Thrills and spills at the season final of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in Monza - and a formidable René Rast as the big winner: At the wheel of his 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by the Lechner Racing team, the title defender from Germany clinched his fifth victory of the season on the Grand Prix circuit in the Royal Park – and earned himself his third straight championship title in the world’s fastest international one-make race series.
In the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, all signs indicated an unforgettable finale. The five drivers who had travelled to Italy still with title chances, lined up on the first five grid spots for the race. Suspense guaranteed. Holding the best cards in the title fight were René Rast and Frenchman Kévin Estre (Hermes Attempto Racing), who sat at the top of the points’ table separated by just one point. But their pursuers weren’t about to give up. Especially Norbert Siedler who still believed he had a chance: Taking up the sprint from pole position, the Austrian driving for VELTINS Lechner Racing immediately took the lead, but despite running on new tyres was unable to build a decisive gap. Britain’s Sean Edwards (Konrad Motorsport) overtook Kévin Estre shortly after the start and glued himself to the bumper of the front runner. Behind the Frenchman came René Rast in fourth.
The constellation in the title duel Rast versus Estre was relatively clear: He who crossed the finish line in front of the other would be champion. Thus, René Rast, who had already won the rounds in Bahrain, Valencia, Silverstone and Hockenheim, put his opponent in the front under pressure. Double Supercup champion against the best rookie of last year – in this case it was an uneven duel: Kévin Estre let himself be forced into making a mistake from the crafty professional, slid briefly into the gravel in the Parabolica corner and opened the door for René Rast to bring home the championship title.
Meanwhile at the head of the pack, Norbert Siedler and Sean Edwards delivered a thrilling two-way battle for victory. After several unsuccessful attacking manoeuvres, the Briton lost his patience and rather roughly nudged the leader – which sent the pair off the track and relegated them down the field. Norbert Siedler rejoined the race in eighth, Sean Edwards slotted back in to finish sixth but was ultimately disqualified. He who laughs last, laughs loudest: René Rast used his experience to keep out of the melee and kept his sights firmly on winning the title – and he used his unexpected chance to win without looking back.
Kévin Estre, the 2011 rookie of the year, concluded the final round of the 20th Supercup season behind the overall winner in second place, and was celebrated as the vice-champion. His teammate Nicki Thiim (Denmark) pocketed third place after winning last week in Spa. With this, the son of the former DTM champion Kurt Thiim not only earned himself third overall in the series, but also took home the Rookie of the Year title as the best Supercup newcomer. Victory in the team classification went to Hermes Attempto Racing.
René Rast (winner): “I can’t really believe what happened today. I never would have thought we’d do so well today – especially considering our bad grid position. But our tactic worked: Simply wait and try to push Kévin into making a mistake. And then that thing with Norbert and Sean at the front was just the icing on the cake. This year was just fabulous. Although we didn’t earn points at three races, we still managed to win the title again. That’s only possible when you have a strong team behind you. A huge thank you to my Lechner squad for making this happen.”
Kévin Estre (second): “That was a really hard race. Of course I’m disappointed that it worked out like this. I had such a good start but René put me under a lot of pressure. In Parabolica I lost the back of the car and can actually be happy I got back on the track unscathed. I was also lucky when Norbert spun towards the finish – I reckon he missed my car by just millimetres. Still, for our team this season is a huge success.”
Nicki Thiim (third): “What a cool race. I had great fun. To finish my first Supercup season in third overall and take home the rookie title – well, you can’t get it much better than that. At the beginning of the year we encountered lots of problems which we solved through hard work. In the second half of the year we were the best team.”
1. René Rast (D), Lechner Racing Team, 26:20.891 minutes
2. Kévin Estre (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 2.506 seconds
3. Nicki Thiim (DK), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 3.239
4. Kuba Giermaziak (PL), VERVA Racing Team, + 3.810
5. Jeroen Mul (NL), Team Bleekemolen, + 7.746
6. Philipp Eng (A), MRS GT Racing, + 8.955
Points’ standings after 10 of 10 races *
1. René Rast (D), Lechner Racing Team, 142 points
2. Kévin Estre (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, 139
3. Nicki Thiim (D), Hermes Attempto Racing, 123
4. Norbert Siedler (A), VELTINS Lechner Racing, 120
5. Sean Edwards (GB), Konrad Motorsport, 110
6. Michael Ammermüller (D), VELTINS Lechner Racing, 102
1. Nicki Thiim (D), Hermes Attempto Racing, 123 points
2. Michael Ammermüller (D), VELTINS Lechner Racing, 102
3. Patryk Szczerbinski (PL), VERVA Racing Team, 65
*As the result of the race in Silverstone is still provisional, the points’ standings are also provisional.