Shanghai. Team StarChase and Philip Hamprecht secured a hard-fought third place during Sunday’s thrilling Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season opener in Shanghai with the German clinching the final podium place on the penultimate corner of the last lap.

Hamprecht looked quick from the off, posting the third fastest time in the single practice session on Friday. He was once again on the pace in qualifying to secure third and just missing out on the top spot by 0.225 seconds. Hamprecht’s qualifying lap time of 2:07.157 was one-tenth faster than his last year’s pole-position time.

As the 12-lap race in support of the prestigious Chinese F1 Grand Prix got underway, Hamprecht had a flying start, briefly moving to second place. Unfortunately he tangled with an opponent in Turn 2, dropping to fourth place. The safety car was called out on lap 4, bunching up the field.

The race restarted two laps later at the 5.5km Shanghai International Circuit and Team StarChase driver was just able to hold off from a charging rival. As soon as he got rid of his opponent, Hamprecht was able to keep pushing and put himself in position to reach the podium. In the last lap he made the successful overtaking manoeuvre for third place into Turn 14.

Speaking afterwards, Hamprecht said: “Overall the weekend has been quite positive. It was not my best qualifying ever, but the race went very good. I launched out of the grid like a rocket. Perhaps it was my best start in the Carrera Cup car, but an unfortunate contact with another driver made us both lose positions. I tried to manage my race and the tires, waiting someone’s mistake. I closed the gap between me and the driver in front of me. Eventually Chris did a mistake and I overtook him to take P3. Actually I think we had a car to win today. Definitely we had the quickest car out there. With solid points on the board we can now look forward to Japan in a couple of weeks and hopefully take another step forward."

Mr. Robby Niermann, Chief Executive Officer Greater China of StarChase, commented: “It was great to see Philip on the podium today and another strong result for the team. He stayed with the leaders, matching their speed. In the last lap he tried to make a move and was successful. That is the fighting spirit I want to see. This is how we can collect points and fight for the championship. All in all I am very happy with the result today. This weekend gave us an outlook how tough this season will be. The first four or five cars are very close. We are going to build from the result of this weekend. We’re hoping we can continue this form into Suzuka and the rest of the season.”

The BASF-owned Glasurit Automotive Refinish orange livery No. 99 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991 II) lapped in 2:07.723, collecting the single point available for the fastest lap. Hamprecht sits now third in the Overall Championship standings with 17 points, three less than the leader, as Team StarChase is lying third in the Porsche Dealer Trophy. 

Mr. Chris Titmarsh, Vice President of Regional Business Management, Automotive Refinish Coatings Solutions Asia Pacific, BASF, who was on site to support the team, added: “That was a hugely entertaining race and my congratulations go to Philip and the entire team for their hard work today. It was a great drive. We had a very good start, and then he was able to recover right in the end to get into third position, which really showed his talent as a driver. The team was professional in all aspects, and it is an absolute pleasure to be around. Our expectation for the season is to continue to improve from last year and to have more wins.”

Team StarChase will be back in action at the iconic Suzuka International Racing Course on May 25/26, for the first ever Porsche Carrera Cup Asia event in one of the most popular racing circuits not only in Japan