08/26/2018

Lights-to-flag victory for Porsche Junior Thomas Preining

Round seven of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps will remain in the memory of Thomas Preining as a perfect weekend for a long time to come: Top times in all practice sessions, pole position and a commanding lights-to-flag victory.

Race

“I was really fast in the first laps and managed to pull clear of my pursuers so that they couldn’t use my slipstream. With this gap I could then control the race,” said Preining (A/BWT Lechner Racing). Second place went to Larry ten Voorde (Team Project 1) from the Netherlands ahead of Zaid Ashkanani (MRS GT-Racing) from Kuwait.

Witnessed by packed Formula One grandstands, 33 drivers from 15 countries took off into the race in a temperature of 18-degree Celsius and sunshine. When the lights went out, Preining made an almost flawless start with his Porsche 911 GT3 and managed to hold on to his lead after catapulting out of the first corner. Over the course of the race, the 20-year-old continued to extend his lead over the rest of the field and swept over the finish line after eleven laps with a 4.1-second advantage. This marks Preining’s third win so far in this year’s Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Dutchman ten Voorde also celebrated his best result of the season. Taking up the race from the third grid spot, the 21-year-old settled in directly behind Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (F/martinet by ALMERAS) in second. After the first lap, the Project-1 driver outpaced the 19-year-old on the start-finish straight and refused to relinquish his position to the flag. “I immediately put Julien Andlauer under pressure, which was precisely my plan. I’m particularly thrilled to bring home a podium result from a revered racetrack like Spa,” said the driver from the Dutch town of Boekelo.

Zaid Ashkanani concluded the race on the circuit in Belgium’s Ardennes region in third place, 3.4 seconds behind ten Voorde. “I love this racetrack, and this makes third place very special for me. The important thing was that I succeeded in fending off Julien Andlauer in the ninth lap,” said Ashkanani. This result saw the 24-year-old climb the podium on Sunday for the first time this season. Mattia Drudi (Dinamic Motorsport) also enjoyed a fast race: Starting from eighth, the Italian moved through the field to lie in fifth place. In the last lap, the 20-year-old managed to manoeuvre past Andlauer’s 911 and into fourth place.

Porsche Junior Andlauer had to settle for fifth place. “My start was pretty good, but unfortunately I drove on the grass slightly while duelling with Larry ten Voorde. Afterwards I managed to work my way back up the order, but my tyres weren’t perfect after the chase and Mattia Drudi was simply too fast in the end,” said Andlauer. Sixth place went to Nick Yelloly (Fach Auto Tech) from Great Britain, with Michael Ammermüller (BWT Lechner Racing) taking the flag in seventh. With this, the German race driver still leads the championship. His advantage over Yelloly, however, has shrunk to just two points. Jaap van Lagen (NL/Fach Auto Tech) came eighth ahead of Florian Latorre (F/martinet by ALMERAS). In der ProAm classification, Nicolas Misslin (Pierre martinet by ALMERAS) secured the top position. For the Frenchman, this marks his first win in this class.

First race for Felix Rosenqvist

Sweden’s Felix Rosenqvist (Porsche AG) celebrated his first race in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. This weekend, the two-time winner of the tradition-steeped Macau Grand Prix sat in the cockpit of the VIP vehicle run by Porsche AG. After Rosenqvist qualified on the tenth grid spot, the Formula E driver succeeded in defending his position to the flag on the 7.004-kilometre racetrack. “I’m pleased with the result. Of course I would have preferred to finish further up the field, but I would’ve had to take more risks. But I didn’t want to endanger anyone’s chance of earning championship points with some risky manoeuvre. All in all it was an action-packed weekend,” said Rosenqvist.

Qualifying

This marks the third time so far this season that the 20-year-old takes off from pole position. “That was a difficult qualifying because at the beginning the racetrack was a little damp. This is my first time driving at Spa and now I’m starting from pole position. I’m looking forward to the race,” said Preining. Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (martinet by ALMERAS) from France claimed the second grid spot ahead of Larry ten Voorde (Team Project 1) from the Netherlands on third.

Jaap van Lagen was the first on top

Under cloudy skies and with an outside temperature of twelve degrees Celsius, the 33-strong field rolled out onto the track. In his 485 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Jaap van Lagen (NL/Fach Auto Tech) was the first to appear at the top of the times sheets after eight minutes. Initially, Andlauer undercut the time of the seasoned Porsche specialist, before Preining staked his claim on pole position, turning the fastest lap after 18 minutes. For the final ten minutes of the 30-minute session, all drivers switched to a fresh set of tyres. However, only Preining managed to improve on his previous top time: In his last attempt, the youngster from Linz turned his fastest lap on the storied racetrack in the Ardennes. Lining up alongside Preining on the first grid row is Porsche Junior Andlauer. The 19-year-old secured P2 with a lap time of 2:22.254 minutes. “Second on the grid is a good starting position and I already know this racetrack from the Porsche Carrera Cup France. The field is close together, which promises some gripping race action,” said Andlauer.

Ten Voorde achieved the third quickest time of the day on the rollercoaster circuit. The Dutch driver from the town of Boekelo needed 2:22.472 minutes to lap the 20-corner racetrack. “I’m over the moon. This is my best qualifying result so far in the Supercup. It’ll be important to get off the line well on Sunday so that I can immediately put pressure on the leaders,” said ten Voorde. Lining up alongside the 21-year-old is Zaid Ashkanani (MRS GT-Racing) from Kuwait, with Nick Yelloly (Fach Auto Tech) from Great Britain starting from fifth.

The sixth grid spot went to 21-year-old Dylan Pereira (Momo Megatron Lechner Racing) from Luxembourg. The current leader of the championship, Michael Ammermüller (D/BWT Lechner Racing), set the seventh quickest time ahead of van Lagen. Mattia Drudi (Dinamic Motorsport) from Italy qualified ninth on the 7.004-kilometre racetrack. The best driver in the ProAm class was Nicolas Misslin (F/Pierre martinet by ALMERAS).

Felix Rosenqvist (Porsche AG) celebrated his debut in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. This weekend, the 26-year-old Swede drives the VIP vehicle run by Porsche AG. In qualifying, the two-time winner of the legendary Macau Grand Prix gave a remarkable performance and secured the tenth grid spot. With a time of 2:22.940 minutes the Formula E driver was just 1.1-seconds shy of the pole-sitter Preining. “That was an exciting session and great fun. My goal was to qualify in the top ten and that’s what I did. During my flying lap I made a minor braking mistake in the last corner, otherwise I could possibly have done even better,” said Rosenqvist.

Race results:

1. Thomas Preining (A/BWT Lechner Racing)
2. Larry ten Voorde (NL/Team Project 1)
3. Zaid Ashkanani (KWT/MRS GT-Racing)
4. Mattia Drudi (I/Dinamic Motorsport)
5. Julien Andlauer (F/martinet by ALMERAS)
6. Nick Yelloly (GB/Fach Auto Tech)
7. Michael Ammermüller (D/BWT Lechner Racing)
8. Jaap van Lagen (NL/Fach Auto Tech)
9. Florian Latorre (F/martinet by ALMERAS)
10. Felix Rosenqvist (S/Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG)

Points standings after 7 of 10 races
Drivers' classification
1. Michael Ammermüller (D/BWT Lechner Racing), 100 points
2. Nick Yelloly (GB/Fach Auto Tech), 98 points
3. Thomas Preining (A/BWT Lechner Racing), 85 points

Info

Round eight of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup will be contested on Italy’s Autodromo Nazionale Monza from August 31 to September 1. For Mattia Drudi (Misano Adriatico), Gianmarco Quaresmini (Castegnato) and Alberto Cerqui (Preseglie), this will be a race in front of home crowds. The trio compete for the Dinamic Motorsport squad, which has its headquarters in Reggio Emilia, northern Italy.

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