This weekend, the current Porsche Carrera Cup Asia overall and Class B championship leaders – Kamlung Racing’s Chris van der Drift and Yuey Tan of Team Jebsen, respectively – will defend the honour of regional motorsport in what promises to be a memorable showdown between the leading Porsche Carrera Cup drivers from France Italy, Australia, Scandinavia and Asia in the Porsche Carrera Cup 24 Hours of Spa 2015.
Powerfully illustrating the truly multinational nature of Porsche motorsport, up to 37 identical, German-engineered Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) cars will battle it out on the renowned Belgian Spa-Francorchamps circuit, with the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia two-car team run by French rally and race legend, Sébastien Loeb.
New Zealander van der Drift, new to Porsche racing this season, and Singapore’s Tan are each relishing the prospect of taking on the finest Carrera Cup drivers in Europe. While van der Drift has previous experience at Spa, and has competed against some of the drivers in field, he isn’t planning to let his relative unfamiliarity with his Porsche be an issue for long: “There are a few in the field I know of and that I have raced against over the previous years in Blancpain and GT Open, and I’m sure every one of them will want to be at the pointy end. I guess for me knowing the track is one less thing I need to worry about, although I’ve never been around Spa in a 911 hopefully I’ll need only a couple of laps to know what I’m doing! I am still learning the car so every time I get behind the wheel I feel more comfortable and this should be the case here too. I can’t wait to hit the track and see where I stack up!”
Tan, meanwhile, is also guaranteed to give the challenge his all, and heads to Spa focused and prepared: “I’ve been spending some time in a racing simulator to make sure I am in tuned with the flow of the circuit. From friends that have been there, I have heard that there is a certain flow to the circuit that I need to get to know, so I’ve done quite a few laps. It should be good fun!
“Obviously it’d be great to get a result out there though I’ll be just keeping relaxed to keep my mind on the job! Nothing too complicated, just need to stay focused on getting the maximum performance. It’s an important opportunity to put Asian motorsport on the map, though I think Earl [Bamber] has helped us with that by winning Le Mans 24 Hours on his first participation!”
Held in support of the 24 Hours of Spa, the race has been organised jointly by the Porsche Carrera Cups France and Italy. van der Drift and Tan were invited to compete by Porsche China, organisers of the Carrera Cup Asia, and its partners as a reward for topping the leaderboards in each of the two fiercely-contested championship categories after Rounds 5&6 in Japan.
While the pair will fly the flag for Asian motorsport, they will also carry the names of two of their biggest fans after a hugely-successful social media competition. The two fans will literally race to the flag along with van der Drift and Tan, their names emblazoned on the side of each of the two Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars.
Commented Alexandre Gibot, Motorsport Manager, Porsche China: “The Porsche Carrera Cup 24 Hours of Spa 2015 is a showcase for the success of Porsche one-make racing around the world. For the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, it is an opportunity to once again prove that our series provides a very high international benchmark. Our former two-time champion and recent Le Mans 24 Hours winner Earl Bamber has already shown how high the level of competition is in our series, and we are confident that both Chris van der Drift and Yuey Tan will be strong challengers amongst this incredible field of drivers.”
As well as the leading drivers from the Italian, French, Australian and Scandinavian series, the line-up for the Porsche Carrera Cup 24 Hours of Spa 2015 also includes a former and another current Porsche Carrera Cup Asia driver; Zhang Da Sheng of China, this season competing in Italy; and 2013 Asian Class B champion Egidio Perfetti, who is combining a season in the French Carrera Cup with selected Asian outings in the Spark Motorsport entry.
Designed in 1920, the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is home to the famous Eau Rouge/Raidillon combination, and is well known to drivers as being an ultimate test of skill, brains and courage.
Qualifying for the Porsche Carrera Cup 24 Hours of Spa 2015 will be held on Friday July 24, with the race starting on Saturday at 13:00 local time.