Australia represents on invitational podiums
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia drivers have represented their championship in style during the pair of joint races with Porsche Carrera Cup Asia regulars, David Wall and Tim Miles securing podium finishes in their respective races.
After Australian drivers won both combined races on their home turf last year, Carrera Cup Asia runners evened the score with two victories at the Sepang circuit this weekend, however there was representation from Australian runners on both podiums.
In the first race for TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge and Carrera Cup Asia Pro-Am runners, Tim Miles finished a hard-fought third outright, behind winner Yuey Tan and Chinese driver Evan Chen.
Dean Cook started from pole however it was a flying start from Miles that saw him leap from fifth to third by the first corner.
Tan and Miles both passed Cook and settled in at the lead of the race, while Stephen Grove and Evan Chen battled for third.
Chen passed Grove mid race, then relegated Miles to third at the finish – ensuring Australian series representation on the podium.
Grove finished fourth, Shane Smollen seventh and Dean Cook tenth while Graham Williams and Marc Cini scored 14th and 16th respectively.
“I got a good start and elbowed myself into second place and lost a position back to third by the finish,” said Miles.
“It’s such a fantastic event. It’s amazing for Porsche to bring us here and race on an F1 circuit in such a welcoming atmosphere… and it cost me the same as going to Winton! It’s just a fantastic experience.
“It would be great to do more of these events. The invitational race gives the Challenge class drivers a chance to race for a win, which is fantastic. It was a very cool event.”
In the race for professional drivers from both series, David Wall made a perfect start from pole position and led the field into turn one.
A battle with Carrera Cup Asia pacesetter Chris van der Drift followed, the Kiwi working his way past early in the race to secure a lead he wouldn’t lose.
The Pro race was run at breakneck pace; the fastest racing laps of the entire weekend set by the leading four cars, who ran line astern for much of the highly competitive race.
Wall maintained a margin of less than one second for the remaining laps however ultimately settled for a close second position behind the former Carrera Cup Asia champion.
Austrian young-gun Phillip Hamprecht finished third with Andre Heimgartner fourth in his Sonic Motor Racing entry. Will Bamber completed the top-five, with five cars each from Carrera Cup Asia and Australia represented in the top-10 finishing positions.
Dylan O’Keefe (7th), Alex Davison (8th) and Jaxon Evans (9th) were the other Aussies represented in the top 10.
“I gave everything I could to Chris [van der Drift] then. I got a good start but the car took a little bit longer to come on than I wanted it to. I lost a bit time at the start and managed to get back to him but not enough to get the win, unfortunately. It was great race and the times were fast considering the rubber everyone was on,” said Wall.
“Now we roll the car back into a container and go home with a big smile on my face.”