Having tested his brand new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in Malaysia last month, and in top physical and mental shape following a gruelling training camp in Austria, 23-year-old talent Alexandre Imperatori is well prepared for his debut with double and reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champions Team StarChase in Shanghai next weekend.
The Shanghai-based Swiss national embarks upon his GT career while simultaneously continuing his impressive climb through the ranks of single seater racing, so will have to quickly adjust to the Porsche when he takes to the 5.5km Shanghai International Circuit: “The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is certainly powerful and quick. It is heavier than a formula car, which means longer braking distances and more roll in the corners. I was pleasantly surprised by the grip levels and how much speed you can carry through the corners”, he said.
“For sure in the beginning there were lots of elements to adapt to, mainly making sure I wasn’t caught locking wheels or braking too late. It’s important to be smooth but quick,” he added.
Imperatori was also impressed with the new tyres introduced by series partner Michelin this season, and believes they will play a key role: “There is a strategic aspect because you must manage your tyres if you don’t want to fall off at the end of the race, and that spices things up even more.
The importance of tyres came as a bit of a surprise to me as the races are short sprints, but that is what happens when you have a powerful racing car: it is demanding on the rear tyres. I’m confident we can be both quick and easy on the tyres which will be the key to race wins.”
With backing from TransAsia Airways for the two Formula 1-support races on the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia calendar, Imperatori is looking forward to his debut at the blue riband event on his and his team’s home circuit: “I’m delighted to be able to race in front of my fans, friends and family, and there is always a special atmosphere at a Formula 1 Grand Prix – not to mention the additional motivation to do well!”
Commented StarChase Group Chairman, Mr. Yaw Chee Ming: “With all preparations now in place, it’s time to begin the defence of our championship title with some strong results. It will be exciting to see young, talented Alexandre making his GT racing debut with us, and I am certain we are going to give all our fans two thrilling races.”
Prepared for www.starchase.com.cn