Friday 13 May 2011

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, round 2 at the Formula 1 race in Barcelona/Spain

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, round 2 at the Formula 1 race in Barcelona/Spain

Winner of season-opener Christian Engelhart keen for a repeat

Stuttgart. After the riveting season-opener in Istanbul with Christian Engelhart pulling a surprise victory out of the hat, the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup travels on to the Circuit de Catalunya on 22 May. Twenty-three Porsche 911 GT3 Cup take off into the second race of the world’s fastest international one-make series on the 4.655 kilometre Grand Prix circuit on the outskirts of Barcelona.

“It was an awesome experience to kick off the season with the first Supercup win of my career,” says the German Konrad Motorsport pilot, Christian Engelhart. The fact that he has now raised expectations with his performance hasn’t unsettled him. On the contrary: “I clinched the pole and won the race, so I’ve shown that I have what it takes and I can hold my own against the best.”

One of the title favourites who had to queue up behind the round one winner in Istanbul is his British teammate Nick Tandy. The vice-champion, whose driver colleagues voted him this year’s title favourite in a survey at the start of the season, is looking forward to the Circuit de Catalunya. “It’s a very demanding and interesting track,” said Tandy, who clinched second in Istanbul. “Tyres definitely play a key role here, especially in the very quick corners. The slightest error in the technically difficult passage prior to the finish straight costs a lot of time and it’s almost impossible to make it up.”

Third place-getter in Istanbul, Austria’s Norbert Siedler from VELTINS Lechner Racing, notched up his first Porsche Mobil1 Supercup victory in Barcelona last year. However, his teammate René Rast (Germany) did not take the best memories home from the Catalonian city: Suffering a technical fault, the eventual champion was relegated to the other side of the pit wall last year right after formation lap. Sean Edwards is another who doesn’t look back fondly on Barcelona 2010: Driving for the Abu Dhabi by tolimit team, the Briton crossed the finish line in first only to be handed a time penalty due to a collision which shuffled him down the field to twelfth. The goal for his return to Spain is short and sweet: “Come first – and above all stay first.”

One driver who could foil these plans comes from Tandy’s own squad: Jeroen Bleekemolen, double Supercup champion from the Netherlands, finished sixth in Istanbul behind Sean Edwards and René Rast. In Barcelona, Bleekemolen should be good for at least a podium result. A dream for Kuba Giermaziak, as well. Like Christian Engelhart last year, the VERVA Racing team pilot from Poland is a rookie in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, and regards his seventh from the season-opener as just a stepping stone on his way to the top. His driver colleagues confirmed that he has the necessary skills: In the survey which put Nick Tandy at the top of the title favourites, Giermaziak was voted the driver with the best outside chances.

TV stations Eurosport 2 (11.45 hrs) and Sky (11.40 hrs) broadcast the race in Barcelona live on 22 May. Eurosport also televises highlights of the race at 21.00 hrs on its programme “Motorsport Weekend Magazin”.

Points’ standings after 1 of 9 races*

Drivers’ classification
1. Christian Engelhart (D), 22 points
2. Nicholas Tandy (GB), 18
3. Norbert Siedler (A), 16
4. Sean Edwards (GB), 14
5. René Rast (D), 12
6. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), 10

BBS rookie classification
1. Kévin Estre (F), 8 points

Team classification
1. Konrad Motorsport, 38 points
2. VELTINS Lechner Racing Team, 28
3. Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, 24

* It has not yet been decided if and when the cancelled Formula 1 race and Porsche Mobil1 Supercup double-header in Bahrain will be followed up with a replacement.

Public Relations and Media
Motor and Sports Press
Oliver Hilger

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