The 2011 season of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia kicks off this weekend, with a record field of 26 cars taking to the Shanghai International Circuit. The opening two rounds of the 11 round series will be held in support of the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix.
Two-time champion and World Touring Car Championship driver Darryl O'Young returns for a full season. He is joined at LKM Racing Team by Japanese driver Keita Sawa. Swiss racer Alexandre Imperatori, who has been racing in Japanese F3 in recent years, joins the championship racing for two-time champions Team StarChase, one of five Porsche China dealer teams. Macau driver Rodolfo Avila lines up for double title winning dealer outfit Team Jebsen. Mok Weng Sun steps up to the professional class with Team Porsche Club Singapore Racing after dominating Class B in 2010.
Also in the professional class are Frenchman Henri Richard, sharing driving duties this season with former Class B champion Alain Li, and Brian Wong of Absolute Racing.
Local fans will have plenty to cheer for in Shanghai, with a number of drivers from the mainland joining those from the Special Administrative Regions of Macau and Hong Kong. Wang Jian Wei makes his Carrera Cup Asia debut with dealer team BetterLife. Rose Tan becomes the series' first ever full-time female driver with new dealer Team C&D. Steven Chian shares the Team Hong Kong Racing car this season with former Class B champion Philip Ma.
In Class B, after finishing runners-up in 2010 Team Kangshun will be aiming to go one better with driver Ringo Chong of Singapore. After an impressive debut year last season Francis Tjia will pose a threat for OpenRoad Racing.
Porsche China has taken over the running of the Carrera Cup Asia for 2011, and has created a new website for the series at www.carreracupasia.com, as well as a comprehensive social media programme. You can follow the series on Twitter @carreracupasia, receive the latest updates from the series on its Facebook page and watch the latest videos from the championship on its YouTube channel. In an effort to keep in touch with local fans of the series, official accounts are also operated on the Chinese websites Kaixin001, Youku and Sina.com.