Modena Motorsports will make its Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia debut at Sepang on April 6/7 with two new-generation Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The Zhuhai-based, Hong Kong-registered team is probably best known for its Porsche Carrera Cup Asia exploits but also competes across the continent and beyond in predominantly endurance events.
Its two Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia Porsches are split across Pro-Am and Am Cup pairings. One of the team’s original founders and Carrera Cup Asia drivers, John Shen, is joined by former FIA WEC and ELMS champion Mathias Beche, who also partnered Shen when Modena Motorsports contested the 24H Series round at Imola with a SEAT Leon TCR in 2018.
Meanwhile, its Am Cup entry also comprises plenty of Modena Motorsports history. Francis Tjia founded the team in 2005 and has competed in a variety of series, primarily aboard Porsches, ever since. His co-driver remains unannounced but is expected to come from within Modena’s ranks.
The team’s two 911 GT3 Rs are also confirmed for round two at Buriram, albeit with a slightly revised Pro-Am line-up featuring Shen and Benny Simonsen, who has raced Modena-run entries in the Asian Le Mans Series, 24H Series and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. The Dane’s late brother, Allan, previously helped Shen and Tjia develop the team’s motorsport activities in 2007.
“Modena’s links with Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia’s management team go right back to its first motorsport programme in the Hong Kong Supercar Club, which I guess underlines how quickly motorsport has evolved in the region,” said Shen, who joined the team in 2006. “We have competed in the region’s biggest championships and events so know what to expect. However, there’s no doubting the quality of our opposition across the overall, Pro-Am and Am Cup classes.
“We are ambitious and see Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia as a springboard towards future international programmes. The championship’s BoP, common regulations and Pirelli tyres make it the perfect platform from which to start that journey.”
Head of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific, Alexandre Gibot, added: “We’re delighted that Modena Motorsports will take this next step with Porsche into Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia. They have proven the calibre at which they operate with their success in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship, which they will continue with in 2019. With what is now seven Porsche 911 GT3 R cars on the grid, we are demonstrating that Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific provides a high quality service to our customers. I cannot wait to see them lined up on the grid in Sepang.”
Modena’s entries become the sixth and seventh new-generation Porsche 911 GT3 R confirmed for the opening round at Sepang where they’re joined in the senior class by Audi, Ferrari, Honda, Lamborghini, McLaren and Mercedes-AMG.