2015 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race report: Barcelona, Spain
After a long offseason, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup kicked off in entertaining style at the Circuit de Catalunya as Michael Ammermüller drew first blood in the chase for the 2015 crown.
The German racer (who won his first Supercup race at last year’s season finale in Austin, Texas) dominated proceedings, the Lechner Racing Middle East driver romping to victory by over seven seconds.
Ammermüller had secured pole position on Saturday by two tenths of a second from French Supercup newcomer, Côme Ledogar before disappearing as soon as the lights extinguished for the 14-lap race on Sunday morning, setting a fastest lap 0.6 seconds faster than anybody else in the process.
Behind the unstoppable Ammermüller, fellow front row starter, Ledogar slotted into second at the start, fending off the 2014 Porsche Supercup runner-up, Kuba Giermaziak into turn one.
The Pole had struggled in qualifying, only managing to line up ninth, but a lightning start for the VERVA Lechner Racing Team driver saw him move into third by the time the 26-car field streamed into the first corner.
Giermaziak’s escape from the midfield turned out to be fortuitous for the championship hopeful as, behind, Sven Müller misjudged his braking further around lap one, spearing into fellow Porsche Junior, Connor de Phillippi, delaying the latter and forcing the former to retire on the spot.
After a brief safety car period to clear up the mess, Ammermüller once again escaped up the road, fruitlessly pursued by Giermaziak as Ledogar came under increasing pressure from Christian Engelhart, Philipp Eng and local favourite, Alex Riberas.
Ledogar resisted for as long as possible but was unable to eventually stop Engelhart (a double winner at last weekend’s Carrera Cup Deutschland opener) from slipping through on lap ten.
From there, the flood gates had been opened as Eng and Riberas followed through soon after, leaving Ledogar to eventually take the chequered flag in sixth, a still impressive opening encounter for the reigning Carrera Cup France champion.
Both Eng and Riberas’ charges to fourth and fifth were aided by an earlier incident involving Supercup scholar, Matteo Cairoli and Jeffrey Schmidt on lap six. While contesting sixth place, the pair touched, dropping the Italian to 19th and delaying the latter.
While Schmidt would eventually finish eighth, Cairoli could only recover to 14th. The midfield histrionics helped Total 911 columnist, Ben Barker to finish ninth with the Briton hopeful of gaining more positions as the results currently remain provisional after a number of incidents for the stewards to investigate.
Barker started his new relationship with the MOMO-Megatron team by qualifying a disappointing 14th but a measured drive kept the 24-year-old out of trouble on the way to a points-scoring finish.
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