Michael Ammermüller wins season-opener in Barcelona

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Round 1, Formula 1 race in Barcelona/Spain

A successful start to the season for Michael Ammermüller (BWT Lechner Racing) in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: After posting pole position as the fastest in qualifying on Saturday, the German won Sunday’s race witnessed by packed grandstands at the Circuit de Catalunya. At the opening round of the international one-make cup in Barcelona, Ammermüller relegated the Dutchman Jaap van Lagen (Fach Auto Tech) and Dylan Pereira (L/Momo Megatron Lechner Racing) to the other grid spots in his 485 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. “I’m so happy with this successful weekend. It was important to maintain the right tyre temperature in the two safety car phases, and I managed that very well,” said Ammermüller.

Despite the light morning rain, the track surface was dry by the start of the race at midday. In 14 degrees Celsius and sunshine, the 30-strong field of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers lined up on the grid shod with slicks. Pole-sitter Ammermüller led the field off the line and managed to pull clear of the pack, however, in a gripping race, the field closed up when the safety car was deployed in the second and seventh lap. Nevertheless, the 32-year-old kept his cool and crossed the finish line first after 14 laps with a 3.4-second advantage over van Lagen. “The deciding factor was that I gained two places at the start and moved into second. Michael Ammermüller drove a flawless race. I’m thrilled with my podium result,” said van Lagen.

Start, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Michael Ammermüller (D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Jaap van Lagen (NL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Julien Andlauer (F), Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Barcelona 2018
Start, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Michael Ammermüller (D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Jaap van Lagen (NL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Julien Andlauer (F), Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Barcelona 2018

Right to the finish, van Lagen and Pereira delivered a thrilling duel for second place. The Luxembourger took the flag in third just a tenth of a second behind van Lagen on the 4.655-kilometre racetrack. “The spectators were treated to a great race. Thanks to the safety car I managed to close in on Jaap van Lagen, but he defended his position cleverly,” said Pereira. Fourth place went to Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (F/martinet by ALMERAS). The defending champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup France contests his maiden season in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. “Unfortunately I couldn’t hold on to my second place at the start. Afterwards I wanted to overtake but I also had to keep an eye in the rear-view mirror because the field was very tight. That was tough, so I’m pleased with fourth,” said the 18-year-old Frenchman. Fifth place was occupied by the top rookie Larry ten Voorde (NL/Team Project 1) ahead of Nick Yelloly (GB/Fach Auto Tech).

Porsche Junior Thomas Preining (A/BWT Lechner Racing) concluded the race in the north of Barcelona without points. The 19-year-old took up the race from the twelfth grid spot but had to park his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the pits after ten laps. “I managed to gain several positions in the first laps, but while attempting to overtake I touched another car and was handed a drive-through penalty. With the time I lost, it wouldn’t have made much sense to rejoin the race for the four remaining laps,” stated Preining. Roar Lindland (Lechner Racing Middle East) was the best driver in the ProAm classification. The Norwegian reached the finish line ahead of Nicolas Misslin (F/Pierre martinet by ALMERAS) and Christof Langer (D/Fach Auto Tech).

Round two of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup will be contested in Monaco from 24 to 27 May. The twisty 3.337-kilometre city circuit through the streets of Monte Carlo is considered particularly demanding. The paddock is also in an unusual location: All the vehicles stand under the big-top of the permanent circus tent Chapiteau de Fontvieille. The Circuit de Monaco has hosted the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup every year since its 1993 debut season. 

Results of the 1st race of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup in Barcelona on next page