Chris van der Drift wins third Carrera Cup Asia title

Chris van der Drift has taken his third Carrera Cup Asia title win after he took a lights-to-flag win at Shanghai International Circuit.


Main title rival Phillip Hamprecht finished the 11th round of the championship in fourth, which meant van der Drift won the title with a race to spare. 


He becomes the first driver to win three Asia titles, and become one of 15 to win three or more titles.


“It’s pretty emotional, three times now,” van der Drift said.


“Just getting the pole [position] this morning was one step and then having the good start was the next step, then I just had to drive around in circles until the end. That was really cool to finally finish it.”


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The 32-year-old began the penultimate round of the championship from pole position with fellow New Zealander Will Bamber alongside.


A strong start saw van der Drift lead the 28-car field into turn one. He covered off Bamber into turn one, but he needn’t worry as Bamber himself ended up fighting to keep position.


Cui Yue was quick and rounded up Bamber for second. Ragginger fought with Bamber for third but ended up having to fight with Phillip Hamprecht.


At the end of lap one it was van der Drift who led Yue, Bamber, Ragginger and Hamprecht.

The margin by lap two was out to over a second over Yue. The race leader banged out a quick lap while in the lead nearly as good as his time set in qualifying.


While van der Drift skipped away, Yue was soon under pressure by Bamber who began to fight back.


Come lap four Bamber went side-by-side with Yue for second place. Their battle allowed van der Drift to skip away. A good run out of the final turn allowed Bamber to switch back and get another opportunity into turn one.


The Earl Bamber Motorsport driver managed to clear Yue before turn one and set about recording purple sectors.


As the race reached halfway van der Drift held a three second lead over Bamber. The gap narrowed as van der Drift clocked his final lap, but Bamber couldn’t catch his fellow countryman and duly took home victory and with it the championship. Bamber came home second and Yue third.


The champion elect will have one more chance to go for a race win and ensure he’s has the most wins of anyone this season later this evening.