Kévin Estre secures his first victory of the season in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Driving for Hermes Attempto Racing, the Frenchman won the race on Saturday on the Hungaroring on the outskirts of Budapest, which replaces the cancelled Barcelona race. At the wheel of the 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, based on the street legal lightweight 911 GT3 RS sports car, the winner of last year’s rookie classification took off from pole position to reach the flag 1.282 seconds ahead of Germany’s Michael Ammermüller. As the best Supercup newcomer so far this season, the VELTINS Lechner Racing pilot already clinched second last weekend in Hockenheim. Round eight of the world’s fastest international one-make race series takes off on Sunday.
With a clear lights-to-flag victory - his second Supercup success after Monza in 2011 - Kévin Estre now rejoins the bid for the title of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. As points’ leader René Rast (Germany), the four-time winner so far this season and the fastest in qualifying, was unable to contest the race due to his commitments in the Spa 24 Hour race, the Frenchman closed the gap to the front-runner to just eleven points with this win. Sean Edwards (Konrad Motorsport), however, is nowhere near out of contention for the title. The British Monaco winner came third and now ties with Kévin Estre in the points’ standings. In Sunday’s race, either one of them could take over the points’ lead.
While Kévin Estre got quickly off the mark to pull clear of his pursuers in the first lap, with Michael Ammermüller also putting some space between him and the field, the battle for third place remained thrilling. Taking off into the race from the first row alongside Kévin Estre , the Danish Supercup newcomer Nicki Thiim was outpaced by his teammate at the start, but was still on course for a podium spot at the mid-race mark. Ultimately he could not fend off Sean Edwards any more. The Briton used one of the few overtaking possiblities on the Hungaroring to sweep past the Dane. Thiim had to settle for an unrewarding fourth place at the flag, but not before making an impression with his strong performance as a first-timer on this circuit. Two rookies in the top four – the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is living up to its reputation as a successful development series for talented youngsters again this year.
Norbert Siedler suffered a setback in his title campaign. The VELTINS Lechner Racing pilot from Austria, winner of one of the season-opening rounds in Bahrain, crossed the finish line in fifth and with this fell back to fourth place in the overall standings. His compatriot Philipp Eng (MRS GT Racing), however, netted sixth and yielded his second best Supercup result so far this season.
Kévin Estre (winner): “I’m very happy with my second Supercup win. I had a great set-up today and was able to immediately pull clear of the field. Afterwards, all I had to do was focus and be cautious with my tyres. This circuit is very tough on the tyres. Towards the end the others were catching up, but it was no reason to worry. In tomorrow’s race we now have to try to get away well at the start and make up as many positions as possible.”
Michael Ammermüller (second): “I’m very pleased. The last two races have gone very well for me. In today’s race I was able to make up a place right at the start and I even managed to close the gap a bit to Kévin. But the race was too short to really think about making a serious attack. Unfortunately, I’m down the grid a bit tomorrow, but let’s see if I can find a chance or two to make up for it.”
Sean Edwards (third): “These points were hugely important. My start was bad and I almost went off in the first corner. Michael held us up a bit early on, but then he picked up his pace and I was able to overtake Nicki shortly afterwards, which is anything but easy on this circuit. I take up tomorrow’s race from the first row and will of course try to make the best out of it for the championship.”
1. Kévin Estre (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, 26:00.283 minutes
2. Michael Ammermüller (D), VELTINS Lechner Racing, + 1.282 seconds
3. Sean Edwards (GB), Konrad Motorsport, + 2.042
4. Nicki Thiim (DK), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 7.437
5. Nobert Siedler (A), VELTINS Lechner Racing, + 8.498
6. Philipp Eng (A), MRS GT Racing, + 10.405
Points’ standings after 7 of 10 races
1. René Rast (D), Lechner Racing Team, 104 points
2. Sean Edwards (GB), Konrad Motorsport, 93
3. Kévin Estre (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, 93
4. Norbert Siedler (A), VELTINS Lechner Racing, 89
5. Michael Ammermüller (D), VELTINS Lechner Racing, 74
6. Nicki Thiim (D), Hermes Attempto Racing, 67
Round 8 of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is contested on Sunday on the Hungaroring. TV stations Eurosport (11.45 hrs) and Sky (11.40 hrs) broadcast the race live.