Team StarChase’s Yu Kuai Wraps Up 2021 PCCA Season with a Podium
2 November 2021 | SHANGHAI-CHINA
Shanghai. Team StarChase’s Yu Kuai capped off a strong Porsche Carrera Cup Asia rookie season with a podium finish. The 21-year-old was rewarded with an encouraging third place in the overall Drivers’ standings, as well as securing the third position in the Porsche Dealer Trophy for his Team StarChase squad in the triple-header season finale at Shanghai International Circuit (October 30/31).
Surprisingly, given his lack of familiarity with GT-cars, Yu Kuai entered the last race of the season with mathematical chances to win the drivers’ championship after winning three out of the last four races. The Chinese youngster was in third place with 210 points, 16 points behind the leader, and he had a legitimate shot at the championship with 79 points available in Shanghai.
Qualifying for Saturday’s races had seen Yu Kuai challenging for pole, but he had to settle for fourth and second on the grid respectively for Rounds 13 and 14. “I think we made good progress from Free Practice 1 to Qualifying. We could have improved in a few places, and I needed to adapt my driving style to the circuit better.”
Although slightly slow away from the lights, Yu Kuai attacked from the outset in Saturday’s opener, finding himself right on the tail of championship leaders. In a very tactic 12-lap race, in which the five title contenders knew that they couldn't afford to make any major mistake, the season rookie played safe to bring home the No. 99 Team StarChase Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 992) fourth.
As the second race of the weekend got underway on the Shanghai International Circuit, Yu Kuai lost one position dropping to third. The V-Kool orange livered Porsche rebounded, and Yu Kuai hunted down the car ahead until he was forced to nurse his tyres in order to bank as many points as possible, settling for third position.
Sunday morning, all four drivers with title chances were ready to put out their best drive for the last race of the season, lining up on the first two rows with Yu Kuai in fourth. When the lights went out for the race start Team StarChase driver made a good getaway and kept the fourth position into Turn 1. Unfortunately, an early contact with an opponent bent the steering rack. Yu Kuai was able to continue, and despite a difficult race, he crossed the finish line in fifth – only to be promoted to fourth due to a post-race penalty for a rival.
Yu Kuai said about the weekend: “In comparison to our previous race in Zhuzhou, we struggled to find a few tenths over my teammate. We tried to improve our pace and I think we found the issue of not being able to make good starts in the last race. It is really a shame that in this last race I had a contact with Max [Massimiliano Wiser] which bent the steering rack and made my race difficult. I gave my everything, now it is only going to get better.”
“It has been my first year racing GT cars, there have been ups and downs, but overall, I believe it has been a positive season. I worked closely with the team, and everyone on the crew, including the engineer and mechanics, has been quite supportive of me. I am thankful for the hard work,” he said about the season.
Chief Executive Officer Greater China of StarChase Mr. Robby Niermann said: "We were hoping to be more competitive in Shanghai this weekend, especially after two wins in Zhuzhou. However, congratulations to the new PCCA champions; they are deserving of the honor.
"Team StarChase is pleased to have finished third overall for the season. It's exciting to see how much the team, particularly our driver Yu Kuai, has progressed this season. Yu Kuai, despite being a newcomer to GT racing, has shown his talent and ambition by winning three races and finishing the year on the podium among tough competition.
"Only the excellent teamwork of all Team StarChase partners, as well as the enthusiastic support of all our staff and fans, have allowed us to achieve this level of success. It’s a great basis to build on in the new season 2022!”
Having amassed an impressive three overall wins and four podium finishes, Yu Kuai concluded the season in third in the Drivers’ Championship, with Team StarChase third overall in the Porsche Dealer Trophy’s points.
The 2021 season is not yet over for Team StarChase and Yu Kuai as they will take part in the Porsche Carrera Cup Challenge invitational race at Macau’s legendary Circuito da Guia. Track action for the 68th Macau Grand Prix will take place from the 19th to the 21st November.