2014 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: Britain race report
Clemens Schmid claimed the biggest victory of his fledgling career as he took his maiden Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup win at Silverstone, host of the 2014 seasons’ fourth round.
The 23-year-old Austrian eventually crossed the finish line a comfortable (by Supercup margins) 1.548 seconds ahead of championship leader, Kuba Giermaziak. However, that doesn’t tell the full story of an eventful and entertaining race.
Saturday’s wet-but-drying qualifying session threw up a few surprises, the most notable of which was Schmid’s dominant performance, securing pole position from Porsche Junior, Connor de Phillippi by over 1.3 seconds.
Giermaziak would eventually line up third, alongside another of the Porsche Junior’s, Alex Riberas (the Spaniard achieving his best grid position so far) as the drying track saw many drivers go much faster in the dying stages of the session.
This would leave round one winner, Earl Bamber down in eighth, with British hopeful, Ben Barker a further two places back on row five. Philipp Eng struggled after beaching his car in the gravel early on, eventually qualifying 22nd.
Rain was no threat on race day though as breezy but bright conditions greeted the 25-strong field for 13 laps of the 3.66-mile Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, Total 911 columnist, Barker’s home circuit.
As the field streamed through turn one for the first time, Schmid slotted comfortably into the lead, with de Phillippi, Giermaziak, and Michael Ammermüller in close tow.
Behind, chaos erupted at Village hairpin as Alex Riberas tagged series-returnee, Kévin Estre, spinning the Frenchman down to the back of the field and ending the Spaniard’s race on the spot.
This allowed the fast-starting Bamber to latch straight onto Ammermüller, with the Kiwi quickly dispatching his German rival to make it a three-car battle for second as Ammermüller fell away slightly over the course of lap one.
For the first five laps, Schmid was able to build a slight lead as de Phillippi proved to be the cork in a bottle containing Giermaziak and Bamber. The American defended admirably but, on lap six, the Pole found a way through, quickly closing up to the leader.
A lap later, Bamber was into third at Brooklands but, there was daylight between the Kiwi and the leading duo who were nose-to-tail for much of the sweeping Silverstone circuit.
As the race reached its climax, Giermaziak began to drop away from Schmid, giving Bamber a sniff at second place. The Barcelona victor kept looking for a way passed the championship leader but to no avail.
|1||Kuba Giermaziak (PL)||66|
|2||Earl Bamber (NZ)||53|
|3||Ben Barker (GB)||43|
|4||Philipp Eng (A)||42|
|5||Sven Müller (D)||42|
An ecstatic Schmid duly took his first victory as Giermaziak was pushed across the line by Bamber. Behind, de Phillippi fended off Ammermüller and Sven Müller for fourth, as defending champion, Nicki Thiim came home eighth in his first Supercup appearance of 2014.
Briton, Barker endured a difficult race, struggling with chronic oversteer in his VERVA Lechner Racing 911 GT3 Cup car. After qualifying tenth, Barker dropped to 12th on lap one before fighting his way back into the top-ten by the end of the race.
Although disappointing, the result moves the 22-year-old into third place in the standings thanks to Eng’s struggles over the Silverstone weekend.
Carrera Cup GB leader, Josh Webster came home 19th after starting as the best of the wildcard entries in 17th. The Porsche GB scholar, who had been on provisional pole for much of qualifying, was frequently muscled out by the regular Supercup competitors in a tough race for the 20-year-old talent.