At the opening round of the international one-make cup in Barcelona, Ammermüller (BWT Lechner Racing) relegated the Dutchman Jaap van Lagen (Fach Auto Tech) and Dylan Pereira (L/Momo Megatron Lechner Racing) to the other grid spots in his 485 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. “I’m so happy with this successful weekend. It was important to maintain the right tyre temperature in the two safety car phases, and I managed that very well,” said Ammermüller.
Despite the light morning rain, the track surface was dry by the start of the race at midday. In 14 degrees Celsius and sunshine, the 30-strong field of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers lined up on the grid shod with slicks. Pole-sitter Ammermüller led the field off the line and managed to pull clear of the pack, however, in a gripping race, the field closed up when the safety car was deployed in the second and seventh lap. Nevertheless, the 32-year-old kept his cool and crossed the finish line first after 14 laps with a 3.4-second advantage over van Lagen. “The deciding factor was that I gained two places at the start and moved into second. Michael Ammermüller drove a flawless race. I’m thrilled with my podium result,” said van Lagen.
Right to the finish, van Lagen and Pereira delivered a thrilling duel for second place. The Luxembourger took the flag in third just a tenth of a second behind van Lagen on the 4.655-kilometre racetrack. “The spectators were treated to a great race. Thanks to the safety car I managed to close in on Jaap van Lagen, but he defended his position cleverly,” said Pereira. Fourth place went to Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (F/martinet by ALMERAS). The defending champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup France contests his maiden season in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. “Unfortunately I couldn’t hold on to my second place at the start. Afterwards I wanted to overtake but I also had to keep an eye in the rear-view mirror because the field was very tight. That was tough, so I’m pleased with fourth,” said the 18-year-old Frenchman. Fifth place was occupied by the top rookie Larry ten Voorde (NL/Team Project 1) ahead of Nick Yelloly (GB/Fach Auto Tech).
Porsche Junior Thomas Preining (A/BWT Lechner Racing) concluded the race in the north of Barcelona without points. The 19-year-old took up the race from the twelfth grid spot but had to park his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the pits after ten laps. “I managed to gain several positions in the first laps, but while attempting to overtake I touched another car and was handed a drive-through penalty. With the time I lost, it wouldn’t have made much sense to rejoin the race for the four remaining laps,” stated Preining. Roar Lindland (Lechner Racing Middle East) was the best driver in the ProAm classification. The Norwegian reached the finish line ahead of Nicolas Misslin (F/Pierre martinet by ALMERAS) and Christof Langer (D/Fach Auto Tech).
Round two of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup will be contested in Monaco from 24 to 27 May. The twisty 3.337-kilometre city circuit through the streets of Monte Carlo is considered particularly demanding. The paddock is also in an unusual location: All the vehicles stand under the big-top of the permanent circus tent Chapiteau de Fontvieille. The Circuit de Monaco has hosted the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup every year since its 1993 debut season.
Barcelona, Race 1 of 10
1. Michael Ammermüller (D/BWT Lechner Racing)
2. Jaap van Lagen (NL/Fach Auto Tech)
3. Dylan Pereira (L/Momo Megatron Lechner Racing)
4. Julien Andlauer (F/martinet by ALMERAS)
5. Larry ten Voorde (NL/Team Project 1)
6. Nick Yelloly (GB/Fach Auto Tech)
7. Philip Hamprecht (D/Lechner Racing Middle East)
8. Alberto Cerqui (I/Dinamic Motorsport)
9. Josh Webster (GB/Momo Megatron Lechner Racing)
10. Mattia Drudi (I/Dinamic Motorsport)
Michael Ammermüller has secured the top grid spot at the season-opener qualifying: On Saturday, the German turned the fastest lap and with a time of 1:47.252 minutes planted his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on pole position for race one on Sunday. “That was great fun. After the pit stop I went back out on the track at the perfect time. This was decisive for my top time,” said Ammermüller (BWT Lechner Racing). Lining up on the first grid row next to the 32-year-old is Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (F/martinet by ALMERAS). Andlauer’s French teammate Florian Latorre takes up the race on the Circuit de Catalunya from position three.
In sunny weather and an outside temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, 30 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup took part in the qualifying. Ammermüller underpinned his claim on the pole position by posting his first top time just eight minutes into the session. With only six minutes before the end of the 30-minute qualifying, Latorre clocked the fastest time on fresh tyres. Shortly after, 18-year-old Andlauer undercut his compatriot’s time. However, Ammermüller as a seasoned Porsche specialist kept a cool head and snatched pole position in a last-minute dash. A time of 1:47.416 minutes put the young racer Andlauer on P2. “The session was really intense and exciting to the finish. Prior to my last stint we made some minor changes to the vehicle and that enabled me to improve on my time,” said Andlauer.
On the 4.655-kilometre racetrack, Latorre set the third quickest time of the day in 1:47.587 minutes. The 21-year-old from Bordeaux contests his first full season in the international one-make cup. “It makes me really happy to immediately qualify on third. My team put an excellent car on the track for me today and I got a clear run on my fastest lap. I’m looking forward to the race and, of course, I’d like to defend my position,” stated Latorre.
Porsche Junior Thomas Preining (BWT Lechner Racing) occupied the twelfth grid position during qualifying on the track north of Barcelona. Similar to the Porsche Junior Andlauer, 2018 marks the debut season in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup for the 19-year-old Austrian. “Obviously I’d hoped to do better at the season-opening weekend, but now I have to figure out how to improve for the race. On Sunday, I’m looking forward to an intense race and I want to get the most out of it,” said Preining.
In the Nations League, Germany has the best starting position thanks to Ammermüller. Behind Germany, France follows with its two representatives Andlauer and Latorre. Unlike last season, all drivers can now earn points for a country to represent the respective Porsche market in the race series.
1. Michael Ammermüller (D/ BWT Lechner Racing), 1:47.252 minutes
2. Julien Andlauer (F/martinet by ALMERAS), 1:47.416 minutes
3. Florian Latorre (F/martinet by ALMERAS), 1:47.587 minutes
4. Jaap van Lagen (NL/Fach Auto Tech), 1:47.617 minutes
5. Nick Yelloly (GB/Fach Auto Tech), 1:47.634 minutes
6. Mattia Drudi (I/Dinamic Motorsport), 1:47.704 minutes
7. Larry ten Voorde (NL/Team Project 1), 1:47.849 minutes
8. Dylan Pereira (L/Momo Megatron Lechner Racing), 1:47.897 minutes
9. Alberto Cerqui (I/Dinamic Motorsport), 1:47.932 minutes
10. Philip Hamprecht (D/Lechner Racing Middle East), 1:47.965 minutes
Twenty-eight drivers have signed on for the whole season, with additional guest drivers joining the grid at selected rounds. The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup has featured on the same bill as the Formula 1 World Championship every year since it was launched in 1993.
Two rounds, Monte Carlo/Monaco and Budapest/Hungary, have been permanent fixtures on the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup calendar since the series began. The one-make cup also returns to Hockenheim/Germany after a year’s break. Other venues on the calendar this season are the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg/Austria, as well as the storied racetracks of Silverstone/Great Britain, Spa-Francorchamps/Belgium and Monza/Italy. A doubleheader in Mexico City provides a fitting finale to the season. “We’re thrilled to return to Hockenheim after a year’s break and to welcome international drivers to our home track. We have a strong line-up of drivers from all over the world,” says Oliver Schwab, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Project Manager.
Traditionally, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup attracts a field of international and top-class drivers: the registered competitors come from 15 countries, with guest drivers supplementing the grid over the season. The reigning champion Michael Ammermüller aims to defend his title. In 2017, the German won the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup for the first time and returns this year to compete for BWT Lechner Racing. The race series includes a classification for Drivers, ProAm and Rookies. In addition, drivers also compete in the Nations League. But unlike last year, all drivers can now earn points for a country to showcase the respective Porsche market in the race series. Registered squads can fight for the team title.
Joining the grid this season are the two Porsche Juniors Thomas Preining (Austria) and Julien Andlauer (France). Preining contested four rounds of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in 2017 as a guest driver and impressed with three top-ten results. Andlauer is the reigning Porsche Carrera Cup France champion and beat eight other international candidates at the junior selection shootout last year. In addition to receiving funding from Porsche to the value of 225,000 Euro towards their Supercup campaign, the talented youngsters are coached on and off the racetrack in preparation for a successful career in professional motor racing.
VIP involvement at selected rounds is a time-honoured practice in the history of the Supercup. Again in 2018, well-known personalities from international motor racing as well as local motorsport greats will pilot the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup run by Porsche Motorsport. The VIP car with the starting number 911 will compete at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, the Silverstone Circuit, and prospectively at the Hungaroring (Budapest) and the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
All competitors will drive the latest version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The four-litre flat six engine develops a peak performance of 357 kW (485 hp), making it the most powerful race car in the history of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. All vehicles are technically identical, as are the tyres from Michelin and the fuel – guaranteeing equal chances for all drivers.
In 2018, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup again enjoys a high media presence. The stations Eurosport, Sky UK and Sky Italia broadcast all rounds of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup live or delayed-to-live. Moreover, highlights and background reports are televised. After each race, Formula One World Championship Limited (FOWC) makes footage available to TV stations around the world, allowing viewers on five continents to witness the race action. From this season on, all sessions of the weekend – free practice, qualifying and championship races – can be watched via the official Formula 1 stream on computers or mobile devices.
11.05.-13.05.2018, Barcelona/Spain (Race 1)
24.05.-27.05.2018, Monte Carlo/Monaco (Race 2)
29.06.-01.07.2018, Spielberg/Austria (Race 3)
06.07.-08.07.2018, Silverstone/Great Britain (Race 4)
20.07.-22.07.2018, Hockenheim/Germany (Race 5)
27.07.-29.07.2018, Budapest/Hungary (Race 6)
24.08.-26.08.2018, Spa-Francorchamps/Belgium (Race 7)
31.08.-02.09.2018, Monza/Italy (Race 8)
26.10.-28.10.2018, Mexico City/Mexico (Races 9+10)