28 cars are set to line up on the grid for the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia as the regions premier sportscar series gets ready for the biggest season so far in its nine year history.
The championship begins with its official pre-season test at Sepang in Malaysia on March 12, before the real action begins with 11 rounds, the first of which will be on the support package of the 2011 Formula 1 UBS Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai.
The series, organised by Motorsport Asia Ltd, will also be re-joining the Formula One package for the Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay street circuit. In China, the new home of the series, rounds will also be held at the Zhuhai International Circuit as well as the new Ordos International Circuit.
Backed by Mobil 1 and Michelin, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will once again run a dual championship system, with separate points-scoring classes for professional racing drivers and amateur racers.
Leading entires in Class A come from Team Jebsen's Rodolfo Avila, who finished fourth overall in 2010 and two time amateur class champion Mok Weng Sun, who makes the step up to Class A with Team Porsche Club Singapore Racing.
Darryl O-Young will also be looking to win the championship as the two-time champion returns full time to the series with LKM Racing, who are also running 2007 series runner up Keita Sawa. They will be competing with reigning PCCA champions Team StarChase, who will be running 23 year old series debutant Alexandre Imperatori, who finished fifth in last year's Japanese Formula 3 series.
Also looking to run at the sharp end of the grid will be former Class B champion Phillip Ma, running with Team Hong Kong Racing. Making their debuts in the series with new team Absolute Racing will be Brian Wong and former American Le Mans Series racer Henri Richard. Frenchman Richard will share driving duties with 2007 Class B champion Alain Li.
Class B is set to host a variety of nationalities in a field full of youth and experience. Heading the line-up will be 2010 class runner up Ringo Chong, who returns with Team Kangshun and Francis Tjia, who finished third in the class last year. Francis will be joined by Marcel Tjia in the OpenRoad Racing team.
Joining the Tjia brothers will be two other sets of brothers, Wayne and John Shen with Modena Motorsport and Morris and Terence Ku with Team Daycraft. Jeffrey Lee returns with his team Pauian Archiland, while one to watch will be Yuey Tan, running with the Wimbolize McElrea Racing Team.
Australian Paul Tresidder, who finished third in the category in 2008, returns, while lady driver Rose Tan is committing to her first full season in the championship with new dealer team Team C&D. An exciting newcomer to the series is former Formula BMW Asia and Scirocco Cup China racer Wang Jianwei, who is making his sportcars debut with Team BetterLife.
Also making their debuts will be experienced Australian GT Championship regular Keith Vong, Nexus Racing's Adrian Henry D'Silva and Italian Davide Rizzo, who joins Woyo Racing Team.
Helmut Broeker, Chief Executive Officer of Porsche China, commented: “Our 2011 driver line-up, which represents the biggest grid in our history, and an exceptional calendar are nothing short of spectacular. The field includes electrifying young hotshots who will be competing against some of Asia's most accomplished and experienced sportscar specialists. Plus we are pleased to welcome a number of new drivers and teams, who add a compelling 'unknown' element.
“This year we also have a record five Porsche dealer teams from China participating, which adds an additional element of rivalry outside the usual commercial competition. It's going to be incredibly exciting to see whether youth or experience triumph in the race for the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship crown.”
2011 Provisional Race Calendar
March 12/13 – Sepang Intl. Circuit, Malaysia, Test
April 15/17 – Shanghai Intl. Circuit, China, Round 1 & 2
May 27/29 – Zhuhai Intl. Circuit, China, Round 3 & 4
July 08/10 – Ordos Intl. Circuit, China, Round 5 & 6
August 26/28 – Sepang Intl. Circuit, Malaysia, Round 7 & 8
September 23/25 – Marina Bay Circuit, Singapore, Round 9
October/November – Tbc, Round 10 & 11