Keita Sawa took a last gasp victory in Round 5 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at Ordos in China, benefiting from a final lap clash between then-leader Alexandre Imperatori and Sawa's LKM Racing teammate Darryl O'Young.
Team StarChase driver Imperatori, who won the opening four races of the season, started the race from third on the grid but took second place from Sawa down the inside of the long right-hander first corner. He then took the lead later on the opening lap when O'Young slid wide.
Imperatori built up a good gap over his rival, but O'Young was able to close this in the closing stages. On the final lap O'Young dived down the inside of Imperatori for the lead, but Imperatori shut the door on him. The subsequent contact sent both spinning, handing Sawa the victory.
“I thought I would wait and see if something would happen – and it did!” said Sawa. “I saw the incident and thought something like that was possible as Darryl and Alex were very close together. But that is racing.”
Imperatori recovered from the incident to cross the line in second place, but was later given a 30-second penalty for his involvement in the contact which dropped him to ninth.
This promoted Rodolfo Avila into second place. The Team Jebsen driver dropped from fourth to ninth on the opening lap after a trip into the gravel, but fought his way back through to take the runner-up spot.
“I tried to recover, push hard and I hoped for people in front to me make mistakes,” Avila said. “I was quite surprised to come out of the chicane to see two cars stopped and I made it past them.”
Brian Wong of Absolute Racing finished in third place, one place ahead of Davide Rizzo who took Class B honours. O'Young came across the line in fifth.
Round 5 results – 14 laps:
|1||Keita Sawa||A||LKM Racing Team||25.05.812|
|2||Rodolfo Avila||A||Team Jebsen||+7.007|
|3||Brian Wong||A||Absolute Racing||+7.528|
|4||Davide Rizzo||B||WoYo Racing||+9.589|
|5||Darryl O'Young||A||LKM Racing Team||+19.425|
|6||Wang Jian Wei||B||Team BetterLife||+19.950|
|7||Ringo Chong||B||Team Kangshun||+28.633|
|8||Wayne Shen||B||Modena Motorsports||+42.633|
|9||Alexandre Imperatori*||A||Team StarChase||+36.791|
|10||Francis Tjia||B||OpenRoad Racing||+1:09.403|
|11||John Shen||B||Modena Motorsports||+1:15.587|
|12||Philip Briandet||B||Philip Briandet||+1:19.473|
|13||Alain Li||B||Alain Li||+1:20.973|
|14||Mak Hing Tak||B||OMAK||+1:27.373|
|15||Keith Vong||B||Asia Racing Team||+1:38.108|
|16||Adrian Henry D'Silva||B||Nexus Racing||+1:38.707|
|17||Rose Tan||B||Team C&D||+1:43.006|
|18||Paul Tresidder||B||Paul Tresidder||+1:50.423|
|19||Marcel Tjia||B||OpenRoad Racing||1 Lap|
|20||Steven Chian||A||Team Hong Kong Racing||1 Lap|
|21||Jacky Yeung||B||Jacky Yeung||1 Lap|
|22||Dr. Ma Chi Min||B||Asia Racing Team||1 Lap|
|23||Jeffrey Lee||B||Team Pauian Archiland Absolute Racing||4 Laps|
|DNF||Morris Ku||B||Team DAYCRAFT||—|
|DNF||Yuey Tan||B||Wimobilize McElrea Racing||—|
* 30 second penalty