Engelhart wins on the Hockenheimring

The man of the first Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland weekend is Christian Engelhart: He has won both races. The races at a glance.

The 28-year-old German (TECE MRS-Racing) won the first two races of the season on the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. On Saturday he relegated Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner) and Ben Barker (GB/Land-Motorsport) to positions two and three, and on Sunday the Bavarian beat Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Lechner Racing Middle East) and Barker. “Two pole positions, two victories, two fastest race laps – I’ve never done this well. That was truly a sensational start to the season for me,” said Engelhart, beaming with joy.

Because of rain, the field set off into the race behind the safety car. Engelhart used the tactical opportunity of the flying start to immediately build a slight gap. Trailing him was Schmidt und Barker. In the sixth lap, the safety car was deployed once again when two vehicles had to be towed out of the gravel. Afterwards, Engelhart lost his advantage and in the final lap it came down to a sprint to the finish line between him and Schmidt, with Engelhart taking the flag just six-tenths of a second in front. “When I realised we only had three laps left I knew it was time for max attack! But Christian Engelhart closed the door every time and I just couldn’t get past him. Next time, however, I’ll be the one at the top of the podium,” said Schmidt, throwing down the gauntlet. Barker said, “Today the rain made the circuit really slippery. But I’m very pleased with two podium results.”

Cairoli and de Phillippi crossed the finish line in fourth and fifth

Porsche Junior Matteo Cairoli (Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) saw the flag in fourth and seemed happy with his result at just his second race in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland: “I almost even achieved a podium place under these difficult conditions! Now I’m pleased to have earned some important points,” said the 18-year-old Italian. Behind Cairoli, Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (USA/Land-Motorsport) crossed the finish line in fifth. “The race was good and I had a strong car. At times, I locked horns with Eng, and I won. Now I’m looking forward to the next race weekend on the Nordschleife,” said de Phillippi.

Wolf Nathan (Land-Motorsport) from the Netherlands scored victory at race two in the B-classification. The best rookie pilot was Pepe Massot (KÜS Team75 Bernhard) from Spain. Porsche Board Member for R&D Wolfgang Hatz and Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of the GT Motorsport Programme and GT production sports cars, presented the trophies at the award ceremony on Sunday. In the championship rankings, Engelhart leads with 40 points ahead of Schmidt und Barker, both with 32 points. At the end of the season, more than half a million Euros in prize money will be paid out in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland.

Christian Engelhart, Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, Hockenheimring 2015, Porsche AG
The winner: Christian Engelhart

A look back at race 1

On the 4,574 metre circuit, Engelhart succeeded in clinching a lights-to-flag win. “That was a cool race! Everything ran perfectly and I could control the race from start to finish,” said Engelhart.

On Friday, the German secured pole position in the 23-strong field and got away cleanly at the start of the race. While he ran unchallenged at the lead over 14 laps, a battle played out behind him for the remaining podium spots. Taking up the race from fourth on the grid, Riberas managed to make up two places over just two laps. “That was a really great race. I’m so thrilled to start the season like this. Some people had written me off last year because I didn’t get the results,” said Riberas with a smile.

Top-three result

Starting from second at his maiden race in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, Ben Barker ultimately had to settle for third behind the 21-year-old Spaniard. Still, the Briton was delighted with his top-three result. “A new race series, a new team and a podium spot straight away. I’m happy with that,” stated Barker. Winner of the B-classification was Rolf Ineichen (CH/Konrad Motorsport), who celebrated his 37th birthday on Saturday.

At the first round of the 2015 season, the Porsche Juniors Connor de Phillippi (USA/Land-Motorsport) and Matteo Cairoli (I/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) earned critical points towards the championship. De Phillippi was running in fifth place early on in the race when he became entangled in a collision with Michael Ammermüller (D/The Heart of Racing by Lechner) which threw him down the field to twelfth. He ultimately crossed the finish line in ninth. “Unfortunately, the race didn’t go as planned. The contact with Ammermüller was really bad luck. Now I’m hoping for a better run on Sunday,” said the 22 year old. 18-year-old Cairoli took up the race from eighth on the grid to bring home tenth. “Unfortunately I got away badly at the start and then things didn’t go so well. All in all, tenth place is okay for a start,” said Cairoli.

The next race weekend of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland takes place from 14 to 16 May as part of the 24-hour race on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring.

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