Philipp Eng (Market Leader Team by Project 1) from Austria took top hon- ours in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup on Sunday at the wheel of his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. On the storied race track of Spa in Belgium, the 25 year old beat Por- sche Junior Sven Müller (D/Team Lechner Racing Middle East) and Christian Engelhart (D/MRS GT-Racing) to the flag and earned the most points towards the championship with his second win of the season. With this, the Salzburg native extends his series lead after seven of eleven races. “I’m now leading by 20 points and I’m thrilled with my good record: Five times on the podium after seven races is great.
Second place on Saturday, pole position and victory on Sunday – I’m satisfied with my Spa weekend,” analysed Eng. The 33-strong field contesting the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup treated motorsport fans at the Spa race track to some riveting action: Over much of the race, spectators in the well-filled grandstands witnessed a close battle for positions amongst the front- runners. Directly after the start, Müller launched an attack on Eng. The Porsche Junior made repeated attempts to get past the Project 1 pilot, but Eng managed to fend him off. After the nine-time World Rally Champion parked his vehicle with a problem just a few metres after the start, the safety car was deployed for one lap.
When the field went green again, Eng hit the ground running, but Müller stuck close to his bumper. “I tried absolutely everything to overtake Philipp but I just couldn’t find a way around him. Still, I’m pleased with second place after my victory on Saturday. I can go home feeling very good with such a balance,” concluded Müller. Engelhart pocketed critical championship points scoring third, with the seasoned specialist from Bavaria now ranking second in the overall classification. “There are still 80 points up for grabs with four races left on the calendar. The final score is only tallied at the end,” said Engelhart challengingly.
Christopher Zöchling (A/Fach Auto Tech) saw the chequered flag as fourth ahead of Jeffrey Schmidt (The Heart of Rac- ing by Lechner) from Switzerland. After the Lechner team put in a nightshift to repair damage to the vehicle of Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East) after hitting the crash barriers the day before, the car performed reliably to the flag and the hard work of the team and driver was rewarded with position six.
Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner), who took off into the race from 13th, ultimately crossed the finish line in seventh and set the fastest race lap in the process. This puts the 21-year-old Spaniard in third place overall with 83 points behind Eng and Engelhart. Ben Barker (GB/Momo-Megatron Team Partrax) finished eighth ahead of Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (USA/VERVA Lechner Racing Team). “I’m pleased I managed to make up a few positions. My duel with Ben Barker was fair and great fun,” said de Philippi. The second-best rookie after Schmidt was the Swiss Philipp Frommenwiler (Fach Auto Tech) on tenth.
VIP-driver Patrick Dempsey managed to steadily improve his lap times and he con- cluded the race on a respectable 23rd out of 33 contenders. “I very much enjoyed driving in front of this impressive backdrop. It was an honour for me to meet experi- enced race drivers like Sébastien Loeb here and the other Supercup drivers were great as well.
I’ve learned a lot here, such as how to drive in a pack. This will also help me in my other racing activities,” said a satisfied Dempsey, for whom Spa was his second Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race after Hockenheim last year.
Porsche Junior Sven Müller (D/Team Lechner Racing Middle East) has won race six of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup on Saturday evening. The German outpaced 32 rivals at the wheel of his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to bring home his second victory of the season after his recent win at Budapest four weeks ago. Second and third places went to Austrians Philipp Eng (Market Leader Team by Project 1) and Christopher Zöchling (Fach Auto Tech) respectively. “This race series is incredibly competitive. From six races we’ve seen five different winners. I’m really pleased to be the first driver to notch up two wins this season,” said an ecstatic Müller.
On the 6.973-kilometre circuit, Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East) posted pole position at midday Saturday. But the first grid spot failed to bring the Ba- varian luck. At first, the 29 year old held the lead after the start, but after lap three his Porsche lost pace and without warning hit the tyre barrier. “We have to see what was going on. Luckily I’m okay,” explained Ammermüller. Eng profited from the incident and inherited the lead. The safety car had to be deployed and once the race went green again the front runners stayed bunched together.
Müller, who had started from fourth, sat behind Eng in position two and put him under pressure. The Porsche Junior made his move to overtake in lap seven, Eng missed the braking point and opened the door for Müller to get past. With this feat, the 23 year old drove to victory. “Of course I would rather have won, but ultimately it’s the points that count. I take up race seven on Sunday from pole position and first someone has to be able to get past me,” said a determined Eng.
Clinching third, Zöchling climbed the podium for the second time this season after his win at Spielberg, Austria. Supercup rookie Côme Ledogar (F/Martinet by Almeras) took the flag in fourth ahead of Porsche specialist Engelhart. Britain’s Ben Barker (Momo- Megatron Team Partrax) occupied position six. Seventh place went to Jeffrey Schmidt (The Heart of Racing by Lechner) from Switzerland, with Porsche Junior Matteo Cairoli (I/Market Leader Team by Project 1) claiming eighth. “I’m not particularly happy with this result. It simply didn’t work today and now I’m hoping for the next race on Sunday,” said a disappointed Cairoli.
Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (USA/VERVA Lechner Racing Team) crossed the finish line in 18th: “Someone hit me in the first lap and that’s frustrating. It wasn’t our day.” Two famous guest drivers performed impressively at their Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup appearance. The nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb (F/Sébastien Loeb Racing) took up the race from 20th on the grid to finish 13th after spectacular overtaking manoeuvres. Actor and race driver Patrick Dempsey started from position 30, at one point was running in 26th, and was ultimately flagged off as 29th out of a 33-strong field. “This race was huge fun and I enjoyed some great duels,” said Dempsey.
The next Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race weekend is at Monza/Italy from September 4th to 6th. Two races will be contested there as well as at the season finale in Austin. Monza marks the home race for Porsche Junior Matteo Cairoli (I/Market Leader Team by Project 1), whose home town of Como is just 25 minutes away from the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. “Monza is my track and I can’t wait to compete there. I just want to forget about my race at Spa. When I tried to overtake Zöchling in the first lap, Ledogar appeared and I was suddenly out. I have to see what happened there.” In Monza, the grid lineup will again include more than 30 vehicles.
1. Sven Müller (D/Team Lechner Racing Middle East)
2. Philipp Eng (A/Market Leader Team by Project 1)
3. Christopher Zöchling (A/Fach Auto Tech)
4. Côme Ledogar (F/Martinet by Almeras)
5. Christian Engelhart (D/MRS GT-Racing)
1. Philipp Eng (A/Market Leader Team by Project 1)
2. Sven Müller (D/Team Lechner Racing Middle East)
3. Christian Engelhart (D/MRS GT-Racing)
4. Christopher Zöchling (A/Fach Auto Tech)
5. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/The Heart of Racing by Lechner)
Points’ standings after 7 of 11 races:
1. Philipp Eng (A/Market Leader Team by Project 1), 118 Punkte
2. Christian Engelhart (D/MRS GT-Racing), 98
3. Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner), 83