Maiden PCCA Victory for Team StarChase’s Yu Kuai After Thrilling Battle in Ningbo
22 September 2021 | NINGBO-CHINA
Ningbo. Yu Kuai stormed back into Porsche Carrera Cup Asia contention as he gave Team StarChase an overall win, a Dealer Trophy victory and a third place finish on an action-packed weekend at the Ningbo International Speedpark (September 18/19). The Chinese youngster was in imperious form on his way to a hugely significant win, which was also his maiden win in the series and the first of the season for the V-KOOL orange liveried No. 99 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Ever-improving Yu Kuai showed solid pace in the highly-competitive field across the two free practice sessions. Come qualifying, he was able to maintain his front-running pace with two late laps that were good enough to secure third place on the grid for race one with the time of 1:45.017. As the second best time achieved by each driver during the qualifying session is used to determine the starting grid for the second race, the 20-year-old Chinese ace sat on Pole-Position for the race two with the chrono of 1:45.082.
From his second row start, Yu Kuai held station in the early stages of race one on Saturday. The close nature of the field would restrict the amount of overtaking. A late safety car period bunched the field up and on the restart Yu Kuai threatened the second place rival, but he had to settle for third at the end of the 16 laps.
Sunday’s race two would start in dramatic fashion for Yu Kuai when he couldn’t hold on to the first position. The new Team StarChase recruit did not drop the ball, keeping his opponent under pressure. Seeing a chance to get ahead at the hairpin when his rival left the door slightly open in lap 4, Yu Kuai dived down the inside to grab the lead of the race. The audacious maneuver at turn nine caused a flat spot in the tires. Battling with severe understeer, the Chinese racer struggled to keep in contention, but managed to resist intense pressure until the final lap to win the race.
“It feels fantastic to take my first win of PCCA,” said Yu Kuai. “The race start was still not perfect, but I am glad to be able to regain the top position. There are still many things I need to improve such as race craft as well as tire management during both qualifying and races. The team is giving me so much support on and off the track and I am very thankful for that. I hope this is first of many more good races to come.”
Said Mr. Robby Niermann, Chief Executive Officer Greater China of StarChase: “Yu Kuai is a winner with Team StarChase! We are very proud. The pressure was on to finally turn a strong qualifying into a strong race result, and Yu Kuai delivered. With great race pace and even greater determination, he left all of his championship rivals behind and took his first win. A perfect birthday present just two days before StarChase's 15th anniversary. Congratulations Team StarChase!”
With six rounds to go, Yu Kuai moved up to third in the drivers’ championship with 146 points. In the Porsche Dealer Trophy standings, Team StarChase is in third place with 145 points.
The Team StarChase hopes to maintain its bid for championship silverware when the Carrera Cup Asia visits Hunan province’s Zhuzhou International Circuit for the fifth race weekend of the season on October 9/10.