Sunday, May 26 03:44pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Chris van der Drift gifted win after top four receive penalties

Chris van der Drift won the third round of Porsche Carrera Cup Asia after the top four finishers were handed post-race penalties for swerving. 


The three-time champion initially finished the race in fifth but race winner Phillip Hamprecht, Tsubasa Kondo, Martin Ragginger and Will Bamber were all pinged for the indescrepencies.


The penalties promoted van der Drift to the win, Yuey Tan to second and Bao Jinlong to third. The four penalised drivers fell to seventh, eighth, ninth and eleventh respectively. 


It was Hamprecht who started from the pole position at Suzuka Circuit alongside EBM driver Kondo. Bamber sat third with Ragginger in fourth. The lead pair edged away at the start of the race and left Bamber behind who was on more worn tyres.


Bamber had to go on the defence from the outset. Coming out of 130R and into the Triangle Chicane, Ragginger made wheel-to-door contact with Bamber. Ragginger ran through the run off and returned in fourth. He lost momentum and fell into the clutches of Chris van der Drift but the Kiwi couldn’t get by.


The safety car came out on lap five when Benny Simonsen spun on his own at Degner 1.


The race restarted with the front runners all hustling to get by each other, Hamprecht though was on the defensive. Bamber sought to get by Kondo but got wide through Turn 1 and Turn 2 and couldn’t make any headway.


Again the leaders established a gap over Bamber and left the Kiwi to try and fend off Ragginger. Ultimately the young New Zealander couldn’t keep the Austrian behind him and fell to fourth. Fifth placed van der Drift sought to get by Bamber but no opportunities presented.


Hamprecht eventually came home with a narrow win ahead of Kondo while Ragginger was a distant third. However, with the penalties they were demoted down the order. 


The Japanese leg of Carrera Cup Asia heads to Fuji Speedway over 14-16 June for Round 4, 5 and 6.