ASIA CUP SHANGHAI SPRINT
Team Reckless driver Kota Sasaki has placed himself in an enviable Championship position after taking victory in Round 8 of the Aston Martin Asia Cup, which raced in support of the 2008 Formula One Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix.
Sasaki was in pole position for the 10 lap race followed on the grid by Danny Watts (Great Britain), Ringo Chong (Singapore) and his Championship title rival Dilantha Malagamuwa (Sri Lanka) respectively. With Sasaki and Malagamuwa coming to Shanghai in joint lead of the Championship, today’s race was an all important stepping stone to the final double header event due in November.
Everyone made a good, clean start with Sasaki able to hold on to the lead from a storming Danny Watts in the GR Asia/Noble Group car. As they battled for the lead Chong and Malagamuwa were having their own fight for third place. On the second lap Malagamuwa’s race came to a bitter end when he found the gravel whilst making a move on Chong. With his car brushing the barrier it was the end of his day’s campaign.
Further down the pack there were epic scraps between Mel Choo (Singapore) and Tunku Hammam (Malaysia) and whilst the two swapped places it was to be Choo who made the final move stick. George Ong (Singapore) and Philip Ma (Hong Kong) were also locked in a nose to tail battle. Philip Ma was to take the honour of being top HongKonger home in eighth place whilst coming home in sixth Taipei’s Kuo-Tong Hsieh was the top Chinese regional finisher.
There were impressive debuts from newcomers including Jean-Marc Merlin of France who put in a solid performance for seventh.
But at the chequered flag the loudest cheers were for Sasaki taking his third win in a row and fifth win of the season, pushed all the way in Shanghai by Danny Watts. With his Championship rival leaving Shanghai with no points, Sasaki opens up a confident 16 point lead at the top of the Championship table.
Amongst the many onlookers, the Aston Martin Asia Cup was pleased to welcome as their guest Robin Brundle, Managing Director of Aston Martin Racing.
"It has been a superb weekend of racing" said AMAC Series Director Ian Geekie afterwards. "There were fantastic battles throughout the field and Kota drove a storming race under great pressure from Danny to take his hat-trick run of victories. I am certain though Dilantha will be back fighting harder than ever in the final rounds for the title, an amazing showdown is on the cards!.
"It has been a great pleasure to welcome Robin [Brundle] to this event to see first hand the great strides we are making in this the world’s first ever one-make Aston Martin series. The cars have certainly captured the imagination of the drivers and spectators alike".
For those looking to take Aston Martin Asia Cup inspiration to the road, Aston Martin China has two state of the art showrooms in Shanghai and Beijing.
Aston Martin Asia Cup – Round 8 Result - Shanghai, China
Position/ Number./ Driver/ Nat/ Entrant/ Laps/ Time1 30 Kota Sasaki JAP Team Reckless 10 23:12.4792 60 Danny Watts GBR GR Asia 10 23:12.9333 98 Ringo Chong SIN Ringo Chong 10 23:28.3904 69 Mel Choo SIN Mel Choo 10 23:40.1865 51 Tunku Hammam MAS Tunku Hammam 10 23:41.0436 44 Kuo Tong Hsieh TPE Kuo Tong Hsieh 10 23:55.6697 64 Jean-Marc Merlin FRA Jean-Marc Merlin 10 23:59.5398 88 Philip Ma HKG Team HongKong Racing 10 24:08.0099 36 George Ong SIN George Ong 10 24:11.95410 28 Eric Cheung CAN Eric Cheung 10 24:22.16311 23 Simon Waters AUS Concord Energy Racing 10 24:31.79812 32 David Lai SIN David Lai 10 24:49.45213 33 Nasrat Muzayyin USA Concord Energy Racing 10 24:55.68314 9 Andrew Luk HKG Andrew Luk 10 25:09.804
6 Dilantha Malagamuwa SRI Speed Sri Lanka 1 2:25.301DNS 7 Frank Yu HKG Team HongKong Racing 0 -