Britain’s Sean Edwards has won the season-opener of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. At the wheel of the Allyouneed by Project 1-run 460 hp new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which is based on the seventh generation of the 911, he took the flag 7.346 seconds ahead of Denmark’s Nicki Thiim (Attempto Racing), who crowned his remarkable chase through the field with second place. Lechner Racing Team pilot Michael Ammermüller (Germany) was flagged off in third. The best rookie on the Circuit de Catalunya was Porsche Junior Michael Christensen (DAMS) from Denmark with fifth.
Taking up the race from pole position, Sean Edwards immediately set the pace ahead of the 25 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers. On the track on which he had already won back in 2011, he again clinched a commanding lights-to-flag victory. The group of pursuers behind him included Kuba Giermaziak (VERVA Racing Team), Michael Christensen and Michael Ammermüller, who had overtaken the Porsche Junior with a good start. Christensen had been able to hold this position only until halfway through the 14-lap distance, when he braked too late and had to let Michael Ammermüller and the increasingly persistent Nicki Thiim overtake.
In the meantime, Sean Edwards had pulled well clear of the field, while the fight for the remainder of the podium spots continued unabated. For some time it seemed that
Kuba Giermaziak would secure second place, but his pursuers did not relent and put the Pole under immense pressure in the final laps. When he veered from the race line during an overtaking attempt by Michael Ammermüller in the final lap, Nicki Thiim grabbed his chance and swept past the pilots in front to snatch second. With this, the rookie winner of 2012 crowned his strong performance which had seen him go from tenth on the grid almost to the front of the field. Scoring fourth place, Kuba Giermaziak, however, missed out on the last podium spot.
At his first guest appearance in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, rally star Sébastien Loeb (France) was locked in a gripping duel with the Supercup specialists. The nine-time World Rally Champion, who in his career has won 78 WRC rallies and 899 special stages, became more and more accustomed to the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup over the course of the race weekend in Barcelona. In the race, he was just shy of the top ten scoring eleventh. Porsche Junior Klaus Bachler also performed strongly: Driving for FÖRCH Racing, the Austrian earned valuable championship points for seventh place at his first Supercup race.
Sean Edwards (winner): “Today was the perfect day. Thank you to my team who made this success possible for me. I knew that I had to make a clean getaway if I wanted to pull clear and it worked. In the second half of the race I was able to take things a little easier. Now I’m looking forward to my home race in Monaco.”
Nicki Thiim (second): “That was without doubt one of the best races I’ve ever driven. My tactic worked perfectly. For us all, this was the first race with the new car and that was my chance. I came from tenth on the grid to second and that’s just incredible.”
Michael Ammermüller (third): “In the beginning I struggled a little, but then I gained more and more momentum. The car set-up was really good. I very much enjoyed the fight for the podium.”
Michael Christensen (Porsche Junior, fifth): “My start was very good and I was able to make up one place. My first lap also ran quite well but then I made a mistake. Michael’s car took up a lot of space beside me and I ended up on the dirty part of the track. This also gave Nicki the chance to overtake me. I couldn’t catch him and had to settle for fifth at the flag.”
Klaus Bachler (Porsche Junior, seventh): “The race started really well. I was able to overtake two rivals. Afterwards I held back slightly so that I could attack again in the second half of the race. Considering it’s my first race I’m satisfied with my result, but next time I have to make sure everything goes 100 percent in qualifying and I can start further up the grid.”
Sébastien Loeb (Guest driver Porsche AG, eleventh): “In the first laps I was somewhat cautious. I know how easy it is to get tangled up in a skirmish with such a close field. I wasn’t able to get much further ahead. When you have so many strong drivers ahead of you who are all going the same speed there is not much chance to overtake. Still, it was huge fun. As each day went by I felt increasingly better in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and now I’m looking forward to the race in Monaco. There, the qualifying is more important of course and hopefully I can start from a little further up the grid.”
Jean-Karl-Vernay (Winner International Cup Scholarship, twelfth): “When you take off from 17th you really can’t expect too much in the race. I tried to do what I could and managed to make up five positions. In Monaco we definitely have to be better in qualifying.”
1. Sean Edwards (GB), Team Allyouneed by Project 1, 26:14.124 minutes
2. Nicki Thiim (DK), Attempto Racing, + 7.346 seconds
3. Michael Ammermüller (D), Lechner Racing Team, + 8.924
4. Kuba Giermaziak (PL), VERVA Racing Team, + 9.342
5. Michael Christensen (DK), DAMS, + 10.875
6. Robert Lukas (PL), FÖRCH Racing, + 11.227
7. Klaus Bachler (A), FÖRCH Racing, + 11.820
11. Sébastien Loeb (F(, Porsche AG, + 18.908
12. Jean-Karl Vernay (F), MRS GT-Racing, + 24.910