2014 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: Monaco race report
After opening the season in Barcelona, the 2014 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup circuit headed west to the Côte d’Azur for its most prestigious race of the season, supporting the Monte Carlo Grand Prix around the streets of Monaco.
VERVA Lechner Racing’s Kuba Giermaziak kick-started his title campaign with an immaculate drive to victory around Prince Albert’s storied tarmac however, like most contests around Monaco, it was in qualifying where the Polish driver truly won the race.
Friday’s 30-minute timed session would determine the grid for Sunday morning’s duel and, with the importance of a good starting position not lost on the drivers, qualifying become an intense battle for pole position.
Eventual polesitter, Giermaziak and Barcelona pole-winner Philipp Eng constantly traded fastest times throughout the session, with the scantest of margins separating the two racers.
On his 15th lap, Giermaziak improved his time to 1m36.722s, snatching the top spot away from the Austrian racer however, Eng was on a faster lap, looking to snatch pole position away from the Lechner Racing driver.
In the end, he fell just 0.004s short and, with the red flags flying shortly afterwards no-one would improve their times after the multitude of stricken cars were retrieved and the track returned to green flag conditions.
The perennially consistent Michael Ammermüller would line up third, alongside American Porsche Junior, Connor de Phillippi, a revelation during his first appearance around the twisting Monte Carlo circuit.
Total 911’s Ben Barker would start fifth after another fine showing, with Sven Müller, Robert Lukas, Christian Engelhart, Klaus Bachler, and Barcelona winner, Earl Bamber forming the rest of the top ten positions.
Incredibly, these positions would barely change for the entirety of Sunday’s 16-lap race. In fact, Bamber was the only driver inside the top ten to complete an overtaking move, passing Bachler for ninth on lap one.
|Philipp Eng (A)
|Kuba Giermaziak (PL)
|Ben Barker (GB)
|Earl Bamber (NZ)
|Christian Engelhart (D)
|Connor de Phillippi (US)
While Giermaziak was put under constant pressure from Eng up front, the Pole never put a foot wrong, eventually crossing the line 0.790s ahead of the Austrian to secure his first win since Spa in 2011.
“I was feeling so stressed before the race because I so wanted this victory for me and my team,” explained the relieved Giermaziak. “Now I’m over the moon about my first win in Monaco.”
Ammermüller (who, like Giermaziak, made up for a lacklustre Barcelona performance) pushed Eng all the way, while Barker rounded off a good weekend for VERVA Lechner Racing with fifth, cementing his third place in the points.
The next round sees the Mobil 1 Supercup return to Austria for the first time in 11 years, with round three taking place at the Red Bull Ring on 20-22 June.