Hamprecht Clinches Team StarChase Fifth Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Title
11 November 2019 | SHANGHAI-CHINA
Shanghai, China. Seven stops into the season and fourteen races later, Team StarChase and driver Philip Hamprecht have been crowned the 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champions after claiming the ninth podium position of the year alongside the FIA World Endurance Championship 4 Hours of Shanghai support race - the final event of the season.
The final showdown in Shanghai was poised to be an appropriately exciting end to a breath-taking season. Hamprecht arrived at Shanghai International Circuit holding a 33-point lead in the drivers' standings, but as ever in the all-action Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, nothing could be taken for granted and so it was to prove.
On hand to mark the electrifying season finale were plenty Team StarChase's special guests, with the grandstands filled with cheering supporters of the No. 99 Team StarChase Porsche 911 GT3 Cup dressed in orange uniforms from Glasurit Automotive Refinish. A mystery guest joined the celebration – Mr. Rudy, the world-famous Glasurit parrot. Its unexpected attendance caught everyone’s attention, adding a bright and colourful presence to the paddock.
As the whole weekend, the Friday free practice sessions took place in dry weather; two busy sessions with no interruptions, incidents, technical issues or changing weather meant the team was able to concentrate on the job at hand. The driver reported being happy with the car, and the team had a busy evening of data crunching to prepare the most important day of the season.
Saturday morning kicked off with the single qualifying session and Hamprecht put in a great performance to qualify in second position overall, two tenths shy from the pole-position time. The day was unfolding according to the plan at the 5.5km Shanghai International Circuit.
Knowing that a seven place finish would be enough to meet his target, Hamprecht played it safe in the opening encounter, sagely shadowing his title rival to the chequered flag in third. The German youngster lost a position on the opening lap. Keeping himself firmly in contention for the top-3 without taking unnecessary risks, Hamprecht competed in the lead train throughout the 12-lap race and crossed the line in P3 to record his ninth podium finish of the campaign, securing the title with one race left.
From the start of the weekend Team StarChase looked set to retain the Porsche Dealer Trophy title with a 2019 championship cup ready to sit alongside last year’s in their trophy cabinet. Round 13 podium result was enough for Team StarChase to wrap up the much-coveted title for the second year in a row.
The pressure was off for the last race of the season. Starting from fourth on the grid, Hamprecht was determined to take another podium result. However, a drive-through penalty for contact with a rival on lap 2 put him back in the pack. The 22-year-old driver, without nothing to lose, made a gallant charge to ninth at the flag. The newly crowned champion scored 220 points, finishing 18 points ahead of his nearest rival.
“After three seasons with Team StarChase, winning the championship for the first time felt phenomenal. It's just incredible. This means a lot to me,” confessed an emotional Hamprecht. “I came close last year, being vice-champion, and finally I capped it off. It was a fantastic season for us. I have to say a big thanks to the team and everyone involved. It was teamwork at its best and this success belongs to everyone in the team.”
Reflecting on his race weekend and the whole season, Hamprecht added, "In race one, I could have fight for the win, but did not want to risk anything. In the end, I settled for third. The second race was much more relaxed and it was argy-bargy from the beginning. I had strong season and made no mistakes. In a series that is tightly contested as this one, if you are patient and you're consistent, you will outlast everyone and that's really the key to victory. We had a number of ups and downs, but in the end we made it!”
Mr. Robby Niermann, Chief Executive Officer Greater China of StarChase, commented: “What a great season it was! We have achieved the goal we set for ourselves brilliantly. It’s obviously a great feeling to win the overall title for the fifth time. Philip did an outstanding job and his name is now engraved upon the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Legacy Trophy. Every single team member can be proud of what we have achieved this year. I also would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners BASF and Absolute Racing for their full support throughout the season.”
The Team StarChase now looks forward to 2020 and will confirm its plans shortly. Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is heading to the most exciting season ever with seven rounds and sixteen races, kicking off at the brand new Hanoi Street Circuit in Vietnam on April 4-5.
“The competition in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia this year has been fantastic, and it has drawn to a close with the exciting ‘Night of Champion’ where Team StarChase picked up the Dealer Trophy as well as the awards for the ‘Best Mechanic’ and ‘Speed’. We have been part of the championship since 2008. We want to continue to carry the Porsche sporting genes, and further enhance our successful relationship with Porsche in this part of the globe. I'm already looking forward to 2020,” added Mr. Robby Niermann.