Alexandre Imperatori scored a victory on his Porsche Carrera Cup Asia debut in the first race of the 2011 season at Shanghai, in support of the Chinese Grand Prix. He beat polesitter Keita Sawa to the win, with Rodolfo Avila finishing third.
LKM Racing Team driver Sawa made a good start from pole position, with Imperatori, Avila and Mok Weng Sun fighting over second. Avila initially had second, but Imperatori soon took this back.
The safety car was called into action on the first lap after Steven Chian crashed. The race resumed on lap five, after which Imperatori chased after Sawa, passing him for lead on lap seven. From there, the Swiss racer controlled the race and won by three seconds at the checkered flag.
Behind Sawa and Avila, Darryl O'Young, who had started from the back after suffering engine problems in qualifying, made his way through the field to finish an impressive fourth.
Ringo Chong took the Class B honours, with Chinese drivers Anthony Liu and Wang Jian Wei second and third in class respectively.
Speaking after the race, an overjoyed Imperatori said: “My start was the only bad point. It was my first of the series, so I didn't want to take any risks. I almost lost second place, but pushed hard to take it back. It was very important to maintain second to be able to chase SAWA. I had to wait during the Safety Car period and keep a cool head. At the re-start, I could see SAWA was struggling with his tyres. It's great to take the first win in my first race.”
Sawa said: “I'm sad I lost first place, but points are most important. We were in good a situation before the Safety Car, but then the tyres went off.”
Macau driver Avila added: “It's always good to be on the podium. Alex was on new tyres, which was some advantage. We'll try again tomorrow on new tyres. It'll be tough with the four of us at the front tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to a really great race.”
Class B winner Chong said: “Everyone wants to win the first race of the season. It was quite close and Anthony was really coming up behind me. The race was pretty straightforward for me, I followed Mok and then when Darryl came up behind me I let him through because he was faster. However, that's also where I almost made a big mistake. After I let him through, I saw Anthony coming up right behind me so I put my head down, kept my nose clean and I’m happy to have won the first race.”
Race Results after 12 laps:
|1||99||Alexandre Imperatori (SUI)||A||Team StarChase (CHN)||28:42.442|
|2||88||Keita Sawa (JPN)||A||LKM Racing (HKG)||+3.000|
|3||20||Rodolfo Avila (MAC)||A||Team Jebsen (HKG)||+5.386|
|4||55||Darryl O'Young (HKG)||A||LKM Racing (HKG)||+12.472|
|5||33||Mok Weng Sun (SIN)||A||Team PCS Racing (SIN)||+16.067|
|6||11||Ringo Chong (SIN)||B||Team Kangshun (CHN)||+18.433|
|7||37||Anthony Liu (CHN)||B||Woyo Racing (CHN)||+20.493|
|8||89||Brian Wong (USA)||A||Absolute Racing (HKG)||+21.114|
|9||9||Wang Jian Wei (CHN)||B||Team BetterLife (CHN)||+24.679|
|10||16||Wayne Shen (CAN)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)||+25.790|
|11||7||Jeffrey Lee (TPE)||B||Team Pauian Archiland Absolute (TPE)||+31.119|
|12||21||Francis Tjia (NED)||B||OpenRoad Racing (HKG)||+32.583|
|13||28||John Shen (CAN)||B||Modena Motorsports (HKG)||+60.135|
|14||15||Keith Vong (MAC)||B||Asia Racing Team (MAC)||+60.263|
|15||23||Paul Tresidder (AUS)||B||Paul Tresidder (AUS)||+60.490|
|16||66||Rose Tan (CHN)||B||Team C&D (CHN)||+63.890|
|17||83||Dr. Ma Chi Min (HKG)||B||Asia Racing Team (MAC)||+75.179|
|18||22||Morris Ku (HKG)||B||Team DAYCRAFT (HKG)||+79.668|
|19||68||Mak Hing Tak (HKG)||B||OMAK (HKG)||+86.034|
|20||77||Jacky Yeung (HKG)||B||Jacky Yeung (HKG)||+869.008|
|21||27||Adrian Henry D'silva (MAS)||B||Nexus Racing (MAS)||+91.970|
|5||Yuey Tan (SUN)||B||Wimobilize McElrea Racing (SIN)||DNF|
|18||Marcel Tjia (NED)||B||OpenRoad Racing (HKG)||DNF|
|59||Philip Briandet (SIN)||B||Shift2Neutral Racing (SIN)||DNF|
|36||Seven Chian (TPE)||B||Team Hong Kong Racing (HKG)||DNF|