PCCA NEWS

Team Betterlife end PCCA season on high at Shanghai

Team Betterlife driver Li Chao helped the Beijing based team end its Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season on a high at Shanghai on Saturday, 31st October, with Li Chao almost matching his own season-best.

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Qualifying was held on Friday afternoon and Li Chao lapped the 5.4km circuit in a best time of 2:11.197 which was good enough for P6 in Class B and 15th overall. Shortly after the session, however, the stewards decided to disallow the Beijinger’s best lap time due to track limits infringements. The Team Betterlife driver put all four wheels beyond the white line in the last corner. However Li Chao still managed to keep his place in the grid for Race One, losing one position in Race Two grid.

Race One saw Li Chao making a good getaway, working his way up the pecking order in the first few corners. Unfortunately he would drop down the order as the race would progress, finishing 14th overall and sixth of the Class B.

In the second race of the weekend, Li Chao started the race in 15th but was able to gain three grid positions. The Beijing driver was in position to fight for the last podium position when, with three laps to go, he came off track resulting in two places lost. He crossed the line in thirteenth overall and fifth of Class B.

Commenting about the season finale, Li Chao said, "It’s been a great race and I enjoyed driving very much. I enjoyed my season in PCCA and I want to thank the team for their hard work they did during the year. There have been a lot of good days and a lot of good experiences that we can use to benefit our future campaigns."

Chief Engineer Yannick Mazier added, "Everything went according to plan this weekend. We knew from the beginning that would be tough to be in Top 5 in Class B. After a difficult day in qualifying yesterday, we’re very pleased to finish the race in fifth and sixth positions. Li Chao was able to make up positions in the early stages of the races. As it has been for most of the time this year, our pace was good in the race. Congratulations to the whole team."

Li Chao finished fifth in the Class B category standings on the strength of four top-fives and six top-10s.


Photo courtesy of Porsche China


Team Betterlife scores valuable points at Singapore

Singapore played host to the 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Rounds 11 and 12 and Team Betterlife’s Li Chao delivered two solid performances, claiming a double 6th place finish in Class B, securing 5th in the drivers’ standings.

Qualifying sixth on the Class B grid in 30-minute session for both weekend races, Li Chao was confident of a positive result in the streets of Singapore.

On Saturday’s Round 11 Team Betterlife’s Li Chao had competitive run to 6th position in Class B category at Marina Bay’s Street Circuit. The Beijing racer had scaring spinning moment in the end of an accident filled race when he was fourth of the category, dropping to sixth at the flag.

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia action resumed on Sunday with Round 12 at Singapore’s jewel in the crown of international motorsport. Li Chao lost one position at the start but he managed to keep up a good rhythm, moving up to fifth as several others hit trouble. Eventually he had to settle for sixth in Class B.

Race Engineer Duarte Alves said, “Li Chao showed encouraging race pace over the weekend. We scored points in both races and we certainly fought hard for that. We could have finished both races in Class B Top-5 but collecting points was always our priority. Singapore is a very tough track, it’s very easy to make a costly mistake.”

The 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will come to an end on October 30/November 1 in support of the prestigious FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the Shanghai International Circuit.

 

Photo courtesy of Porsche China / Sutton Images


Li Chao in Top Form at Sepang

Team Betterlife driver Li Chao kept his top form as he finished Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Round 9 & 10 in the Top-6 of Class B at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.

After showing a strong pace on Friday’s Free Practice, the Qualifying did not go according to plan for the Beijing racer as he wasn’t able to get the best out of the new tires. Li Chao still managed to qualify the Asia Racing Team engineered car in seventh for both 10-lap races on Sunday.

On Sunday the drivers had to endure the high cockpit temperatures, but there was no let-up on-track as Sepang’s fast corners and open spaces encourage overtaking and hard racing.

In both races Li Chao decided to take a conservative approach, and the strategy paid off. Li Chao didn’t make into the podium but scored valuable points to move up to fifth in the Gentleman Drivers category’s championship standings with two events to go. Team Betterlife was P5 at the flag in Race One, and P6 in Race Two.

In less than two weeks, the 28-strong Porsche Carrera Cup Asia field will be back in action at the most glittering fixture on the calendar supporting the F1 Singapore Grand Prix. There, the battle for the Class B titles will resume on the demanding Marina Bay street circuit from September 18-20.

 

Photo courtesy of Cheung Chi Wai


Team Betterlife post the best result of the season

Asia Racing Team’s Li Chao has posted the best result of 2015 for Team Betterlife with a stunning Class B fourth place in Race 1 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia first visit to Thailand’s Chang International Circuit – an achievement that helped him to move up to sixth in the category’s championship standings.

The Team Betterlife driver had qualified well in fifth position on Saturday and he held his own with the top drivers in the class on an eventful 13-lap Saturday race that was twice interrupted by Safety Car periods. Li Chao didn’t impress when the lights went green but two strong first laps helped him to move up to fourth, where he stayed until the end of the race.

Speaking of his season-high 4th place finish in Race 1, the Beijinger conceded that it was somewhat of a relief after some bad luck in the previous rounds of the series, “I am very pleased with the way the race went, we did a good job and our work paid off.”

On Sunday’s race Li Chao kept his fifth place position at the start. Showing a strong pace, he put his fourth place opponent under pressure from the lap one, but didn’t manage to overtake him, earning the precious fifth place points.

Race engineer Yannick Mazier said, “That was a solid weekend from us which illustrates where we expected to be fighting from the start of the year - so there is a lot to be satisfied with and a lot to look forward to. A big compliment to the driver and to the team crew who did a great job.”

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia embarks upon the second half of the 2015 season next month, returning to Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit for Rounds 9 and 10 from September 4-6.


Team Betterlife’s Li Chao Jinxed Again

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Rounds 5 & 6 ended in disappointment for the Asia Racing Team with Team Betterlife’s Li Chao scoring only three points for Class B championship over the weekend.

After qualifying 7th in Class B for the first race and P8 for the Race Two, Li Chao hadn’t Lady Luck on his side to guide him safely through the two races.

On Saturday’ s race, a good getaway allowed Li Chao to move to fifth in the class. The Beijing racer seemed very capable of achieving a strong finish but an opponent did not allow that to happen. He still managed to cross the line 13th in the "Gentleman Driver" category.

In the 15-lap second race Li Chao didn’t complete a lap. His race ended early when he was t-boned by another car.

Li Chao said, "We have been very unlucky in both races. We will learn from what happened this weekend and we know that the result is not where we belong. I’ m sure we can improve and look forward to seeing that in a fortnight."

Team Manager Philippe Descombes, added, "These were not the results we wanted here in Fuji.  Despite the lack of strong results, I would like to thank everybody in the team for their hard work and dedication throughout a difficult and challenging weekend. We will do a better job in the next race."

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will be back in action in August, when the 28-strong field of Asia’ s finest sports car drivers will reunite, and the battle of the overall and Class B championships will resume in earnest.


A Step Closer to the Podium

Team Betterlife and Li Chao achieved their best result so far this season in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at the Korea International Circuit. Asia Racing Team engineered car was Class B P5 at the flag in Race 2.

The weekend started off on the wrong foot. The 30-minute Saturday qualifying saw Li Chao lay down the ninth fastest lap in Class B, a result far from the team-driver true potential.

As the 28-strong field roared off the grid for the start of the 10-lap race, Li Chao got away well but he ended up spinning in Turn 1, luckily without hitting anyone on the process. The Beijing driver had a chance to make amends, managing to come back from the very bottom of the classification to finish P21 - 12th of Class B.

Ever-improving Li Chao had a much better race on Sunday finishing 13th overall and fifth of Class B.

Li Chao had moved up to 7th position on Class B drivers’ standings.

Team Manager Philippe Descombes, said, "We knew from the beginning that Korea would be tough for us. It was the first time for Li Chao in this circuit. Qualifying results did not help but it was important to bank points in Race 2 to get a solid ground."  

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is back in action next month from June 5 to 7, when it returns to the famous Fuji International Speedway in Japan.

 

Photo courtesy of Carrera Cup Asia


Results Do Not Show True Pace

For Asia Racing Team supported Team Betterlife driver Li Chao, rounds 1 and 2 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia were a challenge to say the least. Despite this, the team is clicking on all cylinders and ready for Korea.

After being the 3rd fastest of Class B on Friday’s Free Practice, the Beijing racer posted the 6th fastest lap time in the Qualifying. In both races Li Chao was involved in middle pack battles, crossing the fine line in 6th in Race One and in 7th in Race Two.

Team Manager Philippe Descombes, said "We knew we had a good car, but some bad luck and a couple incidents on track did not allow us to show our true pace. It’s a shame the results did not reflect Li Chao’s pace, but we are still confident we have some forward momentum with the car’s speed."

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will be back in action next month, with another double-header, this time at the Korea International Circuit from May 15-17.

 

Photo courtesy of Porsche China / Sutton Images


Asia Racing Team and Team Betterlife stay together

Asia Racing Team and Team Betterlife have announced they will partner up again for the 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia in an attempt to challenge the Class B title.

Macau-born Zhuhai-based Asia Racing Team is one of the most experienced GT teams in Southeast Asia with several wins in GT Asia Series, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, and China series BOSS GP.

Team Betterlife was founded by Betterlife Group in 2008 and it was one of the first Porsche Dealer teams in PR China. Beijing BetterLife Import & Export Group is one of the leading multi-brand dealer groups in PR China specialized in distribution, servicing, parts supply and consulting of premium car brands.

In 2012 Team Betterlife and Asia Racing Team hold hands to form a strong and successful partnership in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. For the second consecutive season 2014 BOSS GT champion Li Chao will drive the #9 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. After one season racing in Class A, this year the Beijing born Gentleman Driver is back in Class B.

The team took part of Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Official Test Days on March 6 to 8 at the Sepang International Circuit. It was an extremely successful three days of testing. Asia Racing Team and Li Chao were able to tackle many areas related to preparing the new car for the competitive race season ahead.

Team Betterlife driver Li Chao looks forward to the series ahead: “It is my fourth season in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. I came in third place in Class B in 2013. This year my aim is to perform well and challenge the title. It is great to be back with Team Betterlife and Asia Racing Team. I made my Porsche Carrera Cup Asia debut with them and they are a very professional outfit.”

Team Manager Philippe Descombes, added, “Having worked with him in single seaters and seeing him continue to develop in GT cars, I have no doubt that Li Chao will be a top contender in Class B from the start. He really matured as a driver last year and overcame some issues to finish the season on a high.”

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season kicks off in China on April 11 as part of 2015 Formula One Chinese Grand Prix.


Beijing Duo Closes the Season on High Note

The final race of the season at Shanghai on Sunday 19th October saw Asia Racing Team run Zheng Tong Auto Porsche 911 GT3 Cup driven by Zhang Da Sheng secure the sixth position in the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers’ standings.

The 28 drivers had their say on Saturday’s qualifying action. Da Sheng once again showed his speed and set the fifth fastest time. Teammate Li Chao bought Team Betterlife 911 Cup in 17th.

Off the line Da Sheng made a good start, but it wasn’t quite enough to keep sixth placed RoC Skyangel behind. The duo battled for several laps but Da Sheng couldn’t find a way to overtake his rival, crossing the line taking points for sixth.

Further back Li Chao had an eventful race in the middle of the pack. The Beijing driver spun on lap 5 but he managed to come back to secure 16th place.

After a convincing race on Saturday, Da Sheng didn’t managed to put in a great performance on Sunday’s end of the season race. Struggling with his car behavior from the beginning, the 21 years old racer from Beijing still managed to take it to the end. He was 11th at the flag.

Li Chao made the perfect getaway to retain his position for the majority of race. Taking advantage of his opponents mistakes he moved up to 14th, collecting three valuable points.

In the end Zhang Da Sheng was sixth overall in the drivers’ championship standings and the best of the four Porsche China Junior Development Drivers. Li Chao finished the season in 15th.

Commenting on his season, Zhang Da Sheng said, "It’s great to be racing with and against world-class drivers in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. I had a fantastic car at my disposal and I learnt a lot throughout the season. I must thank Zheng Tong Auto for the trust they put on me and show my gratitude to Asia Racing Team for their continuous support and hard work."

Li Chao, added, "The new car represented a new and different challenge for me. Once again, the whole team did a great job, and I feel today that I am stronger driver now than I was before.”

Team Manager Philippe Descombes, concluded, "I’m very happy with our drivers overall performance. We had to learn a new car and we showed strong pace and determination from the first day. The whole team did a great job all season and the sixth place of Da Sheng is definitely a good result. We cannot afford to take our foot off the pedal, and we hope to return stronger next year."

 

Photo courtesy of Carreracupasia.com


Up To Sixth at Singapore

Zheng Tong Auto’s Zhang Da Sheng once again completed a strong race at the Singapore’s Marina Bay Street Circuit, taking points for sixth place in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia single race of the weekend. Teammate Li Chao was involved in some exciting racing action and crossed the line to come home eighteenth.

After a very promising Free Practice session on Friday, the Qualifying was slightly disappointing for Asia Racing Team Beijing duo. In the out lap, Da Sheng was involved in a collision with a slower opponent and damaged his 911 GT3 Cup. He still managed to qualify 9th. Li Chao was left disappointed with his 19th place grid slot, after lying in or near the top ten for the majority of the session.

Li Chao said, "It hasn’t gone to plan for us today – the track definitely changed quite a lot in that session and as a result I struggled a little bit. You always try to adapt but sometimes there is very little you can do."

As the lights went out on Sunday, Da Sheng had a good getaway and stayed out of trouble, moving from 9th to 6th in less than two laps. Zheng Tong Auto driver managed well his 12-lap race, crossing the line on the sixth place. With just two rounds of the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season remaining, Da Sheng is holding the sixth position in the championship standings.

Da Sheng said: "It was a good start and we were fighting really well with good pace from the first lap and closing in on the top five. Overall I am happy with the weekend result, just pity what happened on Saturday’s qualifying that prevented us to do even better."

Further back, Li Chao maintained position off the line and clinched eighteenth position as he crossed the line.

The 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship will come down to the wire at the season finale next month, where Rounds 11 and 12 will be part of the Sports Car Champions Festival at the Shanghai International Circuit from October 17 to 19.

 

RACE RESULT:

P6 Zhang Da Sheng (CHN)

P18 Li Chao (CHN)


 

Photo courtesy of Sutton Images / Porsche Carrera Cup Asia


Zheng Tong’s Da Sheng places fifth at Sepang

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia headed to Sepang in Malaysia last weekend. Beijing native Zhang Da Sheng took fifth in race one and seventh in race two. Team Betterlife backed Li Chao finished twelfth in race one and sixteenth in race two.

With the 30-minute session declared wet following torrential rains, the drying track conditions on Malaysia’s 5.54 km Sepang International Circuit turned the single qualifying session into a dramatic tyre lottery.

Zheng Tong Auto’s Zhang Da Sheng, one of the four China Junior Development Programme drivers, was fifth fastest for a moment but he ended up qualifying ninth. Li Chao couldn’t stay out the longest to benefit from a drying track and qualified 19th.

Saturday’s showdown did not disappoint. Starting from P9, Da Sheng was an impressive P5 at the flag. Back in the field, teammate Li Chao showed a fighting spirit from the start, crossing the line a credible 12th.

Sunday’s second race saw Da Sheng lined up fourth with Li Chao in sixteenth. Following a brief safety car period, Da Sheng was looking to make his move on Egidio Perfetti for eighth, suddenly ART alumni Alexendre Imperatori loomed large in their mirrors, and the Chinese racer got hit by the Class B former champion in the first corner and dropped to eleventh. Da Sheng used the second half of the race to move forward to finish in seventh. Li Chao had some middle-of-the-pack and ultimately finished in the 16th position.

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia now looks ahead to a highlight of its calendar at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix from September 19-21.

 

RACE 1 RESULT:

P5 Zhang Da Sheng (CHN)

P12 Li Chao (CHN)

 

RACE 2 RESULT:

P7 Zhang Da Sheng (CHN)

P16 Li Chao (CHN)


 

Photo courtesy of Cheung Chi Wai

Zhang Da Sheng Claims Superb Podium in Fuji

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia was at Fuji this weekend for Rounds 6 and 7. With the weather playing an important part throughout the weekend, Asia Racing Team driver Zhang Da Sheng had a strong performance; taking his first ever overall podium in the series and second in Class A. Teammate Li Chao also left Japan with his best season result in the bag.

Saturday’s Qualifying session proved to be the testimony to ART’s Beijing boys hard work. Zheng Tong Auto’s Zhang Da Sheng was mightily impressive to secure sixth position for Round 6 and fourth position for Round 7. With paddleshift gremlins hurting and a compromising spin in the last quick lap of the wet session, Li Chao qualified P18 and P20 respectively.

Sunday morning saw the first ever PCCA race in Fuji. Starting in sixth, Da Sheng made a safe getaway. Moving up to second, due to a few race penalties ahead of him, Team Zheng Tong driver was piling on the pressure to the driver ahead and, later on in the race, was battling for second with Earl Bamber and Martin Ragginger. However, not wanting to risk his race position Da Sheng kept his cool and cruised to take the chequered flag in fourth. He would be promoted to third overall as Ragginger was slapped with a 30-second penalty in the end of the race.

Reflecting on his podium Zhang Da Sheng said: “I am very happy with this result. I had to work hard to achieve it. I have to thank the team for the brilliant work they did, the car was really competitive and it showed.”

Back in the field Li Chao was none less impressive than his teammate. The Team Betterlife driver started from P18 to finish P8 with some interesting overtaking manoeuvres in the process.

Sunday’s second race saw the bad luck hitting the team. Zhang Da Sheng couldn’t repeat the first race pace and result. However the young Chinese racer was soon on the charge and was trying to maintaining his position despite coming under pressure from the chasing field. Alas, Da Sheng’s radiator was damaged on his fighting comeback. The team couldn’t fix the damage, so his racing was over.

Following another very good start off the line in the afternoon, where he gained several places on his rivals once again, Li Chao spent the rest of the race fighting in the middle pack to finish the race in 15th.

Team Manager Philippe Descombes said, "What a great job our drivers did over this week as well as our whole crew. The third position of Zhang Da Sheng in race one shows we had two fast cars over the weekend. We now look forward to Sepang."

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will be back in action later in August. Rounds 8 and 9 will take place in Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia on 15 and 16 August 2014.



RACE 1 RESULT:

P3 Zhang Da Sheng (CHN)

P8 Li Chao (CHN)

 

RACE 2 RESULT:

P15 Li Chao (CHN)

DNF Zhang Da Sheng (CHN)

 

Photo courtesy of Carreracupasia.com

Wet drama in Zhuhai

Asia Racing Team drivers Zhang Da Sheng and Li Chao enjoyed their first taste of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the wet on a cut short weekend at the 4.3km Zhuhai International Circuit. 

On Saturday morning qualifying for Rounds 4 and 5 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, Zheng Tong Auto’s Zhang Da Sheng was the fifth quickest man out on track after a strong showing. Team Betterlife’s Li Chao posted the 16th best lap time.

On a wet track and with severely limited visibility, the race began behind the Safety-Car and in the worst way possible for Zhang Da Sheng. The Beijing racer spun on the last corner before the race action really started, losing a countless number of places. After a disastrous start the Porsche China academy driver made his way up to tenth position.

By contract, teammate Li Chao did a smart and clean 12-lap race, climbing five positions to finish in 11th position, his best overall result so far this season.

On Sunday the track was flooded and the Race Director decided correctly that conditions were unsafe, cancelling Round 5 in the interests of safety, citing the ‘Force Majeure’ clause under the regulations.

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia continues next month when it travels to Japan for the first time in its 12-season history for a double header at the iconic Fuji International Speedway.

 

RACE 1 RESULT:

P10 Zhang Da Sheng (CHN)

P11 Li Chao (CHN)

 

RACE 2 RESULT: 

Race Cancelled

 

Photo courtesy of Jenny Zhang

Asia Racing Team take fourth at Shanghai

The Chinese Formula One Grand Prix weekend at Shanghai held the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia second event of the season. Zheng Tong Auto’s Zhang Da Sheng took a spectacular fourth position in Race One and Team Betterlife’s Li Chao kept improving his pace.

As the times tumbled in the single and wet 30-minute qualifying session of the weekend on Saturday morning, Zhang Da Sheng jumped straight into eight place where he stayed for the rest of the session. Li Chao qualified in P20.

As the 28-strong field thundered away from the grid throwing up a spectacular spray as the rain pounded down, Zhang Da Sheng lost a couple of places in the first corner. But the determined 22-year-old racer did not give up and fought back.

“It took me a while to find my feet as I’d never driven this car here in the wet before,” said Da Sheng, “and after the start I let a couple of cars slip by, but regained my pace and a couple of places to end up back in P4.”

Teammate Li Chao did a good start but his race was compromised when he got hit by an opponent with seven laps to go. The Beijing driver did manage to finish fifteenth with a damaged spring and after the exclusions of the cars no. 1 and no. 11. 

The second race of the weekend saw Zhang Da Sheng qualify eight and Li Chao eighteenth. Sunday’s Race Two saw a dry start with the Asia Racing Team duet making good starts and staying out of trouble. Several battles were played out on the track, resulting in Da Sheng being pushed out of track by an opponent early in the race, losing several positions to finish P11.

Li Chao pushed hard and whilst others made mistakes on the track the Team Betterlife racer drove through the pack to cross the line in 14th.

The Porsche Carrera Cup turns south now to China’s Pearl River Delta Region for a double header at the country’s first purpose-built motorsport facility, the Zhuhai International Circuit, from May 9 to 11.

 

RACE 1 RESULT:

P4 Zhang Da Sheng (CHN)

P15 Li Chao (CHN)

 

RACE 2 RESULT:

P11 Zhang Da Sheng (CHN)

P14 Li Chao (CHN)

 

Photo courtesy of Carreracupasia.com / Sutton Images

ART’s duet off to a good season start

Asia Racing Team enjoyed a positive start to the 2014 season as Team Zheng Tong’s Zhang Da Sheng scored fourteen points with fifth place at Sepang. Team Betterlife’s Li Chao claimed four points with P12.

The strong showing in Malaysia started in qualifying with Porsche China protégé Zhang Da Sheng taking the seventh spot for the start of Sunday’s 10-lap race. Teammate Li Chao qualified in P17.

While the 10 laps of the 5.54km circuit were action-packed throughout, two drivers stole the limelight.  In a remarkable jump in form, Zheng Tong Auto’s Zhang Da Sheng challenged seasoned driver Tung Ho-Pin for fourth all the way to the chequered flag. The Beijing native, starting in P7 on the grid, produced a good start to move on to fifth; some very promising pace in the high-speed parts of the circuit meant the Team Zhong Tong recruit was soon able to apply pressure to early front-runners.

Reflecting on the race Zhang Da Sheng said, “Everyone was very nervous today, and the start was very important. I got a good start and held my position, trying to fix what I did wrong in qualifying.  I did better, but it’s still not enough for me.  Ho-Pin is very fast, and the whole race was really exciting. He has speed and experience, and I tried to stay with him and overtake but I wasn’t successful.”

Li Chao meanwhile drove brilliantly, moving up five places to 12th, overtaking a bunch of Class B drivers, to claim Team Betterlife first points of the 2014 season. “We improved a lot in the race but there is still a lot of room to improve. I look forward to Shanghai in three weeks’ time where we will aim to build on what we learned this weekend”, he said.

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will be back in action next month, this time at the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix in Shanghai from April 18-20.

 

RACE RESULT:

P5 Zhang Da Sheng (CHN)

P12 Li Chao (CHN)

 

Photo courtesy of Carreracupasia.com / Sutton Images

Asia Racing Team teams up with Team ZhengTong

China ZhengTong Auto Service Holding Limited is going to enter in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA) by teaming up with Asia Racing Team to create Team ZhengTong’s PCCA official team.


The new partnership will see Zhang Da Sheng race on the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia grid in the distinctive colours of Team ZhengTong in the Asia Racing Team prepared Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.


Asia Racing Team will run the operational ‘on track’ side of the Team ZhengTong outfit. Based in Zhuhai, Asia Racing Team has an enviable reputation in every form of motor racing that it has been involved in, having won the 2013 GT Asia Series. The company has also had great success in single seaters racing and a famous Racing School.

China ZhengTong Auto Service Holding Limited was established in 1999, As a leading premium 4S dealership group in China. The group has 91 dealership outlets which cover 30 cities in both large and established markets of the affluent regions of China such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, as well as the rapidly growing regions with lower penetration rate such as Inner Mongolia, Hunan, Hubei, and Jiangxi.

With two full years of experience under his belt in PCCA, 21 years old Zhang Da Sheng will be aiming to become a consistent top 10 finisher.

Zuo Lin, Managing Director of Team Zheng Tong: “Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is the pinnacle of sports car racing in Asia and it is a great opportunity to participate in it. The championship is also an excellent platform to connect with our customers and supporters. Asia Racing Team is one of the most prominent racing teams in China and it was a natural choice to run our Porsche in our first racing season.”

Philippe Descombes, Team Manager of Asia Racing Team: "We are very happy to team up with ZhengTong Auto and we are looking forward to working together in 2014. Zhang Da Sheng is a talented young driver, open minded and has got a lot of potential. We will do our best to support them on their way to the pinnacle of motor racing.”

Team Betterlife, Li Chao to Team up with Asia Racing Team again

Asia Racing Team is pleased to announce the renewal of its long-time partnership with Team Betterlife, the racing arm of Porsche Betterlife Group, for the 2014 season of Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. This is the third consecutive year that Asia Racing Team will serve as the official racing team for the Team Betterlife.

Team Betterlife was founded by Betterlife Group in 2008 and it was one of the first Porsche Dealer teams in PR China. Beijing BetterLife Import & Export Group is one of the leading multi-brand dealer groups in PR China specialized in distribution, servicing, parts supply and consulting of premium car brands.

In 2012 Team Betterlife and Asia Racing Team hold hands to form a strong and successful partnership in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. In 2012 Wang Jian Wei recorded his second podium finish in his career at Ordos and British racer Ben Baker finished third in the last round of 2013 in Shanghai.

Thirty three-year-old Li Chao joins Team Betterlife with a wealth of experience gained in touring car and GT racing. He progressed to the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia in 2012 via the VW Scirocco R Cup China and China Formula Grand Prix single seater series. In 2013 he finished third in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Class B and completed a number of France GT Championship rounds for Team JR.

With a fleet of brand new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) racing cars, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia powers towards its 12th season as the undisputed leader in regional sportscar competition with its most prestigious calendar to date. The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season kicks off in Malaysia on March 28 as part of 2014 Formula One Malaysia Grand Prix.

Eddy Mok (BetterLife Porsche Group – General Manager): “The Betterlife Group wants to keep promoting motorsport to our Porsche owners and fans. We welcome the opportunity to continue our relationship with Asia Racing Team. We enjoyed working with the team in the past two seasons of Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and we are excited to be on board this year with Li Chao behind the wheel.”

Philippe Descombes (Asia Racing Team – Team Manager): “We are delighted and very proud that Team Betterlife have chosen to place their car with us again in 2014. It is also a pleasure to work with Li Chao again. We’ve had the pleasure of having him as part of Asia Racing Team for the past two seasons and we’ve seen him mature and improve with every year. ”

Li Chao (Team Betterlife – Racing Driver): “Team Betterlife has enjoyed the greatest possible success in motorsport in recent years and I really feel part of this family. It’s going to be a challenge to step up to the Class A this season but I feel I am ready for it. Representing Team Betterlife and Asia Racing Team is something special, and I could not wish for a better combination.”

 

Photo courtesy of Carreracupasia.com


Class B Podium at Macau

Celebrating its 10th anniversary as a leading motorsport outfit in the region, Asia Racing Team entered three cars in Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Carrera Cup Asia race at the 60th Macau Grand Prix: Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila, JR Motorsport’s Li Chao and PCCA debutant Kevin Tse.

Friday’s Free Practice and Saturday’s Qualifying were run on dry conditions and Asia Racing Team trio showed an exuberant pace. In the 30-minute Qualifying sessions Macau’s Rodolfo Avila set the fourth fastest lap, only two tenths slower than 9-time World Rally Car champion Sébastien Loeb.

In Class B, Tse, who was doing his first race of 2013 and never raced the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup before, qualified 3rd and Li Chao 7th, giving the team a lot of hope for the race. But the weather and track conditions significantly on Sunday and would end up affecting the team’s overall performance.

With a wet track and persistent rain, the field took their places on the grid and the 10-lap race began behind the Safety Car. As it pulled in at the start of Lap 3, racing got underway with Avila losing the fourth position. Struggling with the car handling the local hero wasn’t able to repeat the Saturday’s strong pace. Team Jebsen driver took fifth at the flag.

Further back in the field, without taking unnecessary risks, Tse had a strong finish to take home 11th position overall on his first appearance. His safe and steady pace paid off, finishing third in Class B.

Beijing’s Li Chao did not make into the end of the race, having DNF due to a technical failure.

Engineered by Asia Racing Team, Team Yongda Dongfang’s Benjamin Rouget had a short race, being pushed through the barrier at R Bend by an opponent.

 

RACE RESULT:

P5 Roldolfo Ávila (MAC)

P11 Kevin Tse (MAC)

DNF Li Chao (CHN)

DNF Benjamin Rouget (FRA)

 

Photo courtesy of Carreracupasia.com

End Season With Podium Finish

Porsche Supercup regular Ben Barker took his maiden Porsche Carrera Cup Asia podium for Team Betterlife at Shanghai on an unlucky weekend for Class B top-runner Li Chao.

The Sports Car Champions Festival weekend started on the right foot for Barker as he qualified 4th on the Race 1 grid. The British driver had a good start, claiming the third position from Martin Ragginger. Both drivers endured a tough 12-lap race. Ragginger spent much of the race fighting to find a way past Team Betterlife car, dramatically reclaiming the final podium spot on the final lap. The revenge would come in Sunday’s race with a podium. It was an equally eventful race for Barker: “I got past Earl (Bamber) into Turn 1, then went for a move on Alex (Imperatori) at the hairpin and he ran a little bit wide and went into me. The impact bent my tracking. I’m happy with third place. I had hoped for a bit more but it was a good weekend. It’s been great.”

Teammate Li Chao had a suspension failure in qualifying and just an amazing sprint from Asia Racing Team mechanics would allow him to take part of Race 1. Fighting with the car, the Beijing racer finished 21st overall and 8th of Class B. In the second race, with a much better car, Li Chao did a good way up race, crossing the line in 4th of Class B but not enough to keep the second place in the category standings. Eventually he was 2013 Class B second-runner up.

Engineered by Asia Racing Team, Round 11 saw Avila stay out of trouble amongst the hard-charging field and focus on staying in front of his rivals for 3rd place in the Championship. This was duly accomplished and the team afforded themselves a small celebration for 3rd place in the Championship. Avila could now focus on maximum attack in the second race. Starting from fifth on the grid, Avila made a strong start as the lights went out.  He stayed close to the race leaders, mindful that a pitch battle was ensuing ahead and ready for the chance to make his move.  With the cars ahead two abreast across the track, Avila pounced, thundering past the car in front and diving up to fourth in the order.

Also engineered by Asia Racing Team, Benjamin Rouget had one of the best weekends of his 2013 season. The Shanghai-based French finished 5th in the first race but an incident in Race 2 took the Team Yongda Dongfang car out of Top-5 contention in the early stages. Rouget finished 10th in the last race of the year.

While Round 12 marked a spectacular end to the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season, Asia’s finest GT drivers will be back in action next month at the 60th Macau Grand Prix. From November 9 to 10, the field will be joined by some of their counterparts on the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Japan for an end-of-seasonal invitational on the legendary Guia Circuit, as well as a very special VIP driver: Nine-time FIA World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb will join the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia for their triumphant return to Macau.

 


RACE 1 RESULT:

P4 Ben Barker (GBR)

P21 Li Chao (CHN)

 

RACE 2 RESULT:

P3 Ben Barker (GBR)

P18 Li Chao (CHN)



Photo courtesy of Carreracupasia.com

Season’s best-day for Asia Racing Team at Singapore

All in all, it was a very satisfactory race weekend for the Asia Racing Team in the Porsche SC Global Carrera Cup Asia – Singapore 2013. Team Betterlife new recruit Mario Farnbacher was a solid fifth, Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila took points for fifth place and Li Chao kept his second place in Class B standings.

Saturday’s qualifying session under the lights saw Avila just four-tenths of a second off pole position, his best lap giving him a third row start. PCCA debutant Farnbacher finished the session as the ninth quickest driver overall, while Li Chao qualified 17th and fifth in Class B.

At the race start, on Sunday afternoon, Farnbacher didn’t make a perfect getaway, dropping to 11th at the end of first lap. But the 19-year old German was decided to come back and even the “Safety-Car” deployment hasn’t cost him a great race. Farnbacher ran a clean race, took advantage of his competitors’ mistakes and took the checkered flag in the fifth position - the best result of the season for Team Betterlife so far.

Engineered by Asia Racing Team, Avila had an unlucky start to the race. He was an innocent victim of two first-lap incidents caused by other competitors. The incidents pushed him down the field to 21st place but the talented Macau driver charged his way through the field to take sixth place.

JR Motorsports’s Li Chao had an eventful race but managed to bring back his car without major damages, crossing the finish line in 13th place overall and fifth of Class B

The final round of Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will take place at Shanghai on the 26th & 27th October.

 

 

RACE RESULT:

P5 Mario Farnbacher (GER)

P13 Li Chao (CHN)




Photo courtesy of Carreracupasia.com

 

 

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Point scoring weekend in Korea

Asia Racing Team driver Li Chao continued his fine recent Porsche Carrera Cup Asia form at the Inje Speedium International Circuit in South Korea last week. The weekend was made even stronger for Asia Racing Team and the team full-time racing coach Rodolfo Avila was back on the podium.

Sometimes things just don’t go your way. That was certainly true of Li Chao in the qualifying. The Beijing driver had a small accident and qualified P6 in Class B for both races.

Asia Racing Team crew was able to repair his car on time and Li Chao performed well, being able to bounce back. He raced in the Class B Top-5  throughout the Race 1 before crossing the finish line in fourth and 14th overall. JR Motorsports supported driver repeated the result in Race 2. Li Chao got twice the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia medal for his achievements in climbing through the field in both races.

For personal reasons teammate Wang Jian Wei did not take part of the event. Jacky Yeung drove Team Betterlife’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup but the Hong Kong native did not finish in both races.

Engineered once more by Asia Racing Team, Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila took home a podium finish, with third-place in Race 1 seeing him retain third place in the championship points standings with three races remaining in the 2013 season.

Saturday’s single qualifying session did not quite go as planned with Avila wrestling with oversteer. His two quickest laps put the team on the fourth row of the grid for both Rounds 8 and 9, meaning he had everything to do in the races. Plenty of drama at the start of Round 8 gave Avila the opportunity to move up from the fourth row into podium contention. In Race 2 Avila got off well and managed to move up to sixth during the race. In the penultimate lap, as Avila was fighting for fifth place, he pushed too hard and spun, dropping him back to ninth overall by the flag.

Just three races remain, so the pressure is on to take as many of the remaining points still up for grabs, starting with next month’s Round 10 in support of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix on the Marina Bay street circuit.


RACE 1 RESULT:

P14 Li Chao (CHN)

DNF Jacky Yeung (HK)
 

RACE 2 RESULT:

P12 Li Chao (CHN)

DNF Jacky Yeung (HK)


Photo courtesy of Carreracupasia.com

Li Chao takes double class podium at Ordos

Li Chao truly announced himself on Porsche Carrera Cup Asia with a career best Class B second place twice. Engineered by Asia Racing Team once again this weekend, Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila took the final podium place in Race 1 on the challenging and unpredictable Ordos International Circuit.

After a tough weekend at Zhuhai when he was ruled out after a shunt in the first race, Wang Jian Wei was back on track to set the 13th fastest lap time in Saturday morning Qualifying. Teammate Li Chao placed his car in 4th of the Class B grid, and 17th overall.

Asia Racing Team permanent Driver Coach Rodolfo Avila set a scorching first quick lap which put him third in the time sheets, but his session ended prematurely with a broken engine belt.

Saturday afternoon PCCA Rnd 6 saw Asia Racing Team Wang having a ferocious fight at the beginning for the last Top-10 but he wasn’t able to settle it. The Team Betterlife driver crossed the finish line 12th, two positions ahead of his Asia Racing Team teammate.

Li Chao drove a spectacular race to finish second in Class B. The JR Motorsports racer, who also won the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia medal for the race for his achievements in climbing through the field, it was exciting to be on the podium in his home country: “As a Chinese driver, I’m very happy to be on the podium here in Ordos. I got a good start, and after one lap I was third in the class. After the others spun, I was up to P2.”

Engineered by Asia Racing Team, Avila was less than satisfied with his third place overall in Race 1. Said Avila: “The pace was not as I had expected, and to be honest my head wasn’t there. I saw [Tung] Ho-Pin coming up, but the guys in front were just in another world. They’re ahead of me in the championship, so it’s obviously not great, but our hopes are still very much alive.”

The second race at Ordos had mixed feelings for Asia Racing Team. Li Chao completed a perfect weekend with another Class B podium finish and winning the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia medal for the second time in Ordos. The Beijing born driver finished 15th overall.

Wang Jian Wei displayed good pace, being involved in a race long battle for tenth, but once again was unable to find a way though around the tight and twisting street circuit. He crossed the line in 12th.

As the lights went out for the start of the 14-lap race, the drama began from the off with Team Jebsen’s Avila being unceremoniously punted off by an opponent, and spinning amongst the tightly-packed field and dropping down the order. Avila fought back, picking his way back up through the field to finish eighth.

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will be back in action later in August. Rounds 8 and 9 will take place in Inje Speedium International Circuit, South Korea on 3 and 4 August 2013.

 

RACE 1 RESULT:

P12 Wang Jian Wei (CHN)

P14 Li Chao (CHN)

 

RACE 2 RESULT:

P12 Wang Jian Wei (CHN)

P15 Li Chao (CHN)

 

Photo courtesy of Carreracupasia.com

Mixed Feelings at Zhuhai

It was a weekend of mixed feelings for Asia Racing Team in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at Zhuhai International Circuit. JR Motorsports’ Li Chao clinched his first Class B podium but teammate Wang Jian Wei had a weekend to forget.

Qualifying saw Wang Jian Wei placing his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 12th for Race 1 and 10th for Race 2. Li Chao made his own luck, securing 4th and 3rd on the Class B grid for the first and second race of the weekend.

Li Chao played a central role in an exciting 12 lap Saturday Class B race but narrowly missed out on the podium in a dramatic fourth round of the season. At half distance the Beijing racer was looking set for a podium result, but, with three laps to go, a spin in the last corner took off any chance to get in the top 3. He still managed to come back to cross the finish line in 4th of Class B and 14th overall.

The race did not last long for Team Betterlife. Wang Jian Wei had a major off in the second lap, hitting the wall hard. After this heavy off in Round 4, chassis damage meant he was unable to take the start in Sunday’s race.

With everything to play for, race two promised to be even more exciting than race one - and it didn’t disappoint. Li Chao was Asia Racing Team sole representative and he met the expectations. With the right approach to the race, Li Chao pretty much did a flawless race to finish 2nd in Class B. Li was delighted to take his first ever Class B podium:  “As a Chinese driver I’m very happy to be on the podium at a home track of Zhuhai.  In yesterday’s race I was a bit unlucky, but today I was more consistent and finally I’m here (on the podium)!”

Like in the season 2009, Team Jebsen PCCA driver and Asia Racing Team Driver Coach Rodolfo Avila was engineered by Asia Racing Team in this event. Back to the roots the Macau driver claimed two-second place finishes and Race 1 fastest lap, showing his true potential.  

The next round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia takes place on 5-7 July at Ordos International Circuit.

 

RACE 1 RESULT:

P14 Li Chao (CHN)

DNF Wang Jian Wei (CHN)

 

RACE 2 RESULT:

P10 Li Chao (CHN)

DNS Wang Jian Wei (CHN)

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Cheung Chi Wai

Challenging Shanghai Weekend Disappoints Asia Racing Team

Asia Racing Team duo Wang Jian Wei and Li Chao disappointed not to have been able to convert a sensational free-practice performance into a similarly strong race results on Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Rounds 3 and 4 at Shanghai International Circuit.

After surprising the whole paddock on Friday morning, setting the 4th quickest lap time in Free Practice 1, Wang Jian Wei managed to lock the P9 spot in the grid for Race 1. Teammate Li Chao had a short session. Racing on the greatest stage in Chinese motorsport, The last year Class B pole-position at Shanghai went in the gravel in the second flying lap, being forced to start from last in the two weekend races.

As the lights went out for the Race 1, Wang made another good start from ninth, but a fast starting Egidio Perfetti initially made it ahead.  Wang held 10th position though and after a close fight with Perfetti, was lying again in 9th place. The Team Betterlife driver was not satisfied with the position and a slight mistake by former single-seater Asia Racing Team racer Benjamin Rouget on lap 9 allowed some overtaking opportunity. Unfortunately a slow puncture from a previous contact slowed him down to a point he had to let his opponents ago, crossing the finish line in 11th.

Starting from the last place of the grid, Li Chao had a great opening lap, overtaking five opponents in Class B. Running by fifth place of the Gentleman Driver category and with a damaged exhaust, Li Chao avoided any unnecessary risk in the eleven remaining laps, to finish 18th overall, and fifth of Class B.

Wang Jian Wei was hopeful of building on his Race 1 display to bring him a strong result on Race 2 and the team sent him to the track with the same setup of the day before. Unfortunately on the third lap he expressed his discomfort with the handling of his car by parking it in the pits.

A little further back, teammate Li Chao rapidly made up ground after a unlucky qualifying and latched onto the tail of Class B sixth man Samson Chan. He gallantly tried to overtake his opponent for a couple of times but the best he could do was to finish 7th of Class B and 19th overall.

Commenting about the race weekend, Team Manager Philippe Descombes said, "After the good free practice sessions, I must admit that I’m disappointed that as a team we didn’t make a similarly good showing in qualifying and races. Li Chao’s situation in qualifying was unfortunate and Wang Jian Wei early DNF in Race 2 was definitely not in our plans. But we’re continuing to work on achieving our goals this season and we have a good chance to bounce back in the next event at Zhuhai.”

The championship heads now to the “Home Of Motorsports” in China: Zhuhai International Circuit!

 

RACE 1 RESULT:

P9 Wang Jian Wei (CHN)

P18 Li Chao (CHN)

 

RACE 2 RESULT:

P19 Li Chao (CHN)

DNF Wang Jian Wei (CHN)

 

 

Photo courtesy of Carreracupasia.com

Scoring start for Asia Racing Team

An eventful Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season opener saw Asia Racing Team drivers Wang Jian Wei and Li Chao open their accounts with a strong points haul in Malaysia, with an overall 8th and Class B 6th place finish respectively.


Following Friday’s free practice session, competition got underway on Saturday for grid positions in the actual race on Sunday at the Sepang International Circuit. Team Betterlife’s Wang Jian Wei did not disappoint and secured the 10th place in the grid. Teammate Li Chao qualified 19th place overall and Class B 6th.

In Sunday’s race Wang started from 10th on the grid, but fell back in the early running to regain his top-10 position through the following lap. Wang set off to close the gap to his compatriot Li Zhi Cong on P9 and finally after a few laps of constant pressure on Asia Racing Team GT Asia Series driver he managed to overtake him. After the race, Wang would benefit from Ho-Pin Tung’s exclusion to finish 8th in the first race of the year.

“The start of the race was not perfect and I lost a position which put me down to eleventh”, said the Team Betterlife driver, “after the first lap I concentrated on my speed we had a solid race after. Now we must to concentrate on improving our performance for the next race.”

Further back in the grid, Li Chao had also an entertaining a similarly eventful race. Without the pace to match the front-runners of Class B, the Beijing driver fought for his position, collecting vital championship points.

Reflecting on his season start, Li Chao said “I think Class B 6th isnt too bad and I think we can be pleased the overall weekend performance. We’ll now look ahead to a better result in Shanghai.”

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will be back in action next month, this time at the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix in Shanghai from April 12-14.

 

RACE RESULT:

P8 Wang Jian Wei (CHN)

P16 Li Chao (CHN)

 

Photo courtesy of Carreracupasia.com

Li Chao Rejoins Asia Racing Team

Li Chao rejoins to Asia Racing Team for the 2013 season of Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. The 32 year old Beijing-native, runner-up in the 2011 CFGP and PCCA rookie in 2012, completes Asia Racing Team driver line-up for the coming season.

Asia Racing Team have already confirmed Wang Jian Wei as Li Chao’s team mate with the Team Betterlife driver embarking on third season in the series. The pair were previously Asia Racing Team team mates for the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and raced in Volkswagen Scirocco Cup China before stepping up in Carrera Cup.

The JR Motorsports Club driver has been testing with the team during the winter break at Zhuhai and is looking forward to making the most of his second year in the championship.

Beijing Porsche Owner’s Club new ambassador Li Chao said, “I’m really excited about returning to PCCA with Asia Racing Team, but I’m under no illusions about how difficult it is going to be. This is my second year in the series and I want to take the maximum out of the experience of last year season. I am motivated and I will do my best to find a wa”

Team manager Philippe Descombes commented: “We saw just how much Li Chao has progressed even since the Zhuhai Media Day in February and through the succession of PCCA races thereafter. He achieved Class B pole-position at Shanghai in the end of last season. We have been surprised by his performances in many races and in principle he will be one to watch in Class B.

The PCCA season start will be held on 22 – 24 March at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia.

Asia Racing Team and Team BetterLife Extend Alliance

After a successful first Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA) season together, Asia Racing Team and Team BetterLife have agreed to extend the partnership into 2013.

For the third consecutive season Wang Jian Wei will continue to drive for Team BetterLife’s No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in 2013. In 2012 Wang finished 9th in championship standings, and his best result of the year was a spectacular third place in round six at Ordos.  

Team BetterLife is the racing arm of BetterLife Group. The company is perceived as the premium car specialists in the Beijing area and runs Porsche Centre Beijing Yizhuang, Porsche Centre Beijing Haidian and Porsche Centre Tianjin.

Eddy Mok, General Manager of Porsche BetterLife Group: “Our relationship with Asia Racing Team has strengthened over the last year and I am very pleased to announce we have been able to extend that relationship in time for the 2013 season. In order to succeed on track you need the best technical support and Asia Racing Team proved to be the right choice .”

Philippe Descombes, Team Manager of Asia Racing Team: “We are delighted and very proud that Betterlife have chosen to place their car and driver with us again in 2013. We’ve had the pleasure of having Wang Jian Wei as part of the team last year and we’ve seen him improving towards end of the season last year. Everybody knows this is a very competitive championship but we are ready for the challenge.”

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season kicks off in Malaysia on March 24 as part of 2013 Formula One Malaysia Grand Prix.

 

Copyright @ Porsche China

Asia Racing Team ends season on a high

Asia Racing Team finished the season on high winning the last Class B round of the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season at the Shanghai International Circuit.

The weekend started well for the Asia Racing Team camp with China’s Li Chao claiming his maiden “B Class” pole position for Saturday’s race on a wet qualifying session. Li lined up 11th in the grid, one position behind Team Betterlife’s Wang Jian Wei, the quickest of ART drivers. “After this, I like the rain a lot”, said Li.

 

RACE ONE

Wang took the honors of best Asia Racing Team driver in the 12-lap thriller race around Shanghai but it was Huang Chu Han who went in the podium. The Exim Bank Of China Porsche 911 GT3 Cup finished 13th overall and 3rd in Class B.

Canada’s Christian Chia was classified 20th and poleman Li Chao, who spun while fighting for the lead of Class B early in the race, was 22nd. The Safety Car was called out on lap 7 after OpenRoad by ART Motorsports’ Marcel Tjia spun and came to a halt in the gravel trap.

 

RACE TWO

Chinese drivers impressed at the inaugural Sports Car Champions Festival, with Huang Chu Han winning Class B to take his second-class victory of season. ”It was a fantastic race. In the beginning, it was hard but I managed to overtake the two cars in front of me. I’m very happy to be on the highest step of the podium again.”

Brothers Chia and Tjia finished the last race of the season 17th and 19th. Teammate Li did not finish due to an alternator failure.

Despite the retirement Wang in the Team Betterlife Porsche 911 GT3 Cup finished the 2012 season as the best Asia Racing Team driver in ninth place overall. Wang retired at Race 2 after a collision on the first lap.

 

Photo @ Carreracupasia.com

Sunday in Singapore

The history says Asia Racing Team don’t have fond memories of Singapore Grand Prix, and without surprise the team endured a tough race weekend at the "Porsche SC Global Carrera Cup Asia – Singapore 2012".

Counting as Round 9 of the 11-race 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season, the weekend at the Marina Bay circuit started on the wrong foot for Team Betterlife. Wang Jian Wei was delayed by visa issues and unable to participate in this weekend’s event. After six years away from racing, Team Manager Philippe Descombes had to step in as last-minute replacement for the Beijing sportscar star.

 The whole Saturday night qualifying session was supposed to last for 30 minutes but it was cut shortly to 10 minutes or so due to a long red flag period. Descombes didn’t start off the weekend with a good run and being 20-min short during qualifying didn’t help either. Struggling to get a clear lap and still learning the circuit, Descombes placed the Team Betterlife car in 11th. Huang Chu Han took 16th on the grid ahead of Christian Chia. Marcel Tjia qualified 22nd and Li Chao had a torrid qualifying session which concluded with 25th position.

Sunday 12-lap race saw Philippe Descombes having a clean start but no. 9 GT3 Cup had to make way by sharply pulling to the right to avoid the mess at the triple chicane. The French racing instructor and former Asian F3 vice-champion made up one position till the end of the race, overtaking Class B winner Egidio Perfetti, and finishing his first race in ten years in the Top-10.

 In the beginning of the race Christian Chia in his Open Road Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup worked himself up to third position in the Class B. However, in the middle of the race, the Canadian driver run too wide, spoiling the chances of finishing in Class B podium. Chia finished in 17th overall and Class B 5th.

Elder brother Marcel Tjia, who had to miss the Sepang rounds for personal reasons, did a clean start and raced strongly before he was forced to avoid an accident in front of him, costing the orange Open Road Racing car precious time. Tjia was classified in 19th place, and Class B 7th.

 Huang Chu Han qualified 4th in Class B and held position as the race started. The impetuous Zhuhai native was doing a flawless race until the lap 6 when he lost control of the car and spun in the hairpin. Despite having lost valuable time, he advanced into the points again. In the end, Huang took 20th place and 8th of the B Class.

Starting from the back of the field, Li Chao’s Team JR 911 GT3 Cup got damaged in the area of the front end during the turbulent starting phase but it didn’t stop the Chinese driver to climb places in the classification. Unfortunately Li Chao spun by himself with three laps to go and wasn’t able to restart.

 The last event of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season will be at Shanghai International Circuit on November 9-11.

First Podium Of The Season At Ordos

Team Betterlife’s Wang Jian Wei picked up the first podium finish of season for Asia Racing Team in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at the Ordos International Circuit.

 

RACE ONE

 

Bittersweet sensations once again for the team in the fifth race of the season. Beijing’s Wang Jian Wei finished in the 9th but was promoted to 8th after the stewards’ penalty to the car number #20 which meant that the reverse grid put him in pole position for Race 2.

In Class B, Huang took over the lead until lap 8 but a gearbox problem changed his fortunes. The Zhuhai native still managed to finish 19th overall and third in Class B.

Further back, the championship rookie Li Chao did a good race, climbing positions up to fourth place of Class B, and getting the PCCA medal of the weekend.  “I tried to keep a constant pace, stay out of trouble and finish the race; we knew that if I managed to do that I would be able to finish in a good position”, he said.

Racing for the first time in this circuit, Christian Chia crossed the line in 22nd. Elder brother Marcel Tjia felt victim to the tricky Ordos circuit. The Dutch driver got hit from behind, forcing him to retire.

 

 

RACE TWO

 

The rain arrived just prior to the start kept the crews guessing. Wang Jian Wei Wang got away well from pole and held the lead from the charging pack. Team Betterlife driver lead the race till middle point when he lost the control of his and spun. He rejoined in fifth but he managed to overtake the two cars in front of him before the checkered flag.

The 2010 Class B Champion was pleased to finish on the podium after an incredibly eventful race where he had looked good for the win:  “I wanted to push to extend my lead, but I braked late.  That would have been OK in the dry, but in the wet conditions, I went off.  I worked my way back though, so I’m happy to take 3rd.”

Huang Chu Han could have win the Class B but the race was too eventful for him, spinning three times in 14 laps. He still walked away unscathed to finish nineteenth. Compatriot Li Chao finished one position behind in 20th. Open Road Racing brothers Christian and Marcel were 24th and 25th.

The tenth Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season continues at the end of the August when it leaves China for the first time this year with Rounds 7 and 8 at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit from August 30 to September 2. 

 

Photo @ Carreracupasia.com

Class B Podium In An Eventful Race Weekend

Asia Racing Team’s drivers Wang Jian Wei, Li Chao, Christian Chia, Marcel Tjia and the newcomer Huang Chu Han endured an eventful weekend in the second event of the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at the Zhuhai International Circuit.

Saturday’s Qualifying went well for Asia Racing Team five-car squadron. Fastest in the Class B category for non-professional drivers was team newcomer Huang Chu Han of China. New to Porsche competition and the series, Huang has continued to impress, scoring the fifth best lap time overall. Teammate Wang Jian Wei started two places behind.

 

RACE ONE

Surviving the start was the key to a good result for the Porsche Carrera Cup Round 3, as Wang Jian Wei stayed out of trouble, avoiding the carnage from an eleven-car crash on the first corner of the first lap, to come across the finish line in 4th, his best season result so far. "The team gave me a good car and I feel lucky to avoid the multi-car pile up on the first corner of the first lap", said the 2011 Class B Champion.

Huang Chu Han’s hopes of a good result vanished when he lost the control of his car on braking into Turn 1 and hit the car in front. The accident damaged his car’s radiator forcing his retirement. 

Meanwhile OpenRoad Racing - ART Motorsports’ Christian Chia and Team JR’s Li Chao were not able to pass the chaotic first corner without harm.

Dutch driver Marcel Tjia did not take part of the race due to an engine problem.

 

RACE TWO

Race 2 was a different story for the home team. Huang Chu Han toughed-out a robust race to finish third in Class B, and eleventh overall at the end of Sunday’s 12 grueling laps. A delighted Huang Chu Han said, "It was a very hard race for me as there was a lot of traffic and I had to overtake nine cars. We had a car capable of winning both races here this weekend, so to take a podium today after the disappointment of yesterday is a great result for us."

Li Chao, Christian Chia and Marcel Tjia, all managed to finish the race, scoring precious points for Class B Driver’s standings.

Wang Jian Wei was left out of the race due to a puncture after a collision battling for fourth position.

Asia Racing Team will be in action again in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia from July 6-8 for Rounds 5 & 6 at the Ordos International Circuit.

 

 

Photo @ Cheung Chi Wai

Encouraging results for Asia Racing Team quartet

The opening round of the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at the Shanghai International Circuit brought some encouraging results for Asia Racing Team quartet of Wang Jian Wei, Marcel Tjia, Christian Chia and Li Chao.



RACE ONE


A packed grid of 28 cars lined up on the grid for the opening round of the season on Saturday, with the Asia Racing Team quartet pushing hard to finish the 12-lap race higher than they started. Wang was involved in a three-car dogfight for almost half of the race. The last year Class B Champion was the winner but couldn’t finish farther than 12th. The primary goal with any race start is to avoid any crashes or mishaps, and Chia was able to do that but he got stuck behind an opponent, and he couldn’t move up in the pack during the race, finishing 17th.  As the lights went out for the start of the 10th Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season, running as part of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UBS CHINESE GRAND PRIX this weekend, Li Chao did not got away well, being demoted out of Top-20. The Team JR driver had a race-long battle in the back of the field to finish 21st. Tjia did not have a good start in the race too, loosing several places due to a spin, but he quickly managed to move up, securing the 23rd place overall in the very last lap.

 
RACE TWO


A good start for Race 2 put Team Betterlife’s Wang Jian Wei into a good rhythm. The Chinese driver took advantage from the accidents that were happening in front of him to put in a solid 7th place overall. A few places back in the pack, Chia enjoyed a combative opening lap. The Canadian driver had made up 5 places from the start having fight for a podium position in Class B till the last lap, and cross the finish line in 12th. Contrasting with the Race 1 start, Li Chao had a great getaway but two spins ended up his hopes of finishing on Top-6 of Class B. Fortunately, he avoided hitting anything seriously but it was a disappointing end to a promising start of the race. The Chinese debutant finished 21st, two positions ahead of the teammate Tjia. The Dutch driver of Open Road – ART Motorsports was pushed into the gravel in the early stages of the race but managed to come back to finish 23rd overall.

The 28-strong field will next be in action at the Zhuhai International Circuit from June 1-3, when the battle for both the overall and Class B championship titles resumes.

Asia Racing Team is proudly supported by Pakelo Lubricants, Michelin and Galuppo Racewear.

 

Photo @ Carreracupasia.com

Asia Racing Team to partner Team BetterLife in 2012

Asia Racing Team has entered into a collaborative partnership with Team BetterLife where Team BetterLife will field the No.9 and the No.96 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup prepared by Asia Racing Team for all seven rounds in 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.

Founded in November 2003 by a group of successful Macau entrepreneurs, Asia Racing Team have been heavily involved with the preparation and development on all types of racecars from single-seater to GT cars, racing for the first time in 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia with two overall wins.


Team BetterLife is the racing arm of BetterLife Group. The company is perceived as the premium car specialists in the Beijing area and runs Porsche Centre Beijing Yizhuang, Porsche Centre Beijing Haidian and Porsche Centre Tianjin.


Reigning Class B champion Wang Jian Wei makes the move to the professional category this season, and will make his Class A debut. In the car No.9 the first ever Mainland Chinese Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion will line up alongside Beijing’s Li Chao, who is making his sportscar first appearance. The No. 96 car will be entered in Class B and will give Team BetterLife a chance to be well represented in both classes.


Philippe Descombes, Team Manager of Asia Racing Team: “To be chosen by BetterLife Group is a huge reward for the work we’ve done in recent years, and also a huge responsibility. We look forward to working together and developing a top-tier team over the coming years.”


Zuo Lin, General Manager of Porsche BetterLife Group: “Asia Racing Team’s competence and track record are well known in China, which is why we were very keen to develop a relationship with them. Partnering with Asia Racing Team provides our drivers with the foundation they need to succeed, and we are thrilled to have this new partnership to further enhance our winning racing heritage.”

Eventful end of season

It was an eventful weekend for Asia Racing Team drivers Keith Vong, Marcel Tjia and Dr Ma Chi Min on the last event of 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at the Shanghai International Circuit.

In Saturday’s Race 1, the German-series debutant Vong had a solid start and did a good job of keeping behind him a fierce peloton, placing 7th in the Class B and 13th overall. Further back, Dr Ma Chi Min had a spin early on in the race, but he recovered from that very well, finishing 17th, three places ahead of teammate Tjia.

Starting from 20th on the grid in Sunday’s Race 2, the elder brother of the Tjia motorsport clan took five positions in 13-laps to cross the line in 15th. Worse luck was had by Vong and Dr Ma. The Hong Kong driver got into a collision with another car and was hit on the side by his Macau teammate who was trying to avoid the accident. Both cars were too damaged to continue.

Speaking about the 2011 season, Team Manager Philippe Descombes said, “After our 2009 successful experience this is year was a totally different challenge. It was a long season with a lot of ups and downs. A big well done is due to the team for achieving an outstanding reliability this season and to the drivers for their determination and improvement over the season.”

Race Engineer Duarte Alves added, “Although two of our drivers were racing in PCCA for the first time and one had to replace his car chassis after one race, a lot of positives came out of this season. Keith had a quick acclimatization to Asia racing even if he has been involved in too many race accidents that prevent him to do better overall. Marcel was especially good in Singapore and Dr Ma did a very solid first season in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia after years away from racing.”

Asia Racing Team is already working towards next Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season, hoping to start testing before the year’s end.

Best results for Keith Vong and Marcel Tjia in Singapore

The glamorous Singapore Grand Prix had silver lining for Asia Racing Team drivers Keith Vong and Marcel Tjia as who recorded their best performance in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia - Class B this season.

Qualifying on Saturday was expectantly tough. Again, this field of Gentleman Drivers, where Asia Racing Team trio compete, is very competitive and the difference in the field is measured in tenths of a second. Vong qualified 18th, Tjia in 19th, and Dr Ma Chin Min lined up in 22nd.

In Race 1 Vong was the quickest among the ART drivers. The Marina Bay’s debutant had driven a flawless race to finish 14th overall and 7th in Class B, his best result so far this season. Teammate Marcel Tjia crossed the finish line in 18th. On the other hand Dr Ma did not finish as he decided to stop in the pits due to a gearbox sensor failure.

Tjia topped the three Asia Racing Team drivers Sunday with a sensational drive from 18th to 14th. The Dutch driver and Singapore resident was 14th in Race 2, finishing 8th in Class B. Dr Ma ran consistently in the middle pack, ending up 18th. Vong was the victim of an over-optimistic passing manoeuvre on lap 2 and had an incursion in the pits to check the water temperature alarm to finally cross the finish line in 24th, one lap behind the race winner.

Team Manager Philippe Descombes said, “The team did a great job over the weekend. We are working hard and one can see improvements compared to the early races. Marcel was no longer at the back, and Keith had an excellent Race 1, considering he was racing for the first time here. I am sure we will take a big lift from this weekend and look forward to the final race of the season.“

The last race of 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia takes place at the Shanghai International Circuit on October 22 and 23.

Mission accomplished at Sepang

Asia Racing Team headed to Malaysia for the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Round 7 and 8 at the Sepang International Circuit.

Keith Vong was the best among the Asia Racing Team drivers, even if he started the weekend in the wrong way, compromising the Race 1 with a spin, finishing 21st. The Macau driver was much better in the second race, crossing the line in 13th - 7th in Class B - his best season result so far.

Racing for the first time in PCCA at Sepang, Dr Ma Chi Min made a good progress throughout the weekend in understanding how to take the maximum out of the 997 GT3 Cup. The Daytona 24 hour former participant saw the checkered flag in 19th in Race 1 and 15th in Race 2.

Meanwhile teammate Marcel Tjia overcame an accident in Free Practice One to finish 17th and 18th in Race 1 and 2 respectively.

Asia Racing Team will be in action again in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia next month at Singapore on the Marina Bay street circuit as part of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix weekend.

Learning race for Asia Racing Team drivers at Ordos

Asia Racing Team ended a debutant weekend in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at Ordos, with a 14th place as best result.

The 18-turn, 3.751km FIA Grade 2 race track was new to Keith Vong, Marcel Tjia and Dr Ma Chi Min. After a promising free practice, Vong couldn’t match the pace in qualifying, registering the 13th quickest time. Tjia meanwhile was 21st with Dr Ma in 22nd place.

Race 1 saw Vong having a slow getaway and being swamped by the field. He managed to get back some positions to finish 15th, 10th in Class B, for non-professional racers. Still learning the track and getting his reference points, after a couple laps Dr Ma settled into a rhythm to finish on a clean 19th. Holland’s Tjia finished one lap down in 22nd place.

For Sunday’s Race two, with the results of Round 5 determining the grid order for Round 6, Vong was well set for a stunning race until he got hit from behind by an opponent. The Macanese driver would survive to this accident but two laps later he ended up in the gravel. Dr Ma Chi Min drove what was probably his best race of the season this afternoon, showing great determination to fight his way through the field. The Hong Kong native finished 14th, his best result so far in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. Tjia meanwhile had a smart and conservative approach to the race that paid off securing the 15th place.

Speaking about the team’s performance in Ordos, Team Manager Philippe Descombes said, "Overall our drivers did a very professional job on a new track. Of course we need to close the gap to the other top drivers in Class B but consistency in the championship is important too. Dr Ma and Marcel are progressing every race and a bit more of luck will be welcome by Keith. Hopefully at the next race in Sepang we will have a better weekend.”

Race Engineer Duarte Alves, added, “We are heading in the right direction. We shall look at our overall performance and data from this weekend and see where we need to produce a little extra for the closing rounds of the season. Still, this Ordos weekend was a really good experience.”

Asia Racing Team will be in action again from August 26-28 for Rounds 7&8 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at the Sepang International Circuit.

Rough weekend for Asia Racing Team in Zhuhai

Asia Racing Team’s drivers Keith Vong, Marcel Tjia and Dr Ma Chi Min endured a tough weekend in the second round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at the Zhuhai International Circuit.

After an encouraging showing in Friday morning testing, Keith Vong hit gearbox problems in qualifying, putting him 20th on grid for the first race. The technical problems were solved on time for the Race 1 but the Macau driver was caught up in the first corner crash, crossing the line in 18th. In Race 2 Vong made a brilliant start gaining several positions until a risky move by a competitor in front caused contact in the first corner, sadly forcing him to make an early pit stop to repair his car that cost Vong two laps. 

Starting from the 22nd position, Dr Ma Chi Min’s first race came to a disappointing end when he ended up in the gravel trap after missing the braking point with three laps to go. Things were a little brighter for Dr Ma in the second race as the Hong Kong veteran engaged in fierce battle throughout the race, being able to come away with a 18th place, conquering the PCCA Race Award Medal.

Qualifying 23rd, Team-mate Marcel Tjia was able to overcome a turbulent weekend in Shanghai, restoring his confident with two solid finishes in Zhuhai. The Dutch driver entered by OpenRoad Racing finished both races in 19th, scoring points for the first time in Class B.

Reflecting on the team’s home race, Race Engineer Duarte Alves said, “It was not the luckiest weekend in Zhuhai, but as everyone knows, luck turns around. We can’t fall into the trap of losing confidence because we have all the human and technical strengths we need to raise the bar in the Class B. Often silly mistakes are made and incidents cannot be avoided and this is unfortunately what happened to Keith twice this weekend. Dr Ma was pretty unlucky in Race 1 but he did well in the second race. The whole team is happy with Marcel. He had a nightmare weekend in Shanghai and hopefully this will be the beginning of something good for us.”

Asia Racing Team will be in action again in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia from July 8-10 for Rounds 5 & 6 at the Ordos International Circuit.


PCCA: Good season start at Shanghai

The opening round of the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA) on the Shanghai International Circuit last weekend had mixed feelings for Asia Racing Team. If PCCA rookies Keith Vong and Dr Ma Chin Min showed a great pace and performance in Class B, Marcel Tjia was forced to retire after an accident on Race 1.

In the first race, run over 12 laps, Vong and Dr Ma made very cautious starts and lost a couple of positions. They both were able to pull away from the cars behind and keep to the strategy to fight with the rivals ahead. The Macau driver based in Australia finished 14th overall (Class B 8th) and his Hong Kong teammate in 17th (Class B 11th). Tjia had an unfortunate short race. The Dutch driver ended up his first race of the season hitting the wall in the end of turn 1. Even if the car wasn’t‚ severely damaged, the chassis couldn’t‚ be repaired for the Race 2.

Race 2 saw Vong climbing several places in the first laps. When he was a fantastic 7th overall, a front left puncture sent his car to the pits. Vong saw the chequered flag in 17th (Class B 14th). Battles continued throughout the field for the entire 12 laps, with the Class B drivers providing the crowds with some superb action. In the closing stages of the race, all eyes were on Dr. Ma and an opponent, the two Hong Kong racers locked in battle, with Dr Ma eventually edging past his rival on the penultimate lap to finish 11th (Class B 8th).

Reflecting on the first weekend of the season, Team Manager Philippe Descombes, said, "We had a very encouraging race weekend from the point of view of our overall pace and performance in Class B. Keith and Vong did a fantastic job and now we need to enjoy this moment, build on this feeling and keep moving forwards. We are deeply sorry about what happened to Marcel. We managed to solve the brake problem that affected Marcel from the Free Practice right after the Qualifying but it was impossible to repair the chassis here in the circuit".

Race Engineer Duarte Alves, added, "We were competitive all the weekend in Class B. Dr Ma and Keith came very close to the top-10 in the second race, and Keith just missed out at the end when the he had a puncture. Marcel hadn‚Äôt the lady luck on his side and this weekend results is meaningless. We’ll look at what we’ve learned today and aim to continue improving when we next race back in Zhuhai."

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will be back in action at the Pearl River Delta‚ Zhuhai International Circuit next month.

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