O'Young hangs on to Asia series lead

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 July, 2006, 12:00am

Darryl O'Young clung on to his lead in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia series despite a disappointing outing in Indonesia yesterday.

The Hong Kong driver failed to make a big enough impression in the two races at the 4km Sentul Circuit as his lead in the championship was reduced to 14 points. He had led by 18 points before the series reached its halfway mark.

O'Young (pictured) had to settle for third and fourth in rounds seven and eight yesterday, both of which were won by Japan's Shinichi Yamaji.

O'Young has 144 points and his nearest threat now comes from the fast-charging Yamaji, who edged in front of compatriot Keita Sawa in both 15-lap races on the dusty and slippery circuit.

Sawa of Cref Motorsports had been quickest in practice but Yamaji, who drives for Tomo Racing, showed his class when it mattered.

Team Jebsen driver O'Young remained upbeat despite his failure to tighten his grip on the series, having won five out of the previous six races this season. 'Our intention was to leave Indonesia with the lead and we have still done that. It's been hard all weekend and I just didn't have the pace to match the Japanese pair,' said the 26-year-old Canadian-born driver.

'We still picked up a couple of points and there are other races to focus on. We have only just passed the halfway stage [of the series] so there's still a lot of racing left.'

Fellow Hong Kong driver Matthew Marsh, the 2004 Porsche champion who was competing in his first major race after helping his team finish a solid 10th position in the Nurburgring 24-hours race last month, also struggled to hold his own, finishing seventh and eighth.

In a charitable gesture, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers announced that all winnings from yesterday's races would be donated to relief efforts following the tsunami in Pangandaran and Ciamis in West Java.

The next round of the Porsche series will be held at the Formula One circuit in Shanghai in September.