Team Jebsen and driver Rodolfo Avila’s assault on the Macau GT Cup race at the upcoming Macau Grand Prix will mark the worldwide racing debut of the 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Avila, 24, will take to his home track, the legendary Guia street circuit, in the mighty 500hp Porsche racer in the 12-lap Macau GT Cup race.
Said Avila: “It is a great privilege for Team Jebsen to have so much confidence placed in us by Porsche. I expect the exceptional handling of the Porsche 911 GT3 R to suit the Guia Circuit perfectly, and I’m looking forward to taking it through its paces and testing the limits during practice.”
The 2012 model features a number of improvements to a car which is popular amongst racing drivers the world over. The output of the four-litre, six-cylinder flat engine in the rear has increased by 20 hp, achieved through optimisation of the intake system.
Paddle-shifts in the steering wheel ensure gear changes are even quicker and simpler allowing the driver to focus on braking. In addition, the gearing of the sequential six-speed dog-type gearbox has been adapted to the higher maximum output.
The transmission electronics, featuring an automatic throttle blip control, make it almost impossible to miss a gear, while a softer anti-roll bar on the front axle reduces understeer.
The excellent handling combined with awesome power will give Team Jebsen and Avila a highly-competitive car for their Macau Grand Prix season-closer, something they will need amongst an ultra-competitive field.
“The Guia Circuit is famous for its combination of tight turns and long, fast straights, so both agile handling and raw power are needed. Particularly at the back of the circuit where there is a rapid succession of high-speed left- and right- handers and you can shave several tenths of a second off a lap if you’re quick through there” said Avila.
Showcasing what next year’s Porsche 911 GT3 R is capable of on one of the world’s most demanding race tracks represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the Macau driver and Team Jebsen. It means all eyes will be on the single practice and two qualifying sessions at the Grand Prix.
“With the limited overtaking opportunities on the Guia Circuit, it is going to be vital to find the limits during the practice session. Pole position at Macau is probably a bigger advantage than at any circuit I have raced on, so a huge amount rests on our qualifying performance” he added.
The Macau Grand Prix outing will bring the curtain down on a highly successful season for Team Jebsen which saw them come within just two points of clinching the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Championship. In their second season of competition together, the team recorded no few than 10 podium finishes, including one outright victory, in 12 races.
Prepared by PR Plus Limited for Team Jebsen
DRIVER UPDATE : PCCA : Darryl O’Young
Darryl O’Young had his WTCC independents title fight this year brought to an early end after a non-podium point-finish and a DNF at the Races of China in Shanghai. The result sees the Hong Kong race driver trailing leader Kristian Poulsen by 44 points in the Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy, with only 43 up for grab in the Macau season finale.
“This is a very big disappointment for me in the season,” says the WTCC sophomore. “However, this also takes title pressure off of me in Macau and I will push as hard as I can to take victory in front of my home fans!”
Despite undergoing a tough qualifying session on Saturday, O’Young pulled off some great effort flying on the Tianma circuit. “It was my toughest result of the season in qualifying. With only one more new tire run in Q1, we misjudged the situation and went out onto the circuit a few minutes too early. This forced me to use the best of my tires too early and by the final lap of qualifying when the track was in the best condition, my tires were too worn to put in a fast time.”
The 31-year-old driver started from 18th on the grid, but brought his skills into full play and overtook cars at will. For once O’Young did place himself onto independent P4 and overall P11, before worn tires made him to settle for an independent P7 and overall P13 and took home two independents points.
“I knew it was going to be a difficult race on Tianma circuit because it is a tight and twisty track with limited passing. Starting from P18, I made a strong push and the car felt very good in the first half of the race. I managed to make some good passing moves and passed a total of 7 cars during the race. Unfortunately, tire wear came into effect and I was passed back by Villa and Engstler in the final quarter of the race. It was a hard fought race but I'm quite satisfied with the result and it was the maximum I could do today.”
O’Young shot again from P18 on the grid to P11 in the opening lap of Race 2. Unfortunately, a hit from Dudukalo broke his suspension and the Hong Kong ace had to pit on lap 2 and accept a DNF finish.
“I made a nice start from the back of the grid and overtook 4 cars into turn 1 as I made a pass around the outside. Onto turn 5 still on the opening lap, I managed to make my way past another 6 cars as a few of them came together pushing me up to P11 overall.
“In lap 2, I made an overtaking maneuver on Dudukalo, unfortunately on the exit he made contact with my right rear wheel breaking my suspension. It was a real shame as this opening lap charge would have put me in for a fight with the leaders of the race.”
The Canadian-born Chinese will next race against Finnish legend Mika Hakkinen at Le Mans 6 Hours of Zhuhai this weekend in an Audi R8 LMS, before returning for the WTCC Macau finale races from the 17th to 20th of November.
Sponsors LKM and A-Ha Coffee are the major forces behind Darryl’s pursuit of success in the 2011 FIM World Touring Car Championship, with additional team support coming from Chevrolet.
2011 Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy after Round 22 (Top 6)
Pos Driver Total points Stats
1 Kristian Poulsen (DNK) 127 6 wins + 6 podium
2 Norbert Michelisz (HUN) 104 4 win + 6 podium
3 Michael Nykjaer (DNK) 98 3 win + 6 podium
4 Franz Engstler (GER) 97 4 win + 4 podium
5 Javier Villa (ESP) 92 1 win + 6 podium
6 Darryl O’Young (CHN) 83 1 win + 6 podium
Prepared by www.darryloyoung.com