Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: Barcelona, Spain race report
Matteo Cairoli dominated the first round of the 2016 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, leading throughout at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona to take his first victory in Porsche’s premier one-make series.
The Italian – starting his second Supercup season – was in imperious form in qualifying, his best lap time of 1m50.187 nearly seven tenths of a second faster than fellow front row starter and Porsche Junior, Mathieu Jaminet.
A good start to Sunday’s race saw Cairoli – racing for the same Fach Auto Tech squad that took Earl Bamber to the 2014 title – race off into an early lead, crossing the line at the end of lap one 1.7 seconds ahead of Sven Müller.
The German Porsche Junior, starting from third, leapfrogged Jaminet on the run down to the first corner but, from there, was not able to get on terms with Cairoli until the safety car was called at two-thirds distance to remove one of the backmarkers from the gravel.
At the restart, Cairoli was again unchallenged though, easing away from Lechner Racing Team’s Müller to eventually win the 14-lap encounter – his maiden Supercup success – by nearly two seconds.
Behind Müller, Jaminet initially fell back into the clutches of the chasing pack at the restart. The 21-year-old was hounded for much of lap ten by MOMO-Megatron’s Ben Barker (who had worked his way through the field well in the early stages having started from eighth).
The Briton though couldn’t find a way through however and was soon on the defensive from Sven Müller’s Lechner Racing teammate, Michael Ammermüller. Barker was able to keep the Supercup veteran at bay over the closing laps though to secure his best start to a Supercup season since 2014.
Ammermüller had started from fourth but a terrible start saw him drop to eighth on lap one before a collision between Christian Engelhart and Jeffrey Schmidt saw the latter delayed and the former retired in the gravel on lap two, allowing Ammermüller to regain the ground he had lost.
Schmidt would eventually recover to sixth, just ahead of FÖRCH Racing’s Robert Lukas while Supercup newcomer, Zaid Ashkanani enjoyed an impressive debut in Spain, finishing eighth.
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