Will Bamber seals win as slick track sets stage for wild Round 2 rumble

Dramatic clashes rounded out an action-packed opening race weekend for the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia with FAWT2 Motorsports’ Will Bamber displaying an unstoppable hunger for victory that earned him a Round 2 win.

Frigid cold threatened rain as the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia’s 25 drivers took to the track on Sunday for Round 2, but Bamber embraced the rough conditions, going full pedal as soon as the lights went green and jumping into the Turn 1 melee from P4.

Grid leader Andrew Tang from the Porsche China Junior Team was prepared for the onslaught however, valiantly defending his position from P2-starter Team Starchase’s Phillip Hamprecht and Team Porsche Holding’s Martin Ragginger in P3. But the action was halted before the first lap was completed after moist track conditions resulted in a bump-and-spin between drivers in the middle of the pack, ushering out the safety car and putting a temporary hold on the race.

It was Tang out front, Ragginger in second and Bamber in third when the race resumed in Lap 4.  Utilizing the tight grouping, Bamber immediately pushed an unrelenting offensive on Ragginger, who could only work to defend as Tang enjoyed a moment to catch his breath and put some space between himself and the rest of the pack.

Despite Ragginger’s stout defense, Bamber proved unshakeable, eventually making a clean pass in Lap 5 and pushing on to Tang, quickly closing the gap to bring his tenacious assault right to the young race leader’s doorstep.  After two laps of attack that saw Tang expertly shut the door on Bamber repeatedly, Tang eventually folded to a daring outside pass by Bamber in Lap 6.

It was then a contest for second and third between Tang and Raggigner, with Hamprecht strategically waiting in the wings and Team Formax’s Chris van der Drift keeping an opportunistic eye from further back.

The front pack action came to a white-knuckled climax as Ragginger attempted to overtake Tang just as Hamprecht decided to make his move, resulting in the three drivers charging side by side in a stubborn fight for the lead, offering an incredible moment of motorsport drama for fans in the grandstands.

Hamprecht pulled out of the three-driver stampede ahead  of the rest but was passed by Ragginger on the next turn, with Tang resigning to pressure from Chris van der Drift, who, smelling blood in the water, had started his own foray toward the front. With just minutes left to the race, Chris van der Drift had just one chance at a hail mary attempt to pass Hamprecht or walk away from the first race weekend empty handed.  That opportunity came in the penultimate turn as both drivers hurtled toward Shanghai International Circuit’s notorious hairpin turn in an impromptu game of chicken.

It was then that van der Drift’s expertise was revealed as he perfectly timed a last-minute brake, leaving Hamprecht no room to turn on slick surfaces and sending the young driver wide off the track, sealing the podium with William Bamber in first, Martin Ragginger in second and Chris van der Drift looking relieved in third.

“To be honest, the pass on Andrew was meant happen in turn 1 but he fought really hard so we had to continue it on to turn 2 and 3.  The car was amazing, I had a lot of grip so I managed to drive around the outside of him. I thought I would give it ago and worked, so I’m quite happy,” William Bamber said in the press conference following the race.

Ragginger’s second victory of the weekend in the Porsche Dealer Trophy category earned Team Porsche Holding a solid lead, with the two consecutive wins giving them a clear head start to the season-long competition.

Earning the second place in the Porsche Dealer Trophy category over the weekend was Team C&D, with driver Yuan Bo, with the iconic yellow-wheeled car performing admirably throughout both races.  Rounding out the top 5 was Team Starchase, with driver Philip Hamprecht,  Team Jebsen, with driver Cui Yue and Zheng Tong Auto with Bao Jinlong.

Meanwhile in Pro-Am, the first turn collision between OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia and True Visions Motorsports Thailand’s Suttiluck Buncharoen left drivers scrambling to recover. After the dust settled, 3 drivers were unable to continue the race, thinning the pack and creating ample opportunity for those that remained.

Carrying confidence from the previous day’s race, Kamlung Racing’s Evan Chen, starting in P1, managed a solid start, staying just ahead of the carnage behind him, with Modena Motorsport’s Wayne Shen, starting from P2, hot on his trail. Chen and Shen traded blows throughout most of the race, but Chen proved the quickest, clinching the win and sealing a perfect race weekend for Pro-Am.

Team Betterlife’s Li Chao also showed sharp instincts as he maneuvered through the pack, keeping ahead of competitors for much of the race until last minute turmoil saw him rapidly retreat to the back of the pack, giving guest driver for Racing Spirit Thailand Preeda Tantemsapya, who had kept a steady hand just behind the front four for most of the race, the chance to carry his consistent performance onto the podium with a third place win.

“It was kind of messy at first, the conditions were quite so it was all about finding grip where you could.  But I managed a decent start today, but then Wayne Shen managed to pass all of us, so I was trying to regain ground.  There was a lot of good fighting,” Evan Chen said during the post-race press conference.

The action resumes on June 2 as the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia heads to Fuji International Circuit for Round 3 and 4, as well as the first of two invitational races planned for the season as they race against Porsche Carrera Cup Japan.

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2017
Round 2 Race Result

Pos No Driver Class Entrant Time
1 12 William BAMBER FAW T2 Motorsport 30:43.168
2 86 Martin RAGGINGER Team Porsche Holding 30:53.104
3 7 Chris VAN DER DRIFT   Team Formax 30:55.464
4 99 Philip HAMPRECHT Team StarChase 30:56.595
5 10 Andrew TANG Porsche China Junior Team 31:00.246
6 15 Tanart SATHIENTHIRAKUL Absolute Racing 31:01.688
7 88 Bo YUAN   Team C&D Auto 31:02.572
8 19 Dasheng ZHANG Porsche China Junior Team 31:03.750
9 77 Yui CUI Team Jebsen 31:05.001
10 55 Jinlong BAO Zheng Tong Auto 31:09.782
11 68 Evan CHEN PA Kamlung Racing 31:16.400
12 16 Wayne SHEN PA Modena Motorsports 31:23.571
13 8 Preeda TANTEMSAPYA PA Racing Spirit Thailand 31:30.418
14 69 Christian CHIA PA OpenRoad Racing 31:31.445
15 5 Yuey TAN PA Team Jebsen 31:31.799
16 23 Paul TRESIDDER PA Paul TRESIDDER 31:33.233
17 9 Chao LI PA Team Betterlife 31:33.493
18 2 Alex LIU PA Arrows Racing 31:49.933
19 17 Yui Sum FUNG PA Arrows Racing 31:51.428
20 22 Yuk Lung SIU PA LKM Racing 31:52.614
21 33 Antares AU PA OpenRoad Racing 32:11.638
22 29 Akash NANDY Force Asia Racing 30:56.143
23 78 Suttiluck BUNCHAROEN PA True Visions Motorsports Thailand 3:46.099
24 21 Francis TJIA PA OpenRoad Racing DNF
25 28 John SHEN PA Modena Motorsports DNF

 points Round 1 and 2 (top 5)

Pos Comp No Driver Entrant Points
1 86 Martin RAGGINGER Team Porsche Holding 38
2 12 William BAMBER FAW T2 Motorsport 36
3 10 Andrew TANG Porsche China Junior Team 33
4 7 Chris van der DRIFT Team Formax 30
5 99 Philip HAMPRECHT Team Starchase 21


Pro-Am points – Round 1 and 2 (top 5)

Pos Comp No Driver Entrant Points
1 9 LI Chao Team Betterlife 30
2 5 Yuey  TAN Team Jebsen 30
3 16 Wayne SHEN Modena Motorsport 30
4 68 Evan CHEN Kamlung Racing 28
5 8 Preeda TANTEMSAPYA Racing Spirit Thailand 26


Dealer Trophy points – Round 1 and 2 (top 5)

Pos Comp No Dealer Team Driver Points
1 86 Team Porsche Holding Martin RAGGINGER 40
2 88 Team C&D YUAN Bo 34
3 99 Team Starchase Philip HAMPRECHT 32
4 77 Team Jebsen CUI Yue 30
5 55 Zheng Tong Auto BAO Jinlong 24