The Porsche juniors put in a strong showing on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps: At round six of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, FÖRCH Racing driver Klaus Bachler from Austria clinched his maiden win at the attractive brand trophy series that has run as support to the Formula 1 races since 1993. His Porsche junior colleague Michael Christensen (Denmark), who competes for the DAMS teams and won the Nürburgring round this year, saw the chequered flag in third place. Scoring second place, Britain’s Sean Edwards (Team Allyouneed by Project 1) further extended his points lead.
At the wheel of his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which is based on the seventh generation of the 911, Klaus Bachler got away well at the start, immediately overtook Sean Edwards and went in pursuit of the leader of the pack, Kuba Giermaziak. Driving for VERVA Racing, the pole-setter from Poland had already won the race on the challenging Ardennes circuit in 2011 and also seemed likely to bring home a safe victory right up until shortly before the flag. But in the very last lap, shifting problems hampered his pace and he ultimately saw the flag in eleventh. Klaus Bachler put in impressive performances with third in qualifying and a faultless race. He successfully fended off Sean Edwards’s attacks from behind and made the most of his chance to bring home victory. This marks the first time that both Porsche juniors have climbed the podium during this Supercup season.
Crossing the finish line in fourth behind the leading pair was Poland’s Robert Lukas (FÖRCH Racing). For the victor’s teammate this was also the best result of the year. Fifth place went to Michael Ammermüller (Lechner Racing) which now puts the German third overall in the series. He finished ahead of the teammate and double Supercup champion Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), who in turn relegated Attempto Racing pilots Kévin Estre (France) and Nicki Thiim (Denmark) to positions seven and eight. For Silverstone winner, Nicki Thiim, it was still enough to defend his second place in the championship.
Frenchman Jean-Karl Vernay (MRS GT-Racing), who receives support from Porsche in this year’s Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as the winner of the International Cup Scholarship, scored 14th.
Klaus Bachler (Porsche Junior, winner): “This is unbelievable. I have won my first Supercup race – in Spa of all places. That is just incredible. A huge thank you to the team who put a perfect car on the track for me. After a great start I had to really fight over the first three laps to fend Sean off. Kuba was far ahead and I thought I could safely bring home second place. That in itself would have been a great result. But then to go on and win – that’s just awesome. I feel a little sorry for Kuba, but that’s racing. I’m over the moon.”
Sean Edwards (second): “What a crazy race. Klaus had a better start and passed me. I didn’t get another chance to overtake him. At one point he made a slight mistake, but there wasn’t enough space for me to overtake and I didn’t want to push it at any cost. Second is a great result for us. We managed to extend our lead in the championship some more and now we are looking forward to Monza.”
Michael Christensen (Porsche Junior, third): “My start was good which of course makes things easier. I managed to keep pace with the front-runners, but towards the end of the race I had to ease off a bit. It wasn’t easy to get past Kuba in the final lap because he made his Porsche extremely wide. But luckily I did it eventually without leaving the track. Two juniors on the podium is simply fantastic.”
Jean-Karl Vernay (Winner of the International Cup Scholarship, eleventh): “When you take off from 16th on the grid your expectations aren’t particularly high. We have to work harder on starting further up the grid. Then a better result should be possible.”
1. Klaus Bachler (A), FÖRCH Racing, 26:55.440 minutes
2. Sean Edwards (GB), Team Allyouneed by Project 1, + 1.679 seconds
3. Michael Christensen (DK), DAMS, + 4.146
4. Robert Lukas (PL), FÖRCH Racing, + 4.695
5. Michael Ammermüller (D), Lechner Racing, + 5.079
6. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Lechner Racing, +5.975
14. Jean-Karl Vernay (F), MRS GT-Racing, + 16.878
1. Sean Edwards (GB), Team Allyouneed by Project 1, 106 points
2. Nicki Thiim (DK), Attempto Racing, 80
3. Michael Ammermüller (D), Lechner Racing Team, 76
4. Michael Christensen (DK), DAMS, 70
5. Kuba Giermaziak (PL), VERVA Racing Team, 65
6. Kévin Estre (F), Attempto Racing, 59
1. Michael Christensen (DK), DAMS, 70 points
2. Klaus Bachler (A), FÖRCH Racing, 54
3. Ben Barker (GB), Team Bleekemolen, 37
The race in the Autodromo Nazionale in Monza is traditionally the highlight of the season. For points’ leader Sean Edwards and his rivals in the bid for the title, the name of the game on the high speed circuit in the Royal Park is to secure the best possible result heading on to the home straight of the season finale of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup with two races in Abu Dhabi. Another attraction for the fans: Emanuele Pirro, five-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours, competes as a guest driver in the VIP-911 fielded by Porsche AG for the first time against the Supercup specialists. TV channels Eurosport and Sky broadcast the race live.