2015 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup preview: Barcelona, Spain
After a six-month offseason, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup kicks off its 2015 campaign with 26 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars lining up this weekend at Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya, 25 kilometres northwest of Barcelona.
Heading up the bumper grid are a number of returning drivers including last year’s runner-up, Kuba Giermaziak. The 24-year-old racer has decided to stay at the VERVA Lechner Racing Team squad who helped him to three wins in 2014 where he will be supported by Connor de Phillippi, the American Porsche Junior.
The Pole lost out on last year’s title to Earl Bamber – who is now a factory Porsche racer – will no doubt be one of 2015’s favourites, though he will face stiff opposition from the likes of former teammate and Total 911 columnist, Ben Barker.
Barker, whose best Supercup result came at Barcelona last year, has switched from VERVA Lechner Racing to the MOMO-Megatron team for 2015 in the hope of mounting a serious title challenge.
The Briton’s charge will be helped by a full-season campaign in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland where he took two podiums at the Hockenheim opener last weekend, beating the likes of 2013 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup champion, Nicki Thiim.
Also likely to feature up the sharp end of the grid will be the Lechner Racing Middle East duo of Michael Ammermüller (who finished third overall in both 2013 and 2014) and Porsche Junior, Sven Müller.
Germany’s Team Project 1 will also line-up in Barcelona this weekend with an impressive driver pairing as returning driver, Philipp Eng is joined by the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup Italia champion, Matteo Cairoli.
The young Italian driver replaces Bamber as Porsche’s Supercup scholarship and will be looking at his Kiwi predecessor for inspiration during his maiden campaign in Porsche’s premier 911 race series.
Last season, Bamber won the opening race of the year at Barcelona before going to take the title his maiden year, becoming the first scholarship winner to perform such a feat. With Bamber then securing a factory contract, Cairoli will no doubt hope to emulate such feats in 2015.
This weekend’s season opener kicks off today with a single free practice session, before qualifying takes place on Saturday at 12:25pm CET. Sunday’s 14-lap race is waved away at 11:45am CET.
After Barcelona, the 2015 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup heads to Monaco at the end of the months before taking in the Red Bull Ring, Silverstone, Hungaroring and double headers at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza.
The championship will conclude away from Europe with two races in Austin, Texas on 24-25 October. As ever, Total 911 will bring you all the latest news and results from the paddock throughout the year.
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