a result that was not enough to cool down the celebrations.
This has been a season of ups and downs for Tanart Sathienthirakul. The Bunjong Motorsport driver has underlined his intention to finish the season on high note. Starting from sixth on the grid for the first race of the day, the Thai driver had an uneventful race to cross the finish line in sixth.
In a thrilling last race of the season at the Herrman Tilke-designed circuit, the Thai driver started from eighth on the grid and soon started to gain places aboard the #15 Bunjong Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry. Sathienthirakul narrowly missed out on the podium after crossing the line in fourth place. He finished sixth in the overall drivers’ standings.
In the Pro-Am class, Bao Jinlong arrived in Shanghai with a 13-point advantage over his nearest rival despite missing three whole races due to an injury. The Zheng Tong Auto-man had been fighting back throughout the year, following a challenging start to his title defense, but he was decided to repeat 2018’s championship victory again this year.
The local hero qualified third in the category for the opening race. Round 13 in the Pro-Am category delivered a surprise win for Bao Jinlong. Despite a lights-to-flag victory from an opponent on the track, a penalty ultimately meant Bao’s rival had to settle for third place on the podium.
In the final encounter of the 2019 season, Zheng Tong Auto driver led a lights-to-flag finish to bring home the Pro-Am Championship for the second year running. Bao Jinlong didn’t have an easy race, but he managed to conquer his sixth Pro-Am category win of the year.
The 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup season gets underway at the first-ever Vietnam Grand Prix, which will take place on the brand-new street circuit in Hanoi from 3rd to 5th April.
Fabien Fior (Team Director): “This season has been very good for us in PCCA. We won the championship overall with Philip, the Pro-Am category with Bao Jinlong and the Dealers’ Trophy with Team StarChase. It couldn’t be any better. The weekend here in Shanghai was good with Philip snatching another podium finish in third and Bao winning Pro-Am category in both races. We will enjoy this evening – but then get our heads down, push even harder and start preparing for the next challenge.”
Ingo Matter (Team Director): “That was the perfect way to finish off the Carrera Cup Asia season, and I’m proud of the team. I think it’s fair to say we’ve shown everyone just how competitive we are. The whole team has been working together so well this season and this weekend’s outcome was the true reward for everyone involved. Hopefully, our teams can carry this strong performance into winter testing and come back next year with the same ambition and willing to win.”
Tanart Sathienthirakul (#15 Bunjong Motorsport – 6th Championship): “Overall the weekend was decent. Obviously I was expecting a bit more as the pace was there. Our performance got better and better throughout the season. I’d like to thank the whole team for their hard work, my family, sponsors and everyone who supported me this season! We had ups and downs, but all in all I’m happy with what we achieved. Hopefully, we will come back stronger next year.”
Bao Jinlong (#55 Zheng Tong Auto – PRO-AM CHAMPION): “We were determined to finish the season on a high, and today was a hard-fought battle. I’m happy to have closed this season with two race wins. Thanks to everybody, and I’m looking forward to next season.”
Philip Hamprecht (#99 Team StarChase – OVERALL CHAMPION): “This has been an incredible year and I’m absolutely delighted to have won the championship. The first race was pretty boring I have to say. I did want to win it, but to finish it was definitely more important. In the second race I had a bit of fun. It was like stock cars racing. In the end, winning the championship with Team StarChase in my third season is a fantastic feeling. I am very happy for them as we worked very hard every single weekend. It is probably a great finish to my Carrera Cup Asia career.”
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Photos @ Porsche Carrera Cup Asia