Sunday 18 September 2011

Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, round 8 in Oschersleben Nick Tandy extends points’ lead with win

Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, round 8 in Oschersleben

Nick Tandy extends points’ lead with win

Stuttgart. His lightning start was the key to his victory: From second on the grid, Nick Tandy brought home his third win of the season from the eighth and penultimate round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. With his triumph in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, the Konrad Motorsport pilot from Great Britain extended his lead in Germany’s fastest one-make race series to twelve points heading to the finale. The sole remaining rival for the prestigious title, compatriot Sean Edwards (Team Deutsche Post by tolimit) salvaged fifth place in a dramatic race under the most difficult conditions and, with this, retained his chance to become champion in five weeks at Hockenheim.

Shortly before the start of the 22-lap sprint, a light drizzle began which then became heavier over the course of the race – making the track extremely slippery. Even for Tandy who had pulled away from the field, this provided some adrenaline-filled moments with minor offs towards the end of the race. When the safety car was deployed shortly before the flag because a car had stranded in a gravel trap, the reigning vice-champion brought home a safe victory behind the safety vehicle.

In second place, the defending champion and current leader of the international Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, René Rast (Germany), was pleased with the safety car phase. Like Tandy, the Förch-Racing pilot had pulled past pole-sitter Nicki Thiim at the start. Early on, Rast was able to match Tandy’s pace, before gradually losing contact. Luckily, however, he had space behind him. In the final lap, Nicki Thiim trailing Rast saw his chance. On the wet surface, the Dane of Hermes Attempto Racing put in a final spurt making up half a second per lap to catch Rast. For the winner of the Lausitzring race, the arrival of the safety car was mistimed, robbing him of his chance to clinch second place. Third place at his home race in front of a large crowd of Danish fans catapulted Thiim into third overall in the championship.

For Jan Seyffarth as well, Oschersleben is his home race. The vice-champion of the 2008 Carrera Cup was thrilled to achieve his second fourth result after a difficult season. Although the narrow circuit doesn’t offer many chances to overtake, the race was marked with frequent changes of positions between the pilot from SMS Seyffarth Motorsport and reigning champion Nicolas Armindo – a duel that Seyffarth eventually won. Driving for Hermes Attempto Racing, the Frenchman lost what he thought was a secure fifth rank in the final phase through a journey off the track.

Profiting from Armindo’s misfortune was Sean Edwards, who gained a position. The Briton drove a spirited race which saw him and Nicki Thiim swap places twice in the first laps. With seven laps left to race, the situation for the Deutsche Post pilot became dramatic: When Edwards scraped his front spoiler off on a track kerb, he rose to the challenge to clock the same lap times as his competitors on a damp track. Finishing in fifth, Edwards limited the damage for his title bid.

Armindo saw the flag in sixth, followed closely by Poland’s Robert Lukas (Förch Racing) in seventh and Robert Renauer (Germany), who competed as a guest starter for the Deutsche Post by tolimit team in Oschersleben, in eighth. The final top ten spots went to Spielberg winner Jaap van Lagen (Netherlands, Land Motorsport) and Hannes Plesse (Germany), who replaced Schnabl Engineering’s regular pilot Martin Ragginger.

On 23 September, TV station Sport1 broadcasts a race review, interviews and reports from 17.05 to 17.35 hours in its ‘Carrera Cup Magazin’.

Nick Tandy (winner): “Super! But it’s not over yet. A twelve-point advantage is of course good. This was one of the most difficult races this year. With each lap, the track became more and more damp and slippery – and I was in the lead so the others could just watch what happened to me. I left the track a couple of times but there was no need to panic. I’d managed to build up a gap early on from which I later profited.”

René Rast (second): “I’m pleased with second place. Nicki’s start wasn’t that great, so Nick and I managed to get past him. Early on I could keep up with Tandy because he kept making small mistakes, but then he pulled away. In the end the rain was so heavy that it was the right decision to bring out the safety car.”

Nicki Thiim (third): “It was an eventful and very tough race. Unfortunately I messed up my start. The conditions were very difficult, you had to use all the tricks of the trade. I found it annoying that the safety car came out, otherwise I could have taken René and maybe even Nick. We’re sitting third in the championship, and after a year’s break that’s pretty good.”

Race result Oschersleben
1. Nick Tandy (GB), Konrad Motorsport, 37:19.587 minutes (130.704 km/h)
2. René Rast (D), Förch Racing, + 1.265 seconds
3. Nicki Thiim (DK), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 1.565
4. Jan Seyffarth (D), SMS Seyffarth Motorsport, + 2.208
5. Sean Edwards (GB), Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, + 2.426
6. Nicolas Armindo (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 3.925
7. Robert Lukas (PL), Förch Racing, + 4.513
8. Robert Renauer (D), Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, + 5.404
9. Jaap van Lagen (NL), Land Motorsport, + 6.445
10. Hannes Plesse (D), Schnabl Engineering, + 7.734

Drivers’ classification after 8 of 9 races
1. Nick Tandy (GB), 122 points
2. Sean Edwards (GB), 110
3. Nicki Thiim (DK), 85
4. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), 84
5. Jaap van Lagen (NL), 81
6. René Rast (D), 75

Team classification after 8 of 9 races
1. Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, 177 points
2. Konrad Motorsport, 147
3. Hermes Attempto Racing, 112

Preview to the final of nine rounds in Hockenheim

Like last season, the title decision has to wait until the final in Hockenheim on 23 October. The question is: Tandy or Edwards. With a twelve-point advantage, Nick Tandy holds the better cards. The winner of the season-opener had led the championship until the Carrera World Cup. There he relinquished the lead to Sean Edwards who then further extended it with his first Carrera Cup win on the Norisring. Exceptionally bad luck at round seven with tyre damage robbed Edwards of victory and catapulted Tandy back to the top.

The two title favourites, however, have unpleasant memories of last year’s finale on the 4.574 kilometre Hockenheim circuit. They collided in the first lap and retired. For Tandy as five-time winner that season and title aspirant, this was particularly bitter because fifth place was enough for Frenchman Nicolas Armindo (Hermes Attempto Racing) to secure the championship.

Porsche Motorsport.

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