An action-packed round three of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in Austria’s Spielberg: After 16 laps with four changes at the front and plenty of overtaking manoeuvres, Kuba Giermaziak (PL/VERVA Lechner Racing Team) crossed the finish line first ahead of Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Lechner Racing Team) and Porsche junior Sven Mueller (D/Team Project 1). “To start from fifth and go to the head of the field is great. I’m thrilled with this win,” said the 23-year-old Pole, who has now added this race track to his list of favourites. The three drivers on the podium were pleasantly surprised to receive their winner’s trophies in front of packed grandstands from Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG, and Porsche factory pilot Mark Webber.
For Austrian Philipp Eng (A/Team Project 1), who took off into the sprint from pole pole position, the race ran smoothly at first. He made a clean start at the wheel of his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which is based on the lightweight 911 GT3 production sports car, and immediately settled in at the front of the field. But in lap two he suddenly fell back, with Porsche junior Mueller moving into the lead. After three laps, Eng had to park his 911 with a defect, putting an early end to the race for the championship leader. Mueller drove the next nine laps without mishap until a 360-spin relegated him back to third place. Schmidt then inherited the lead for a short time before Giermaziak swept past with five laps to go to the flag. “Obviously I’m annoyed at myself about the spin, but I was lucky to be able to continue at a good pace to the end,” explained Mueller with a grin and was delighted with his first podium result.
The championship rankings after three of ten rounds have now been completely shaken up. Giermaziak lies at the top of the table with 48 points. Behind him in second place sits the winner of the International Cup Scholarship Earl Bamber (NZ/Fach Auto Tech) with 37 points with Eng in third with 36 points. The 23-year-old New Zealander was pleased with his leap from fourth to second in the overall standings. “Despite my not particularly good qualifying I’m pleased with sixth in the race. The season is long and facing such fierce competition every point counts.”
Behind Bamber, Porsche junior Alex Riberas (E/Mc Gregor powered by Attempto Racing) was flagged off in seventh. “Unfortunately I started from twelfth, but I managed to overtake during the race and had a lot of fun on the track,” the 20 year old said. Austria’s local hero and Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (A/Konrad Motorsport) also made up numerous positions in the race. Heading into the sprint from 15th on the grid, the youngster ploughed his way through to finish ninth: “I’ll notch this one up to damage control. Ultimately I was able to take home more points than I’d initially thought.”
Porsche junior Connor de Phillippi (USA/FÖRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport) was disappointed with his race. “This is a weekend to forget. Twelfth place was not what I had in mind,” stated the 21-year-old American. Bad luck plagued WRC champion and guest driver Sébastien Ogier (F/Team Project 1). After seven laps he retired.
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup competitors now travel from Styria to Great Britain where they tackle round four from 4-6 July. The blue-ribbon brand trophy series races on the storied Silverstone Circuit where the Formula 1 World Championship contested its inaugural race in 1950. British fans can look forward to a gripping race, particularly from its local racer Ben Barker. The 23-year-old Briton contests his second season in the championship and has already turned heads scoring third place at the season-opener in Barcelona. “I’m especially looking forward to my home race. I live in Oxford just 20 minutes away from Silverstone,” says the VERVA Lechner Racing pilot.
Round 3 Spielberg/Austria
1. Kuba Giermaziak (PL/VERVA Lechner Racing Team)
2. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Lechner Racing Team)
3. Sven Müller (D/Team Project 1)
4. Christian Engelhart (D/Konrad Motorsport)
5. Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner Racing Team), 1:33.247
6. Earl Bamber (NZ/Fach Auto Tech)
7. Alex Riberas (E/Mc Gregor powered by Attempto Racing)
8. Ben Barker (GB/VERVA Lechner Racing Team)
9. Klaus Bachler (A/Konrad Motorsport)
10. Clemens Schmid (A/Lechner Racing Team)
Points standings after 3 of 10 races
1. Kuba Giermaziak (PL/VERVA Lechner Racing Team), 48 points
2. Earl Bamber (NZ/Fach Auto Tech), 37
3. Philipp Eng (A/Team Project 1), 36