Pole position, fastest race lap, victory and points lead – round two of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup couldn’t have gone better for Austria’s Norbert Siedler of VELTINS Lechner Racing. In a repeat of his lightning start at the season-opener the previous day, he led the field to the first corner in his 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which is based on the lightweight road-legal 911 GT3 RS sports car, and edged away from the field lap for lap. Siedler shared the podium with Christian Engelhart (Konrad Motorsport) and the winner of Saturday’s race, René Rast (Lechner Racing).
Christian Engelhart also made a virtually perfect start from position three on the grid and managed to outpace René Rast. Early on in the race, Engelhart could shadow Siedler, but the Austrian then pulled away further. Only in the final phase of the race could Engelhart catch the leader, but he wasn’t close enough to launch a serious attack over the remainder of the race. Rast lost contact to the two frontrunners early on but he didn’t come under any threat from his pursuers. With his win, Siedler moves into the lead of the points in the world’s fastest international one-make cup.
Over the entire ten-lap race distance, spectators were treated to gripping fights for positions amongst the rest of the field. Right at the start, Kévin Estre (Hermes Attempto Racing) overtook Kuba Giermaziak (VERVA Racing Team). Estre’s teammate, Nicki Thiim, also duelled with Giermaziak for quite some time, but finally had to give in and settle sixth place. With this, Thiim was the best newcomer which put him at the top of the rookie classification. Also giving an impressive performance was former DTM pilot Renger van der Zande (Konrad Motorsport) who took up the race from the tenth grid spot and moved up through the field to finish seventh. Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (Team Bleekemolen), as well as Patryk Szczerbinski (VERVA Racing Team) as the youngest driver in the field at 18, and Stefan Rosina (FÖRCH Racing) finished in position eight to ten respectively.
Fifth in qualifying, Sean Edwards (Konrad Motorsport), was forced into the pits when his right rear tyre valve tore off after contact with another competitor and he fell back to 14th place. Ex-Formula 1 test driver Michael Ammermüller (VELTINS Lechner Racing) as well as Robert Lukas (Hermes Attempto Racing) touched in lap four. Lukas was able to continue albeit with the stewards of the race handing him a 30-second time penalty. Ammermüller, however, had to let his mechanics fix his loose rear apron which threw him back into 15th position.
Norbert Siedler (winner): “That was great! My start was much better than yesterday’s. I managed to control the race over the first seven laps, but in the last three my tyres were deteriorating badly. We need to improve this for the next race in Barcelona.”
Christian Engelhart (second): “I drove on new tyres today, yesterday’s were used and that makes a huge different on this circuit. My start was great and I was able to get around René Rast on the outside. I could catch up to Norbert towards the end but I wasn’t able to really go for him anymore. To do this, the race would have had to be a little longer. I’m very satisfied with the weekend in Bahrain. I’m now sitting in a good position for the championship.”
René Rast (third): “I think that was the most we could get out of today with used tyres. I couldn’t do anything with the leaders and I had no pressure from behind, so it was a somewhat quiet race for me.”
1. Norbert Siedler (A), VELTINS Lechner Racing, 20:55.702 minutes
2. Christian Engelhart (D), Konrad Motorsport, +0.654 seconds
3. René Rast (D), Lechner Racing, +8.086
4. Kévin Estre (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, +10.693
5. Kuba Giermaziak (PL), VERVA Racing, +10.880
6. Nicki Thiim (DK), Hermes Attempto Racing, +14.527
7. Renger van der Zande (NL), Konrad Motorsport, +17.654
8. Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (NL), Team Bleekemolen, +18.124
9. Patryk Szczerbinski (PL), VERVA Racing, +26.315
10. Stefan Rosina (SK), FÖRCH Racing, +30.063
Points’ standings after 2 of 10 races
1. Norbert Siedler (A), VELTINS Lechner Racing, 40 points
2. René Rast (D), Lechner Racing, 36
3. Christian Engelhart (D), Konrad Motorsport, 30
4. Sean Edwards (GB), Konrad Motorsport, 21
5. Kévin Estre (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, 21
1. VELTINS Lechner Racing, 53 points
2. Konrad Motorsport, 52
3. Lechner Racing, 45
1. Nicki Thiim (DK), Hermes Attempto Racing, 19 points
2. Michael Ammermüller (D), VELTINS Lechner Racing, 16
3. Renger van der Zande (NL), Konrad Motorsport, 14