2014 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: Belgium race report
Earl Bamber assumed the lead of the 2014 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup after beating last year’s champion, Nicki Thiim as erstwhile points topper, Kuba Giermaziak struggled at the infamous Spa-Francorchamps.
The notoriously fickle weather that blesses the Belgium’s Ardenne Forest once again played a part in qualifying as an earlier rain shower left parts of the 4.35-mile damp, creating an especially tough challenge for the 27 Supercup racers.
Bamber came out on top in the 30-minute, grid-setting session, his best lap of 2m23.673s securing the FACH AUTO TECH driver’s first pole position of the 2014 Supercup season. Nicki Thiim would join him on the front row as Giermaziak toiled to 11th place on the grid.
Come Sunday morning’s race, conditions had improved but, as the lights went out, it was still Bamber who was in control of the proceedings, making the best start as the field streamed towards the La Source hairpin.
However, through the middle of the fearsome Eau Rouge sweep, Bamber’s 911 GT3 Cup car slid sideways, losing momentum and allowing Thiim to take the lead on the run along the Kemmel Straight towards Les Combes.
Thiim would resist the challenges of his Kiwi rival until lap six when Bamber found a gap to squeeze into the lead. From there until the flag at the end of lap 11, Bamber romped away to take his second victory of the season over 10 seconds ahead of Thiim.
Behind, the winner at Spa last year, Klaus Bachler worked his way through from fifth on the grid to third, his second successive podium at the Belgian circuit, while Sven Müller defended bravely to secure fourth.
Porsche Junior, Müller, was easily the slowest car in the top ten but, by making his 991-Type GT3 Cup as wide as possible, resisted the challenges of Philipp Eng, Clemens Schmid, Ben Barker (who had worked his way up from tenth), Giermaziak, and Jaap van Lagen.
The latter drove a stunning race to move from 16th on the grid to ninth as positions four to 12 were covered by just 3.3 seconds after nearly half and hour of racing around the calendar’s toughest track.
Make sure you keep up with all the news inside the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup paddock by reading Ben Barker’s regular column in every issue of Total 911.