2014 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: Barcelona race report

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya played host to the opening round of the 2014 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as Kiwi racer, Earl Bamber opened his debut Supercup campaign with a dominant maiden victory in the Formula One-supporting series.

Bamber, the International Cup Scholarship winner, dived ahead of polesitter Philipp Eng on the long run down to turn one as the 13-lap encounter got underway after a second warm-up lap.

The first attempt at getting the race underway had to be abandoned after, remarkably, both second-row starters, Michael Ammermüller and Come Ledogar encountered mechanical problems as they pulled up on the grid to take the start.

Bamber led from start to finish as behind, the opening race of the season saw plenty of action.
Bamber led from start to finish as, behind, the opening race of the season saw plenty of action.

Despite the delay, Bamber was not fazed, as he comprehensively out-dragged Eng, the man who (24 hours earlier) had beaten the Kiwi to pole position by a scant 0.018 seconds.

Over the opening few laps, the Bamber and Austrian, Eng pulled away from the chasing pack. However, by the halfway mark, the 2013 Carrera Cup Asia champion was stamping his authority on the Barcelona round as Eng fell back towards the fast-starting Ben Barker.

The Briton, Total 911’s 2014 Supercup columnist, had set some impressive times in Friday practice however, despite qualifying just 0.221 seconds away from Eng’s pole time, he was disappointed to line up ninth on the grid.

Total 911 columnist, Barker scored his first Supercup podium after a learning year in 2013.
Total 911 columnist, Barker scored his first Supercup podium after a learning year in 2013.

Despite this, Barker would line up on the grid in seventh after penalties for drivers ahead of him. With Ammermüller and Ledogar unable to take the start, the way was open for Barker to challenge into turn one.

The 2012 Carrera Cup GB runner-up swept around the outside of Jeffrey Schmidt into the first right-hander after passing Christian Engelhart and Klaus Bachler as the start lights went out.

As Eng fell into his clutches, Barker looked like his maiden Supercup podium would be achieved with second place. Yet, on the final lap, as Eng defended, Barker’s podium chances came under attack from Engelhart who, until then, enjoyed a quiet race in fourth.

Bamber (centre), Eng (left), and Barker (right) were all newcomers to the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup podium.
Bamber (centre), Eng (left), and Barker (right) were all newcomers to the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup podium.
Points standings after round one:

Driver (Nationality) Points
1. Earl Bamber (NZ) 20
2. Philipp Eng (A) 18
3. Ben Barker (GB) 16
4. Christian Engelhart (D) 14
5. Alex Riberas (E) 12
6. Klaus Bachler (A) 10

Making it safely through the final chicane though, Barker held onto third place, as Engelhart had to settle for a place just off the podium. Behind, Spanish Porsche Junior, Alex Riberas put in a storming drive from 11th to finish fifth at his home race.

Klaus Bachler rounded out the top six (and was the second of only three former Supercup race winners in the 2014 field, behind Engelhart and ahead of Barker’s VERVA Lechner Racing teammate, Kuba Giermaziak, who would finish ninth).

The next round of the 2014 Supercup season will see the competitors head to Monte Carlo for the famous Monaco street race. Taking place from 22 to 25 May, Total 911 will once again bring you all the action from the iconic principality.

Can Barker continue his strong start to the season at Monaco, a circuit he enjoys, next month?
Can Barker continue his strong start to the season at Monaco, a circuit he enjoys, next month?

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