Can Asian Motor sport be cohesive?

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Motor sport in Asia has a reasonably long and stable background, but nothing like the history of the sport in Europe or America, even though China did host the Peking to Paris event in 1907.  Asian motor sports have developed in the individual countries independently, and these separate countries have introduced their own local rules, which have more or less worked, but only allows competition at the national level.

However, in today’s global village, it is necessary to branch out beyond national borders.  One such company which assisted Asian motor sport to grow upwards and outwards was Motorsport Asia Limited, the brain child of David Sonenscher, who could be considered to be the Bernie Ecclestone of Asia (but a lot younger)!

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Sonenscher’s Motorsport Asia developed the concept of a traveling circus called the Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS) and made the personal transition from driver and then team manager to finally a series organizer.  That he had managed to do that is a great testament to his persistence, as anyone who has tried to work across the Asian borders will testify, despite ASEAN.

Unfortunately, some countries have made it very difficult to run a series through non-recognition of carnets and other red tape requirements.

The latest to try and get an international series going is the Thailand Super Series, calling itself the new era of Thailand motor sport.  This series has been running in Malaysia and Thailand, with the top category attracting the international racing supercars from Porsche, Audi, Chevrolet Camaro, Lamborghini, Nissan, Lotus, Toyota and Ferrari, and drivers in Thailand bringing in international drivers such as Thomas Enge and international crews to look after the cars, such as Reiter Engineering.

So far, this has been an incredibly successful series.

Another international series is the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia featuring 28 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) which has also been on the F1 program of events, including the F1 round in Singapore last weekend.

This series is led by New Zealander Earl Bamber of LKM Racing, reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion, Porsche Mobil1 Supercup leader and winner of the 2013 Porsche Motorsport International Cup Scholarship.

He is being closely followed by arch rival Martin Ragginger (Austria) of Team Porsche Holding has fought hard all season to keep the main prize within reach, taking his second win of the season in Malaysia last.

Also still in the frame for this year’s championship is former F1 test and reserve driver, Tung Ho-Pin of China competing with Budweiser Team Absolute Racing. Contesting his third Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season, Tung is currently third on the leaderboard, two points ahead of 2012 champion Alexandre Imperatori of PICC Team StarChase and Team Jebsen’s Rodolfo Avila, who are tied in fourth.