Historic Monza is next

Media release: 27th August 2013

Source: Porsche AG

The race in the Autodromo Nazionale in Monza is traditionally the highlight of the season. For points’ leader Sean Edwards and his rivals in the bid for the title, the name of the game on the high speed circuit in the Royal Park is to secure the best possible result heading on to the home straight of the season finale of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup with two races in Abu Dhabi. Another attraction for the fans: Emanuele Pirro, five-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours, competes as a guest driver in the VIP-911 fielded by Porsche AG for the first time against the Supercup specialists. TV channels Eurosport and Sky broadcast the race live.


Session                     Day                 Local Time     UK Time      Duration       
Free Practice
Friday 16:45 15:45 45 minutes
Qualifying Saturday 12:25 11:25 30 minutes
Race Sunday 11:45 10:45 16 Laps



Nicki Thiim starts from pole position

Media release: 7th September 2013

Source: Porsche AG

In the Autodromo Nazionale in Monza, Nicki Thiim netted his second pole position of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season. On the high-speed circuit in the Royal Park, Thiim was a mere 0.040 seconds quicker in his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which is based on the seventh generation of the 911, than Germany’s Michael Ammermüller (Lechner Racing). Competing for the Attempto Racing team, the Dane recently posted pole position in Silverstone and went on to win the race.

Lining up on the second grid row for the last race of the popular brand trophy series on European soil on Sunday is the British points’ leader Sean Edwards (Team Allyouneed by Proiject 1) as the third quickest in qualifying. Next to the three-time winner this season is Poland’s Kuba Giermaziak (VERVA Racing Team), who started into the Spa-Francorchamps round two weeks ago from pole position. Putting in a strong performance, Austria’s Philipp Eng (MRS GT-Racing), a guest driver from the Carrera Cup Deutschland, clocked the fifth quickest time ahead of Nürburgring winner Michael Christensen from Denmark competing for the DAMS squad. With the exception of Philipp Eng, all of these pilots still hold hopes of pocketing the championship.

The qualifying on the storied Italian race track was the most hotly-contested of the season by now: 21 of the 26-strong field qualified within just one second. Austrian Klaus Bachler (FÖRCH Racing), the second Porsche junior in the field and winner of Spa-Francorchamps, was tenth quickest in qualifying and takes up the sprint from the fifth grid row. MRS GT-Racing pilot, Jean-Karl Vernay (France), who receives support from Porsche to contest this year’s Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as the winner of the International Cup Scholarship, planted his 911 GT3 Cup on 16th – one spot in front of Italy’s Emanuele Pirro. This is the first time the ex-Formula 1 pilot and five-time Le Mans winner contests the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in the VIP-car fielded by Porsche AG.

Nicki Thiim (pole-sitter): “The qualifying in Monza is always a very tactical affair. If you want to land up the front you definitely need to find someone who pulls you in his slipstream. But of course that’s not easy. Fortunately it worked for me. Today’s qualifying was a real nail-biter, but the race tomorrow is sure to be even more interesting.”

Michael Ammermüller (2nd in qualifying): “That was my best qualifying result so far this season, so I’m happy. We found something on the car that works better with fresh tyres. I’m looking forward to the race.”

Sean Edwards (3rd in qualifying): “I posted my time on the first set of tyres, so my second set is still fresh for the race. For me, it’s all about bringing home points tomorrow and to head to the season final in Abu Dhabi with as great a lead as possible.”

Michael Christensen (Porsche Junior, 6th in qualifying): “That was an incredibly close qualifying. It’s hard to pull everything together in Monza for one good lap, particularly when it’s as competitive as it was today and every hundredth of a second counts. With this in mind, I’m very pleased with my time and I’m feeling confident for the race.”

Klaus Bachler (Porsche Junior, 10th in qualifying): “That was very tight. My gap to the pole-sitter is not big. A few hundredths of a second faster and I would have landed one or two rows up the grid. But what the heck: Monza is a circuit where anything is possible – even from the tenth grid spot.

Jean-Karl Vernay (Winner International Cup Scholarship, 16th in qualifying): “When it’s so close in qualifying and things don’t go completely smoothly, you quickly get shuffled down the field. Now in the race I have to try to make up as many positions as possible.”

Emanuele Pirro (VIP starter, 17th in qualifying): “In free practice I was not very happy with my car’s set-up. So we tried several things and it went much better today. Now I feel better as well and I have even more confidence in my car. Okay, I’m seventeenth but I’m not so far off the leader that I can’t upset the apple cart.”

Sunday’s race is broadcast live by TV stations Eurosport (11.45 hrs) and Sky (11.40 hrs). Eurosport televises highlights on Sunday at 20.15 hrs in the programme “Motorsport Weekend Magazin”.

Second win for Nicki Thiim – title decision must wait for season final

Media release: 8th September 2013

Source: Porsche AG

The battle for the title in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup remains exciting to the end. The champion will only be decided at the double-header event on November 2nd and 3rd in Abu Dhabi. At the last round of the popular brand trophy series on European soil at the ultra-fast Autodromo Nazionale in Monza, Nicki Thiim celebrated his second win of the season on Sunday with his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which is based on the seventh generation of the 911. Driving for the Attempto Racing squad, the Dane doggedly pursued the points’ leader from Britain, Sean Edwards (Team Allyouneed by Project 1), who had to settle for fifth place on the Grand Prix circuit in the Royal Park after three wins so far this season.

Behind the Monza pole-setter and Silverstone winner Nicki Thiim, Michael Ammermuller achieved second place. Competing for the Lechner Racing team, the German put the front-runner under intense pressure over the entire 14-lap race distance, but his maiden victory in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup remains elusive. A strong third went to Frenchman Kévin Estre, who battled his way up the order from eighth place to ultimately net his second podium result this season after the Nurburgring.

Germany’s Christian Engelhart (FACH AUTO TECH) put up a valiant fight against Sean Edwards right to the flag to finally cross the finish line in fourth ahead of the main favourite for the title. This sees Sean Edwards and Nicki Thiim as well as Michael Ammermuller travel to the capital of the United Arab Emirates for the season finale holding title hopes.

Like recently in Spa-Francorchamps, both Porsche juniors put in a strong drive. Two weeks after his first Supercup win, Austrian Klaus Bachler (FÖRCH Racing) occupied seventh place as the best rookie behind Poland’s Kuba Giermaziak (VERVA Racing Team). The Dane Michael Christensen, who won the Nürburgring round this season, finished in eighth, which keeps him at the head of the rookie classification. Jean-Karl Vernay at last celebrated a good result: Scoring ninth place, the Frenchman of the MRS GT Racing team, who receives support from Porsche to contest this year’s Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as the winner of the International Cup Scholarship, finally managed to finish in the top ten.

Italian fans were also treated to some gripping race action from Emanuele Pirro. For the first time, the local hero and five-time Le Mans winner competed as a guest driver in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup with the VIP car fielded by Porsche AG. After a good start where he made up several positions, Pirro delivered a spirited race against Supercup specialists from 13 countries. However, in the penultimate lap he slid while braking for a fast corner and became beached in the gravel.

Nicki Thiim (winner): “What a fantastic weekend. I’m thrilled that we found our way back on the road to success. A huge thank you to my team for their impeccable work and beautifully prepared cars. Now I look forward to Abu Dhabi where we will again go all out.” 

Michael Ammermuller (second): “These are vital points for us. Now the championship stays exciting to the last races. Again we saw here how important a good qualifying result is. If you start up near the front not a lot can actually happen to you in the race.”

Kévin Estre (third): “My grid position was bad, but my start was great. I immediately made up four positions and after a great duel with Michael Christensen I moved into third. I’m pleased with this result and I hope we can also continue with our strong team performance in Abu Dhabi.”

Klaus Bachler (Porsche junior, seventh): “Best rookie third time straight – of course I’m very pleased about that. This was my first race in Monza. I got away well at the start, fell back slightly but later regained ground. Now we have to see that I find a few more fractions of seconds in qualifying.”

Michael Christensen (Porsche junior, eighth): “The race was not exactly as I had imagined. My start was good but I came under pressure and lost a few places. But that happens when things get so tight. There is not a lot you can do.”

Jean-Karl Vernay (Winner International Cup Scholarship, ninth): “This is my first top ten result this season. I had to wait a long time for this. It’s a shame that we only have two more races to contest. But I’ll be pulling out all stops there.”

Emanuele Pirro (VIP-driver, 23rd place): “It was a fantastic experience for me. Thanks to Porsche who gave me the chance to contest this great series. Unfortunately I was shunted in the first chicane by another car which didn’t do my suspension much good. I held back a little at first. But the car improved over the course of the race and I could hold my own again. In the penultimate lap I was a little too optimistic and landed in the gravel. Still, this Supercup weekend was a lot of fun.”

Barker thwarted by Italian traffic

Media release: 9th September 2013

Traffic jams are a common occurrence in most Italian cities, but Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup rookie Ben Barker was frustrated to find that they also extended to the historic Autodromo Nazionale at Monza at the weekend.

Buoyed by a return to the points in the preceding round at Spa-Francorchamps, the Team Bleekemolen driver had high hopes for the trip to Italy, having tested positively at Monza in the build-up to his maiden international sportscar campaign. However, his ambitions were tempered in both qualifying and the race, forcing him to settle for a rare finish outside the top ten.

The weekend started positively for Barker, as he posted the seventh fastest time in free practice on Friday despite feeling that he could still improve the handling of the #10 machine for the long straight, quick corners and fiddly chicanes of the Italian Grand Prix venue.

A similar performance on his first set of tyres in qualifying left the Briton in the top echelon, but knowing that he would have to find more time as the track became more conducive to fast laps later in the session. Annoyingly, his second run then coincided with the advent of yellow flags in the final sector and, with just one flying lap available, Barker found that his tyres were past their best.

“Having waited for more rubber to go down, I had time for four timed laps at the end of the session, but lost three of those to the caution,” Barker sighed, “Although the yellow flags were withdrawn in time for my final lap, the tyres had gone through several heat cycles and I was battling with the handling of the car. It was particularly frustrating as I had been four-tenths up on my previous best lap when the flags came out, so I know my time could have been better.

“With the level of competition as high as it is in the Supercup this season, the slightest problem means a difference of a tenth or two to your lap time and, at Monza, that costs a lot of places on the grid. I was only eight-tenths off pole which, at Spa, would still have meant a spot in the top ten. Here, it meant I would start from 17th!”

Starting so far back on the grid left Barker vulnerable to the infamous bottleneck at the Rettifilio chicane but, despite almost coming to a halt while the field sorted itself out, he survived unscathed. Having made up a position on the run to the corner, the CARS-backed Briton emerged from the chicane in 14th and on the back of the lead group. Making use of the Monza slipstream to gain another two places at the expense of team-mates Sebastian Bleekemolen and Jeroen Mul, Barker then found himself on the back of Porsche junior Martin Ragginger. Picking the Austrian off brought the #10 car onto the fringe of the top ten, but attempts to pass Jeroen Bleekemolen only served to drop him back into the clutches of Ragginger, who duly reclaimed eleventh position.

“It was a typical Monza race, with lots of passing and re-passing, but the amount of traffic ultimately prevented me from making up more positions,” Barker noted, “The first corner was like the M25 on the worst of days but, having survived that, we were just running in a train where making a move on the car in front left you open to attack from behind. I was having to look forward and watch my mirrors all at the same time!

“I posted the eighth best lap of the race, just four-tenths off the best, so the car clearly had good pace, but I know I could have been faster had it not been for the cars around me. Although the race itself was frustrating, the result was okay considering where I started, and I still managed to add a few points to my total. I’ve just got to keep my chin up and look forward to the final round of the season.”

Barker’s result keeps him in a share of ninth position in the overall standings and third in the rookie series as the championship heads to Yas Marina for a spectacular finale in support of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix over the weekend of 1-3 November.