Sunday 8 May 2011

Porsche Mobil1 Super Cup: Christian Engelhart kicks off the season with first Supercup victory

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, round 1 at the Formula 1 race in Istanbul/Turkey

Christian Engelhart kicks off the season with first Supercup victory

Stuttgart. A perfect start to the season for Christian Engelhart: With his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the Konrad Motorsport pilot from Germany won the season-opening round of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup in Istanbul. After 14 laps on the Grand Prix circuit in Istanbul Park, he saw the flag 4.737 seconds ahead of his British teammate Nick Tandy and celebrated his first win in the world’s fastest international one-make series. Third place went to Austria’s Norbert Siedler from the VELTINS Lechner Racing team.

Getting away well at the start, pole-sitter Engelhart settled in at the front of the field and brought home a clear light-to-flag victory at an exciting first race of the season. Although he had his teammate, last year’s vice-champion, looming large in his rear view mirror over the entire race distance, he kept his cool and made no mistakes apart from a minor braking error that ended without consequences. The Konrad Motorsport pilot concentrated totally on his fight for victory – with a gripping fight for the other two podium spots behind him posing no serious threat.

Behind the leading trio, Britain’s Sean Edwards (Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit) crossed the finish line in fourth. Several laps before the flag, Edwards profited from a driving error of Renè Rast. Driving for VELTINS Lechner Racing, the title defender from Germany had made an excellent start to rank fourth, but put his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup briefly sideways at the end of the finish straight and was forced to let his opponents pass. Sixth position went to double Supercup champion Jeroen Bleekemolen from the Netherlands (Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit) in front of Poland’s Kuba Giermaziak from VERVA Racing.

Frenchman Kévin Estre from Attempto Racing gave an impressive debut in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup. With his commendable eighth place, the reigning vice-champion of the French Porsche Carrera Cup takes the lead of the BBS rookie classification. Supercup record winner Patrick Huisman (Team Bleekemolen) from the Netherlands and Slovakia’s Stefan Rosina (VERVA Racing Team) finished in ninth and tenth respectively at the season-opening race.

Christian Engelhart (winner): “A fabulous race and a wonderful day. I only dreamed of such a start to the season. Everything ran perfectly today. It’s unbelievable that Nick and I could pull away like that. Thank you to Konrad Motorsport for their support. Many of my friends and some of my sponsors came to watch. They kept their fingers crossed and that helped. Now we’re going to celebrate with a huge party.”

Nick Tandy (second): “It was fantastic how fast we were today. If we hadn’t fought each other for victory, which always costs time, I’m sure we could have pulled away even further from our opponents. This makes me very optimistic for the rest of the season. I lost the race in qualifying. If I’d started from pole position I would have won today.”

Norbert Siedler (third): “I got away well at the start. In the first laps I was able to match the leaders’ pace but then the tyres deteriorated and I had to work hard to defend my third place. It worked. Third at round one – I can easily live with that.”

Race result
1. Christian Engelhart (D), Konrad Motorsport, 27:57.665 minutes
2. Nick Tandy (GB), Konrad Motorsport, + 4.737 seconds
3. Norbert Siedler (A), VELTINS Lechner Racing Team, + 6.115
4. Sean Edwards (GB), Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, + 6.691
5. René Rast (D), VELTINS Lechner Racing Team, + 7.352
6. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, + 8.038

Drivers’ classification after 1 of 9 races*
1. Christian Engelhart (D), 22 points
2. Nick Tandy (GB), 18
3. Norbert Siedler (A), 16
4. Sean Edwards (GB), 14
5. René Rast (D), 12
6. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), 10

Round 2 of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup takes place on 22 May as support to the Formula 1 race in Barcelona/Spain.

* 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.

Public Relations and Media Motor and Sports Press Oliver Hilger

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