Spa

The mythical Spa-Francorchamps presents the nest challenge for Supercup

Media release: 29th July 2013

Source: Porsche AG

Last year in Spa-Francorchamps Nicki Thiim celebrated his first victory in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Now he returns to the storied Belgian circuit in the Ardennes as one of the title aspirants. What has not changed since last year is the strong opposition spearheaded by points’ leader Sean Edwards, who has managed to pull away slightly from his pursuers after his victory in Budapest. Should Nicki Thiim pull another victory out of the hat in Spa he could at least maintain contact to the leader. TV stations Eurosport and Sky broadcast the race live.

Timetable

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 11 Laps

Map

 

First pole position for Kuba Giermaziak

Media release: 24th August 2013

Source: Porsche AG

Kuba Giermaziak from Poland clinched his first pole position of the season in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. At the wheel of VERVA Racing team’s 460 hp new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which is based on the seventh generation of the 911, he was 0.203 seconds faster in qualifying for the sixth round of the season of this attractive brand trophy series as the British points leader Sean Edwards (Team Allyouneed by Project 1). Kuba Giermaziak won the race in Spa-Francorchamps in 2011.

Porsche Junior Klaus Bachler put in a strong drive on the challenging Grand Prix circuit in the Ardennes: Posting his best qualifying time in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, the FÖRCH Racing pilot from Austria set the third quickest time and takes up the race on Sunday from the second grid row. The rookie relegated Jeroen Bleekemolen (Lechner Racing), the two-time Supercup champion from the Netherlands, to fourth place. 

The second Porsche Junior in the field, Michael Christensen, also secured a good starting position for the race. Driving for the DAMS squad, the Dane, who celebrated his maiden Supercup victory at Nürburgring and holds a clear lead in the rookie classification, qualified behind Germany’s Michael Ammermuller (Lechner Racing) on the sixth grid spot. Position seven is occupied by Poland’s Robert Lukas (FÖRCH

Racing) ahead of Supercup newcomer Richie Stanaway from New Zealand driving for the DAMS team. Nicki Thiim (Denmark) had to settle for ninth place. Last year in

Spa-Francorchamps, the Attempto Racing pilot notched up his first Supercup victory from pole position. Frenchman Jean-Karl Vernay (MRS GT-Racing), who receives support from Porsche this season in his Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup campaign as the winner of the International Cup Scholarship, posted the 16th quickest time. Kuba Giermaziak (pole-sitter): “This time we didn’t save our second set of tyres like last time at the Hungaroring. That was the right decision, because Sean was in top form again. I’m really pleased about my first pole position of the season. It was a tough fight which showed that we are fast enough to match the pace of the frontrunners.”

Sean Edwards (2nd qualifier): “That was a tough qualifying. I topped the time sheets twice, but Kuba had an answer immediately. In the last sector I was not quick enough but I’m still feeling confident for the race. Today I took Eau Rouge at full speed for the first time in a Cup car – that was awesome.”

Klaus Bachler (Porsche Junior, 3rd qualifier): “That was incredible. I always knew that we had a fast car, but today I finally pulled it all together in all sectors. What a great day. It’s terrific to start from so far up the field. I hope I can turn this qualifying result into a good race result.”

Michael Christensen (Porsche Junior, 6th qualifier): “I was running third quickest on my first set of tyres. It’s a shame that I lost three positions on the second set. The car was good, but I made a couple of mistakes and that prevented me from setting a better time.”

Jean-Karl Vernay (Winner International Cup Scholarship, 16th qualifier): “In free practice we had a problem with the car so I was only able to really get a good stint during qualifying. It will be difficult to make up places from so far back, but I will certainly give it my best shot.”

Porsche juniors climb podium as first and third

Media release: 25th August 2013

Source: Porsche AG

The Porsche juniors put in a strong showing on the Circuit de Spa- Francorchamps: At round six of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, FÖRCH Racing driver Klaus Bachler from Austria clinched his maiden win at the attractive brand trophy series that has run as support to the Formula 1 races since 1993. His Porsche junior colleague Michael Christensen (Denmark), who competes for the DAMS teams and won the Nurburgring round this year, saw the chequered flag in third place. Scoring second place, Britain’s Sean Edwards (Team Allyouneed by Project 1) further extended his points lead.

At the wheel of his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which is based on the seventh generation of the 911, Klaus Bachler got away well at the start, immediately overtook Sean Edwards and went in pursuit of the leader of the pack, Kuba Giermaziak. Driving for VERVA Racing, the pole-setter from Poland had already won the race on the challenging Ardennes circuit in 2011 and also seemed likely to bring home a safe victory right up until shortly before the flag. But in the very last lap, shifting problems hampered his pace and he ultimately saw the flag in eleventh. Klaus Bachler put in impressive performances with third in qualifying and a faultless race. He successfully fended off Sean Edwards’s attacks from behind and made the most of his chance to bring home victory. This marks the first time that both Porsche juniors have climbed the podium during this Supercup season.

Crossing the finish line in fourth behind the leading pair was Poland’s Robert Lukas (FÖRCH Racing). For the victor’s teammate this was also the best result of the year.

Fifth place went to Michael Ammermüller (Lechner Racing) which now puts the German third overall in the series. He finished ahead of the teammate and double Supercup champion Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), who in turn relegated Attempto Racing pilots Kévin Estre (France) and Nicki Thiim (Denmark) to positions seven and eight. For Silverstone winner, Nicki Thiim, it was still enough to defend his second place in the championship.

Frenchman Jean-Karl Vernay (MRS GT-Racing), who receives support from Porsche in this year’s Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as the winner of the International Cup Scholarship, scored 14th.

Klaus Bachler (Porsche Junior, winner): “This is unbelievable. I have won my first Supercup race – in Spa of all places. That is just incredible. A huge thank you to the team who put a perfect car on the track for me. After a great start I had to really fight over the first three laps to fend Sean off. Kuba was far ahead and I thought I could safely bring home second place. That in itself would have been a great result. But then to go on and win – that’s just awesome. I feel a little sorry for Kuba, but that’s racing. I’m over the moon.”

Sean Edwards (second): “What a crazy race. Klaus had a better start and passed me. I didn’t get another chance to overtake him. At one point he made a slight mistake, but there wasn’t enough space for me to overtake and I didn’t want to push it at any cost. Second is a great result for us. We managed to extend our lead in the championship some more and now we are looking forward to Monza.”

Michael Christensen (Porsche Junior, third): “My start was good which of course makes things easier. I managed to keep pace with the front-runners, but towards the end of the race I had to ease off a bit. It wasn’t easy to get past Kuba in the final lap because he made his Porsche extremely wide. But luckily I did it eventually without leaving the track. Two juniors on the podium is simply fantastic.”

Jean-Karl Vernay (Winner of the International Cup Scholarship, eleventh): “When you take off from 16th on the grid your expectations aren’t particularly high. We have to work harder on starting further up the grid. Then a better result should be possible.”

Barker bounced back in Belgium

Media release: 25th August 2013

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup rookie Ben Barker defied another steep learning curve to claim a top ten finish on his first visit to the daunting Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.

After a month-long break enforced by the summer shutdown in F1, which the Supercup supports throughout Europe, the highly-competitive Porsche series returned for its sixth round at the historic Ardennes venue, and served up possibly Barker’s toughest assignment of the season. At over 7km in length, Spa is the longest circuit on the schedule and, with only 45 minutes of practice in which to learn its intricacies, Barker admitted that he was still some way from his usual comfort zone approaching the all-important qualifying session.

“Although I managed P11 in practice, I was still learning the circuit at the end of the session, experimenting with lines and braking points,” the Team Bleekemolen driver confessed, “It’s such a long lap, with high speeds and tough corners, that I felt a little rushed when it came to taking it all in.

“Fitting new tyres for qualifying made a big difference to the cars, as we were suddenly lapping 2.5 seconds quicker than we had in testing, but I had to rely on the time from my first run, as there was gravel on the track second time around, which affected the tyres and left me with understeer. It was frustrating as my split times in sectors one and three were close to the best – but it’s all about sector two at Spa…”

Barker’s inexperience showed in his starting position as, still getting to grips with the layout, he lined up on row seven of the grid for Sunday’s race. The short run to La Source doesn’t usually present too many opportunities to improve position at the start, but that did not prevent the rookie from taking a look at the series veterans ahead of him, although the ever-changing scrum of cars attempting to get through the infamous Eau Rouge on lap one deterred a rash early move for position.

Despite a brush with Christian Engelhardt, which knocked his tracking out, Barker ended the opening lap in twelfth spot and a good run through Eau Rouge second time around allowed the Briton to get a run on Engelhardt and Richie Stanaway into Les Combes. Locking up under braking, the #10 car overshot the corner, but the error probably saved Barker from becoming a casualty as Jean-Karl Vernay – his assailant from round five at the Hungaroring – also misjudged the corner and would have collected the CARS-backed machine!

Having gained two places despite his run through the infield, Barker was able to settle into a rhythm that allowed him to chase down Bleekemolen team-mate Jeroen Mul, gradually eating into the Dutchman’s advantage until he was able to pull alongside through the double right-hander at Stavelot. With Mul not willing to give up his position easily, the pair ran mirror-to-mirror through the long Blanchimont left-hander before Barker eventually prevailed around the outside.

Despite posting the fifth fastest lap of the race and routinely bettering the times of those around ahead of him as he got to grips with the track over the final four laps, his next targets, the Attempto cars of series veterans Kevin Estre and Nicki Thiim, were some way up the road, and Barker looked like having to settle for tenth spot. However, his efforts were rewarded on the final lap when long-time leader Kuba Giermaziak appeared to run out of fuel, with the Briton catching his ailing rival at Blanchimont to move up to ninth spot.

“It was an exciting race – which is not something you can often say about Porsche races at Spa,” Barker admitted afterwards, “The first couple of laps were a bit manic, with positions changing all the time, but things settled down after that and I was able to get a good run on Engelhardt and Stanaway – although I was lucky to escape being collected by Vernay in the process!

“The move on Mul was fun too, with neither of us wanting to cede through two of the toughest corners on the track. Obviously, as team-mates, we didn’t want to do anything silly, but it was good racing. Estre and Thiim were just out of reach at the end, but Giermaziak’s problem gave us an unexpected bonus, which I was happy to accept.”

Barker’s result confirms his ninth position in the overall standings and third in the rookie series as the championship heads to Monza for its final European round in support of the Italian Grand Prix over the weekend of 6-8 September.