2014 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: Austria race report
Kuba Giermaziak took a firm hold of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup title race after taking his second successive victory in round three of the 2014 season as the world’s premier Porsche 911 series visited the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
The long straights and short lap of the Red Bull Ring (previously visited by the Supercup in 2003 under the guise of the A1-Ring) led to a race packed with overtaking, including four lead changes across the 16-lap encounter.
Starting from pole position was home hero, Philipp Eng, the Austrian having just shaded Christian Engelhart by 0.029s in a very tight qualifying session which saw the top ten runners covered by just half a second.
As the lights went out, Eng made the best start leaping into the first corner with a safe gap over the gaggle of 991 GT3 Cup cars. Behind, Engelhart was slow away, allowing Sven Müller into second as Jeffrey Schmidt, Engelhart, Ben Barker, and Kuba Giermaziak tried to make it four-wide into turn one.
Someone was also going to loose out and, in this instance, it was Total 911’s Supercup ace Barker. The Briton was boxed in by his Polish teammate before contact with Engelhart knocked his front tracking out of alignment.
From then on, the 22-year old did well to battle with chronic understeer and a braking problem, eventually taking the chequered flag in eighth place, dropping only one place in the overall standings to fourth as the series heads next to Silverstone.
Ahead, Eng was pulling clear only to see a ‘Water Pressure’ warning flash up on his dashboard. On lap two, the erstwhile championship leader dropped back before retiring altogether on the third tour of his home circuit.
This gifted the lead to Müller who, until now, had enjoyed a quiet start to his maiden Supercup season. The German Porsche Junior looked set for a fine victory until he too dropped down the order (this time to third) after a 360-degree spin on lap 12.
From here, the battle for victory was a two-horse race, with Schmidt leading from Giermaziak. However, the Swiss racer was not to head the field for long as Giermaziak swept through into a lead he would not lose, taking his second victory of 2014 and, with it, the championship lead.
|1||Kuba Giermaziak (PL)||48|
|2||Earl Bamber (NZ)||37|
|3||Philipp Eng (A)||36|
|4||Ben Barker (GB)||36|
|5||Christian Engelhart (D)||36|
|6||Sven Müller (D)||32|
Müller would cross the line third behind Schmidt, as Engelhart, Michael Ammermüller and Earl Bamber would round out positions four to six. Porsche’s Spanish Junior, Alex Riberas put in a sterling drive from 12th on the grid to seventh.
Fellow Junior, Connor de Phillipp was not so fortunate, struggling to a 12th place finish after enduring a tough race. Guest driver, Sébastian Ogier was no luckier with the WRC champion retiring after seven laps.
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup now heads to Great Britain in two weeks time and Total 911 will be there to cheer Ben Barker on at the fast and flowing Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. Watch out for more updates.