2015 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup preview: Monza, Italy
Monza – the Italian cathedral of speed. It may be more synonymous with Ferrari but this weekend Stuttgart’s very own prancing horse will make its annual visit with the 3.6-mile Autodromo Nazionale Monza playing host to the 2015 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup’s penultimate round.
As at Spa, the Supercup will feature two races at Monza and, with championship leader, Philipp Eng heading to Italy with a 20-point advantage at the top of the standings, there is a slim chance the Austrian could wrap up the title ahead of the season finale in Austin, Texas next month.
Eng, driving for Project 1, has been a front-runner all season after making his Porsche Supercup debut in 2014. This year has seen the Austrian take his first victory at Silverstone before he won in the second race last time out at Spa-Francorchamps.
Along with a second place in race one, Eng’s performance in Belgium has put him in a commanding position with just four races remaining in the 2015 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season.
Last year, Eng could only manage eighth at Monza’s sole race. However, that was still four places better than his 2015 title rival, Christian Engelhart who came home 12th in 2014.
The German has yet to win a Porsche Supercup race this year (despite taking victories in the Carrera Cup Germany) yet the MRS GT-Racing driver has been one of the most consistent racers in the field having not finished out the top five so far this season.
Porsche Junior, Sven Müller is the man in form at the moment though. The young German racer triumphed in Hungary before following up with another win in race one at Spa. Although unable to make it three in a row in the second encounter, Müller still came home second to Eng.
What’s more, Monza is the home of Müller’s maiden Supercup victory. Last year, in his debut season, Müller dominated in Italy, taking pole position before romping home to take the chequered flag first.
While now out of the title fight, another victory for the Lechner Racing driver could see the young German vaulted into a top three championship finish come the end of the season.
Both Alex Riberas and Michael Ammermüller (sitting third and fourth in the championship) will be hoping to bounce back from disappointing weekends at Spa. While the latter cannot mathematically win the championship, Riberas has an outside chance, sitting 35 points behind with 40 still on offer.
Total 911’s Supercup columnist, Ben Barker will also be looking to finish the season strongly. After two battling drives at Spa, the Briton has proved he can race which could put him in a good position with the slipstreaming battles that Monza’s long straights often provide.
After a 30-minute practice session today, qualifying takes place at 12:25pm CEST tomorrow before Saturday’s first race kicks off at 6:25pm. The second race takes place on Sunday morning at 11:45am.
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