Sunday 1 May 2011

Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, round 1 in Hockenheim

Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, round 1 in Hockenheim

Nick Tandy’s gamble pays off to yield season-opening win

Stuttgart. A rain shower shortly before the start turned the season-opening race of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland into a lottery. Britain’s Nick Tandy (Konrad Motorsport) played the right cards in the tyre poker, stayed on slicks – and like last year celebrated his first win of the season. Separated by 1.072 seconds, the reigning champion of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, René Rast (Germany, Förch Racing), saw the chequered flag on the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg in second. Third over the line after 18 laps was Sean Edwards (Great Britain, Team Deutsche Post by tolimit).

Lady Luck was not smiling on several prominent pilots. Pole-sitter Robert Renauer (Germany, Herberth Motorsport), title defender Nicolas Armindo (France) as well as his Danish teammate Nicki Thiim driving for the championship winning team from 2010, Hermes Attempto Racing, switched to wet tyres prior to the start only to fall back once the track started to dry.

Second qualifier, Nick Tandy, played all his cards right. The Briton virtually inherited the pole position because Renauer started the race from the pits after changing to rain tyres. Putting in a perfect start, Tandy then quickly pulled away while the rest of the field were busy fighting amongst themselves. The strategically clever runner-up from last year could increase his lead so much that his rivals René Rast and Sean Edwards were able to close the gap in the second half but had no chance of snatching the lead from the Briton.

Fourth at the flag after a turbulent race was Jeroen Bleekemolen from the Netherlands, who drives for the Team Deutsche Post by tolimit as Edwards’ teammate – and not only promptly lived up to his new team’s high expectations. Thanks to Edwards and Bleekemolen’s results this weekend, the squad occupies first place in the team classification. In the very final moment, double Supercup champion Bleekemolen had snatched position four off two-time Carrera Cup title winner Uwe Alzen. The German, who runs his own team ‘PZ Aschaffenburg Uwe Alzen Automotive’ this season, had to settle for fifth, just 0.2 seconds behind the Dutchman.

Sixth and seventh place went to Jan Seyffarth and Jaap van Lagen. The German (SMS Seyffarth Motorsport) and the Dutchman (Land Motorsport) delivered a spirited duel which saw Jaap van Lagen take a spectacular journey off the track but thanks to his ultra fast reflexes he brought his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup off the wet grass and back on to the track to finish the race.

Huge delight in the Förch Racing camp, not least due to the podium result of seasoned campaigner Rast, but also due to Robert Lukas. The 23-year-old Pole achieved a commendable eighth place under difficult track conditions. Even more astounding, however, is the performance of the pilots who finished ninth and tenth: Both the 21-year-old Swiss racer Philipp Frommenwiler (Attempto Racing) and the 19-year-old Austrian Johann Ledermair (Konrad Motorsport) are newcomers to Germany’s fastest brand trophy series. For these two, the top ten placing with the 450 hp Cup-Porsche on the slippery track signalises a truly impressive start to the season.

Nick Tandy (winner): “Under such conditions, the race was really difficult, but it was great fun for exactly this reason. I gave more than 100 percent, particularly in the first few laps in order to build up a decent gap. Around the mid-way point I slackened off the pace a little. And in the last laps René put the pressure on and came closer and closer. So I had to put my foot down again to bring home victory.”

René Rast (second): “It was a difficult race for me. Unfortunately, my start wasn’t the best and Uwe Alzen got past me. By the time I overtook him, Nick had already put a decent gap between us. Okay, I managed to reduce the gap but it wasn’t enough to win. Still, I’m happy with our start to the season with my Förch team.”

Sean Edwards (third): “What a race! Because I only started from 14th on the grid I lost a lot of time in the first half. I got caught up in duels between drivers who’d started on wet tyres and came from behind. I couldn’t regain that time again. But I’m happy with third place.”

Race result
1. Nick Tandy (GB), Konrad Motorsport, 33:26.830 minutes (147,693 km/h)
2. René Rast (D), Förch Racing, + 1.072 seconds
3. Sean Edwards (GB), Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, + 5.752
4. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, + 8.492
5. Uwe Alzen (D), PZ Aschaffenburg Uwe Alzen Automotive, + 8.688
6. Jan Seyffarth (D), SMS Seyffarth Motorsport, + 13.890
7. Jaap van Lagen (NL), Land Motorsport, + 19.319
8. Robert Lukas (PL), Förch Racing, + 37.530
9. Philipp Frommenwiler (CH), Attempto Racing, + 58.844
10. Johann Ledermair (A), Konrad Motorsport, + 59.145

Drivers’ standings after 1 of 9 rounds
1. Nick Tandy (GB), 20 points
2. René Rast (D), 18 points
3. Sean Edwards (GB), 16 points
4. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), 14 points
5. Uwe Alzen (D), 12 points
6. Jan Seyffarth (D), 10 points
7. Jaap van Lagen (NL), 9 points

Team classification after 1 of 9 rounds
1. Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, 30 points
2. Konrad Motorsport, 26 points
3. Förch Racing, 26 points

Round 2 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland takes place on 15 May on the Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands.

Public Relations and Media
Motor and Sports Press
Oliver Hilger

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