The last round of an already gripping 31st Porsche Supercup season could hardly have been more turbulent. The fight for the overall crown and the Rookie title was literally made in the final metres of the finale in Monza in northern Italy. A mere 0.4 seconds decided the title fight between Bastian Buus and Larry ten Voorde, with the Porsche Junior from Denmark ultimately winning. Australia’s Harri Jones missed out on clinching the overall Rookie trophy by less than 0.3 seconds with the title going to Alessandro Ghiretti from France.
“That was the toughest race of my life mentally, a real rollercoaster ride,” revealed Bastian Buus after the 14-lap thriller on the Formula 1 racetrack near Milan. It looked simple before the start: An eleventh place would be enough for him to win the title. Given his ninth spot on the grid, this sounded like a relatively easy task, however, a spin caused by a collision threw Buus to the back of the field during the second lap. “I stalled the engine and it felt like an eternity before I could continue,” he said, describing the seconds he spent off the track. However, over the next laps, he succeeded in ploughing his way through the field. Nevertheless, eleventh place remained out of reach, due also to a three-second time penalty. “Luckily, I saw on the trackside monitors that Harry King was leading the race. That calmed me down a bit.”
The youngest Supercup Champion
All of Buus’s hopes now rested on his British teammate at BWT Lechner Racing, who had started from pole position. Hot on King’s bumper was the second title contender Larry ten Voorde, who had promptly catapulted into the slipstream of the leader from fourth on the grid. The Dutch GP Elite driver could only have claimed the title with a win. But King kept his cool and held on to the narrow lead to the finish line – and thanks to this result, Porsche Junior Bastian Buus was finally crowned the new Supercup Champion, the youngest in the history of the series. “I’m lost for words, I’m simply over the moon,” beamed Buus, to the wild cheers of his entire family.
“Every time I put a little space between me and Larry, the safety car took away the advantage. But my car was fast enough today not to really give him a chance,” said King, in praise of his engineers’ work. The 26-year-old won three races over the season, more than any of his competitors. However, a run of bad luck in the other races meant he had to settle for third place in the final standings.
Larry ten Voorde, the Supercup champion from 2020 and 2021, demonstrated his sportsmanship despite losing the duel against King: “I tried absolutely everything, never gave up and fought like a lion to the end. But Harry cleverly defended his lead. Congratulations to Bastian, he truly deserves the title.”
Clinching the third podium spot in Monza, local hero Simone Iaquinta treated spectators to even more nail-biting race action. “This is the perfect end to the season,” grinned the Italian, who drives for the German Huber Racing squad. Scoring his best result of the season, he inadvertently decided the title fight in the Rookie class. Throughout the race, Iaquinta locked horns with Harri Jones (BWT Lechner Racing), with the two swapping positions several times. Third place would have been enough for Jones, the reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia, to take home the Rookie crown. He crossed the finish line as the best-placed Rookie but finished the race only fourth overall by a car length. Thus, the title went to Alessandro Ghiretti (Martinet by Alméras).
The Frenchman had to retire early after a collision. “As a spectator, I had to watch Simone and Harri take turns in third place – I almost went crazy. But now I’m proud of the Rookie title,” said the 21-year-old from the southern French town of Montauban. Ghiretti was also celebrated as the best in the rankings of the in-house Rookie Programme, which, in addition to race results, also assesses areas like physical fitness or the quality of each driver’s written race reports.
Ex-Formula 1 driver Timo Glock put in a strong drive at the German’s second guest outing this year in the VIP-911 of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Heading into the race from the second to last grid row, he avoided several collisions and spins from rivals around him. The fact that he was able to advance to ninth position in this tumultuous race underlines the vast experience of the 41-year-old, who now covers the Formula 1 World Championship as a TV commentator.
BWT Lechner Racing once again dominated the Teams’ classification, with Porsche Junior Bastian Buus and Harry King scoring points. Founded by the legendary Walter Lechner, the team based in Austria has now notched up its 13th team title in the Porsche Supercup. “I've experienced a lot, but this finale felt like something straight out of Hollywood,” commented team principal Robert Lechner. “I’m incredibly proud of Bastian Buus, the youngest Supercup champion of all time. Harry King also had a very strong season and contributed hugely to our title with his three victories.”
Thomas Laudenbach was also delighted. The Vice President Porsche Motorsport witnessed the season finale of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at the track in Monza and presented the trophies to the race winner Harry King and Rookie winner Harri Jones: “This super suspenseful finale and the entire 2023 season have once again underlined why the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is the pinnacle of our one-make cups. All three titles were only decided in the last race of the season. This is motorsport at its absolute best. That’s exactly what we want and that’s exactly what the high level of professionalism of the drivers and the teams shows.”
Oliver Schwab, Project Manager Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, added: “Congratulations to Porsche Junior Bastian Buus, who has now added the overall title to his list of achievements after winning the Rookie title in 2022. BWT Lechner Racing also improved their record with their 13th title in the Teams’ classification, a truly impressive performance. The Rookie title goes to France this year. Congratulations to Alessandro Ghiretti. I’d also like to thank all the other drivers, the teams and every one of their members for an incredibly exciting and highly professional Supercup season.”
The new Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup champion Bastian Buus
At the age of just 20, Bastian Buus was crowned the youngest champion in the history of the Porsche Supercup, which was founded in 1993. In addition, the 1.87-meter-tall Dane is the third Porsche Junior to win the overall trophy of the international one-make cup with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, after the New Zealander Earl Bamber (2014) and Germany’s Sven Müller (2016).
Raised near Kolding on the Danish Baltic Sea coast, Buus came to karting through his racing father Morten. During this time, he also evolved into a first-class sim racer. It was with this skill that he convinced the German team Allied-Racing to enter him in the GT4 European Series with the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Together with team boss Jan Kasperlik, Buus won the ProAm title. In 2021 and still a student, Buus joined the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland with Allied-Racing, in which he still has a chance of winning this year’s title. In the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Buus set a new record in 2022: He won the Rookie classification in all eight races and easily secured the title in the entry-level class. To date, he has won three races overall.
Buus, who names his fellow countryman and seven-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen as a role model, has now graduated from high school. And he has already set himself a medium-term goal: the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in the new LMDh racer, the Porsche 963.
Race results, round 8 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Monza (I)
1. Harry King (UK/BWT Lechner Racing), 30:29.288 minutes
2. Larry ten Voorde (NL/Team GP Elite), +0.432 seconds
3. Simone Iaquinta (I/Huber Racing), +3.589 seconds
4. Harri Jones (AUS/BWT Lechner Racing), +3.848 seconds
5. Morris Schuring (NL/FACH AUTO TECH), +4.056 seconds
6. Alexander Fach (CH/FACH AUTO TECH), +4.747 seconds
. . .
13. Porsche Junior Bastian Buus (DK/BWT Lechner Racing), +13.937 seconds
Final standings 2023 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup (after eight races)
1. Porsche Junior Bastian Buus (DK/BWT Lechner Racing), 122 points
2. Larry ten Voorde (NL/Team GP Elite), 117 points
3. Harry King (UK/BWT Lechner Racing), 108 points
4. Morris Schuring (NL/Fach Auto Tech), 103 points
5. Dorian Boccolacci (F/CLRT), 79 points
Full results and points standings:
Larry ten Voorde must win the final race of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup on Sunday (11:55 am CEST) to have any chance of catching the championship leader Bastian Buus. After the qualifying session, the task has not become easier for the Dutchman: On the Formula 1 circuit in the Royal Park of Monza, ten Voorde only set the sixth fastest time. UK driver Harry King planted the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by the BWT Lechner Racing team on pole position. It’s simple math: Ahead of the final Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race in Monza, northern Italy, Porsche Junior Bastian Buus (BWT Lechner Racing) leads the table with a 21-point lead over Larry ten Voorde (Team GP Elite). Ten Voorde can only turn things around with a victory, for which he would earn 25 points. Consequently, the two-time Supercup champion was unhappy with the sixth-fastest time in qualifying. “My goal was pole position. I failed, no doubt about that. The balance of my car wasn’t right in qualifying and I also made a few minor mistakes,” admitted ten Voorde. “But I’m not giving up – I’ll do everything I can to win the race on Sunday.”
Bastian Buus also struggled. The 20-year-old Porsche Junior was only ninth fastest in qualifying. “It wasn't the car’s fault, as my teammate Harry King’s pole time underlines. I wasn’t able to match the pace of the frontrunners today. So instead, I focussed on giving Harry a good slipstream on his way to pole position. In the end, it would help me, if he wins the race,” commented the Dane.
Should Larry ten Voorde secure his first win of the season in Monza, points for eleventh place would still be enough for Bastian Buus to be crowned the youngest champion in the history of the Supercup. “My advantage is that I don’t have to take any major risks. The pressure is definitely on Larry,” says the relatively relaxed Dane as he heads into the decisive race.
Harry King will start from pole position for the second time this season after the Supercup race at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He turned his fastest qualifying lap with an average speed of over 191 km/h and was the only driver to stay under the 1:49-minute mark. “I can still become vice-champion, which is why I’m fully focused on winning the race. If I can help Bastian with that, all the better,” said the 22-year-old Brit, describing his strategy for the season finale of the international one-make cup with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
The fight for the team title is also still open. BWT Lechner Racing – Buus and King’s squad – leads the classification ahead of GP Elite with its drivers ten Voorde and Loek Hartog. Hartog turned the third-fastest lap in qualifying. In the Rookie classification, the decision goes down to the wire between the Frenchman Alessandro Ghiretti (Martinet by Alméras) and the Australian Harri Jones, who also drives for BWT Lechner Racing.
TV and internet coverage of the final Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup round
The eighth and final round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup runs over 15 laps and is contested as part of the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday (3 September 2023) from 11.55am CEST. Among others, TV channels Eurosport and Sky Sport provide a live broadcast, with the streaming service f1tv.formula1.com also televising the race.
Qualifying results, round 8 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Monza (I)
1. Harry King (UK/BWT Lechner Racing), 1:48.878 minutes
2. Dorian Boccolacci (F/CLRT), 1:49.028 minutes
3. Loek Hartog (NL/Team GP Elite), 1:49.029 minutes
4. Benjamin Paque (F/CLRT), 1:49.191 minutes
5. Harri Jones (AUS/BWT Lechner Racing), 1:49.209 minutes
6. Larry ten Voorde (NL/Team GP Elite), 1:49.238 minutes
. . .
9. Porsche Junior Bastian Buus (DK/BWT Lechner Racing), 1:49.311 minutes
Standings 2023 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup (before the finale)
1. Porsche Junior Bastian Buus (DK/BWT Lechner Racing), 118 points
2. Larry ten Voorde (NL/Team GP Elite), 97 points
3. Morris Schuring (NL/Fach Auto Tech), 91 points
4. Harry King (UK/BWT Lechner Racing), 83 points
Full qualifying results: