Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, round 6 at the Formula 1 race on the Nürburgring/Germany
Stuttgart. The hero of the day in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup is René Rast. At the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by VELTINS Lechner Racing, the title defender from Frankfurt in Germany won the 200th race of the world's fastest international one-make series on the Nuerburgring. This marks his fourth win so far this season. In a gripping race under typical Eifel weather conditions, he relegated Poland's Kuba Giermaziak (VERVA Racing Team) to second place and further extended his championship lead.
The anniversary race of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, which has run as support to the Formula 1 worldwide since 1993, started with a worried glance at the low-hanging clouds. When the rain stopped shortly before the start, the majority of drivers opted for slicks – with Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (Team Bleekemolen) in position 12 on the grid selecting rain tyres. On the partly wet track, the Dutchman fought his way through half the field in the first lap to promptly move into first place. But his blaze of glory was short-lived: The slowly drying circuit foiled any further plans.
Sharing this fate were Britain's Nick Tandy and Frenchman Kévin Estre. The title aspirant from Konrad Motorsport and the Supercup newcomer driving for Hermes Attempto Racing had such a lively encounter in the second corner that they were thrown remorselessly to the back of the field and went home without any championship points. This was particularly bitter for Nick Tandy, who as reigning vice-champion has yet to notch up a victory this season and for whom this setback is possibly decisive in his bid for the title.
At the head of the pack René Rast and the first-time pole-sitter Kuba Giermaziak delivered a tough fight for victory right to the flag. Still, the Pole drove a cautious race to clinch his best Supercup result so far. Britain's Sean Edwards, who eventually brought home third in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup run by Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, posed no threat from behind. Trailing the Barcelona winner, Austria's Norbert Siedler (VELTINS Lechner Racing) secured fourth, but not before fending off a strong attack from Stefan Rosina. Driving for VERVA Racing, the Slovakian secured his best result to date with fifth ahead of Jeroen Bleekemolen (Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit), two-time Supercup champion from the Netherlands.
Putting in their personal best Porsche Mobil1 Supercup performance to now at the anniversary race in the Eifel were William Langhorne and Mathias Lauda. The American, who races for SANITEC Aquiles MRS Racing, finished tenth with the Konrad Motorsport pilot from Austria and son of racing legend Niki Lauda in eleventh.
René Rast (winner): "That was a perfect race. The conditions were unbelievably tough. First it was totally wet, then dry again. When you're at the front it's very difficult to predict what's going to happen. You never know what to expect in the next second. It's a lot easier for the guys behind me. They can just wait to see what I do. Towards the end I slowed the pace a little to bring my victory home safely. With an eye on the championship, this was a great weekend for us."
Kuba Giermaziak (second): "Congratulations to René. He drove a strong race under the most difficult conditions. As the track dried up I was quicker, in fact I could have won today. At least we had the speed. But René is not one to make silly mistakes when he's under pressure. And I wasn't prepared to risk anything. So now we just have to keep waiting for our first win, but I'm quite sure it'll happen this season."
Sean Edwards (third): "A great race. I started from seventh on the grid and finished in third – that's not bad under such tough conditions. In the dry we simply didn't have the speed to attack."
1. René Rast (D), VELTINS Lechner Racing, 30:00.552 minutes
2. Kuba Giermaziak (PL) VERVA Racing Team, + 1.001 seconds
3. Sean Edwards (GB), Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, + 5.288
4. Norbert Siedler (A), VELTINS Lechner Racing, + 8.042
5. Stefan Rosina (SK), VERVA Racing Team, + 8.628
6. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, + 9.964
Drivers' standings after 6 of 9 races*
1. René Rast (D), 105 points
2. Sean Edwards (GB), 90
3. Norbert Siedler A), 83
4. Nick Tandy (GB), 72
5. Kuba Giermaziak (PL), 70
6. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), 68
* It has yet to be decided if and when there will be a replacement for the cancelled Formula 1 race in Bahrain with two rounds of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup.
Round 7 of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup takes place on 31 July as support to the Formula 1 race in Budapest/Hungary.