Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: Italy preview
This weekend, the 2014 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup circus heads to the Autodromo Nazionale Monza with Earl Bamber looking to consolidate the championship lead he earned with victory last time out at Spa-Francorchamps.
Monza, the fastest circuit on the Porsche Supercup calendar, typical throws up an entertaining race with the long straights and hard braking zones that typify the 3.6-mile track creating a number of overtaking zones.
Where many Supercup races are often decided in qualifying, racecraft will play a large part in deciding the victor this weekend. However, this won’t faze Bamber who went wheel-to-wheel with 2013 champion, Nicki Thiim at Spa in order to secure his second win of the season.
Kuba Giermaziak will be hoping to regain momentum at the Italian cathedral of speed after losing his championship lead to Bamber thanks to a difficult weekend last time out in Belgium.
VERVA Lechner Racing’s Polish star had dominated the middle part of the 2014 season but an eighth place finish at Spa saw his championship lead eroded; Monza marks the first race since round three in Austria where Giermaziak hasn’t entered the weekend atop the points table.
Last season, Giermaziak finished sixth at Monza but, to head into the final rounds in the US with a chance of the title, the Polish racer will be hoping for more this year. He will face a tough challenge from last year’s champion Thiim, though.
The Dane won at Monza in 2013, part of a run of three straight victories that secured him the title. Thiim has finished second in the last two races and will be looking to add to his triumph at Hockenheim before the season closes.
One driver to watch out for at Monza will be Ben Barker. Despite a poor run of results since a podium in the Spanish season opener, Total 911’s Supercup columnist is hopeful of a podium in Italy after showing good pace on his debut at the track in 2013.
“I’m really looking forward to Monza; it should be a good race for me. I had excellent pace there last year and would really like to show that speed again in 2014,” the British ace explained to readers in his issue 117 column.
Qualifying takes place at 12:25pm CET on Saturday, with Sunday’s 14-lap race getting underway at 11:45am. Check back to Total911.com on Monday for our comprehensive race report.