René Rast wins turbulent season-openerStuttgart. A perfect start to the season for René Rast (Germany). The one-make cup professional driving for Team Deutsche Post by tolimit – Team Pole Promotion won the first race of the Carrera Cup Deutschland in Hockenheim with an 8.851-second advantage. Second place went to Frenchman Nicolas Armindo (Attempto Racing). After a weak season last year, the 2010 champion has kicked of his 2012 campaign impressively. Michael Ammermüller (SWITCH IT Lechner Racing) from Germany was overjoyed with his third spot on the podium. Germany’s fastest one-brand series is contested with identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers. The 450 hp GT race car is based on the lightweight street-legal 911 GT3 RS sports car.
Taking up the race from pole position, Sean Edwards (Team Deutsche Post by tolimit) won the sprint to the first corner. The Briton lost his lead briefly to French newcomer Kévin Estre (Hermes Attempto Racing), but the stalwart quickly grabbed it back. Last year’s vice-champion drove a controlled race at the head of the field followed by his teammate René Rast and managed to pull clear of his pursuers bit by bit – until tyre damage in lap six threw him out of contention.
Michael Ammermüller celebrated a brilliant debut with position three after the ex-Formula 1 test driver narrowly missed out on a podium spot last weekend clinching fourth at the Porsche Supercup round in Bahrain. Behind the Lechner pilot, Jaap van Lagen (FE-Racing by Land-Motorsport) came fourth over the finish line. The Dutchman, who made up one position on his qualifying result, was one of the six race winners last year with his victory at Spielberg in Austria.
Philipp Eng was the surprise of the day in fifth. Driving for MRS GT-Racing, the Austrian has experience in a Carrera Cup race from one event as a guest starter at the 2011 finale in Hockenheim. With his fifth place, the youngster who has also tested a Formula 1 car, planted himself at the head of the newly-created rookie classification in the Carrera Cup. Behind him came his compatriot Norbert Siedler, the current leader of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. After experiencing a difficult practice session, the Konrad Motorsport pilot was satisfied with his success in gaining ground and the first point. The Dane Nicki Thiim (Hermes Attempto Racing) clinched seventh place ahead of newcomer Elia Erhart (Marschall Goebel Racing).
The Porsche Juniors, Klaus Bachler and Michael Christensen, made a good start to the season. Driving for the Deutsche Post by tolimit squad, the Austrian was running in eighth place when he had to pit with tyre problems. After a change of tyres, 20-year-old Bachler rejoined the race far down the field, but was able to match the pace of the frontrunners and saw the flag in 17th. Driving for Konrad Motorsport, Denmark’s Klaus Bachler lost the front lip of his 911 in the turmoil of the race. Despite the heavy understeer that resulted from this, the 21-year-old still managed to bring home ninth place from his debut race.
The grid line-up for race two on Sunday is determined by the fastest lap time from the qualifying session. Sean Edwards and Jaap van Lagen start from the first row, with Kévin Estre and René Rast sharing the second. Taking up Sunday’s race from the third grid row are Nicki Thiim and Philipp Eng.
The race tomorrow starts at 9.30 hrs and is broadcast live on the official Porsche website (www.porsche.com) in high-quality – with editorial clips prior to the actual live-streaming, live-timing and commentary in German and English. On 30 April, the Monday after the race weekend, news station N24 televises the 30-minute “Porsche Carrera Cup Magazin” at 18.30 hours. Sport1 broadcasts Carrera Cup highlights on Tuesday, 1 May, from 16.30 to 17.00 hours.
René Rast (winner): “I’m of course extremely happy with my race. I started from third on the grid and won. I had a little bit of race luck on my side, which was at the same time a shame for my teammate Sean and our squad. We don’t yet know where the tyre damage came from, but we still have a chance to secure a good team result tomorrow.”
Nicolas Armindo (second): “It feels great to climb the podium again. It’s been a long time coming. I was certainly not the fastest today, but with some cleverness and a little luck it was enough for a podium result.”
Michael Ammermüller (third): “I’m happy to have come from eighth and finished third at my first race. I hadn’t expected that. I had anticipated at best fifth place. I’m sure I had Lady Luck on my side today, but my car was also really well set-up.”
Michael Christensen (Porsche Junior, ninth): “After a difficult qualifying we managed to find a good race set-up for my car. I thought the start would be hard but it went really well. I got caught up in traffic, the front lip of my 911 ripped off in the turmoil and had to contend with understeer. I then had to cope with a puncture towards the end. So I told myself, just take it easy and get to the finish.”
Klaus Bachler (Porsche Junior, 17th): “My start wasn’t that great, but afterwards I drove a steady race. I waited for the drivers in front of me to make a mistake and then made the most of it. In this way I could move up the field and was even running in eighth when a tyre problem forced me into the pits.”
Race 1 result
1. René Rast (D), Team Deutsche Post by tolimit/Pole Promotion, 24:27.506 minutes
2. Nicolas Armindo (F), Attempto Racing, + 8.851 seconds
3. Michael Ammermüller (D), SWITCH IT Lechner Racing, + 10.772
4. Jaap van Lagen (NL) FE-Racing by Land-Motorsport, + 13.446
5. Philipp Eng (A), MRS GT-Racing, + 14.151
6. Norbert Siedler (A), Konrad Motorsport, + 18.990
7. Nicki Thiim (DK), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 22.755
8. Elia Erhart (D), Marschall Goebel Racing, + 27.711
9. Michael Christensen (DK), Konrad Motorsport, + 35.981
10. Thomas Pivoda (CZ), Konrad Motorsport, + 38.091
Points’ standings after 1 of 17 races
1. René Rast (D), 20 points
2. Nicolas Armindo (F), 18
3. Michael Ammermüller (D), 16
4. Jaap van Lagen (NL), 14
5. Philipp Eng (A), 12
1. Deutsche Post by tolimit, 24 points
2. Attempto Racing, 18
3. Konrad Motorsport, 17
1. Harrie Kolen (NL), Land-Motorsport, 20 points
2. ‘Bill Barazetti’ (D), MRS GT-Racing, 18
3. Christina Nielsen (DK), Farnbacher ESET Racing, 16
1. Philipp Eng (A), MRS GT-Racing, 12 points
2. Elia Erhart (D), Marschall Goebel Racing, 8
3. Michael Christensen (DK), Konrad Motorsport, 7
Communication Porsche AG