Maiden victory in Germany for New Zealander Earl Bamber

Earl Bamber (Team 75 Bernhard) could hardly have wished for a better start to the season. The 23-year-old New Zealander won round two of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland on the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg on Sunday. “This is a really great victory and it means a lot to me,” said Bamber, the champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and winner of the International Cup Scholarship. Behind Bamber in second and third respectively came Porsche junior Connor de Phillippi (USA/Förch Racing by Lukas Motorsport) and the winner of yesterday’s race Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1).

In an eventful race packed with overtaking manoeuvres, the lead position changed four times. Pole-sitter de Phillippi was passed in the first lap by Nicki Thiim (DK/QPOD Walter Lechner Racing) and Christian Engelhart (D/Konrad Motorsport). However, Thiim’s joy over his lead was short-lived: in lap four he and Engelhart collided. Thiim fell to the back of the field while Engelhart took up the charge again from 18th after being handed a drive-through penalty. De Philippi was running at the front of the pack when Bamber overtook him in lap 14. The New Zealander held onto the lead position in his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) to the flag.

After the second of 18 races, Bamber and Eng tie for first place, both holding 36 points. Thirty points puts de Phillippi in third place.

The Porsche juniors can be justifiably pleased with their season-opening performance. “In the end it proved impossible to hold Earl back, but still I’m pleased with my pole position, fifth place on Saturday and second on Sunday,” explained de Phillippi. At his debut, Sven Müller (D/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1), who has swapped a single-seater cockpit for a GT seat this season, scored fifth place at race two. “Thanks to a little bit of luck I moved up the order at race two. But my trip through the gravel wasn’t so great. Overall, the weekend was really good for me,” Müller said. Spain’s Alex Riberas (Attempto Racing powered by Häring) saw the chequered flag in seventh: “The second race ran much better than the first, even though the results were the same. I’m now focussing totally on Oschersleben.”

The second race weekend of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland takes place from 16 to 18 May on the Oschersleben race circuit. The 3.696 kilometre circuit near Magdeburg in East Germany is narrow which makes overtaking difficult, and this will be particularly challenging for the 37-strong field. “The trick in Oschersleben is to make the kerbs part of the ideal line,” states Sascha Maassen, the Porsche juniors’ coach.

Result race 2

1. Earl Bamber (NZ/Team 75 Bernhard)
2. Connor de Phillippi (USA/Förch Racing by Lukas Motorsport)
3. Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1)
4. Robert Lukas (PL/Förch Racing by Lukas Motorsport)
5. Sven Müller (D/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1)
6. Robert Renauer (D/Team GT3 Kasko)7. Alex Riberas (E/Attempto Racing powered by Häring)
8. Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport)
9. Fabien Thuner (CH/Mc Gregor powered by Attempto Racing)
10. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Walter Lechner Racing Academy ME)

Points’ standings after 2 of 18 races:
Driver classification

1. Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1), 36 points
2. Earl Bamber (NZ/Team 75 Bernhard), 36
3. Connor de Phillippi (USA/Förch Racing by Lukas Motorsport), 30
4. Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport), 22
5. Sven Müller (D/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1), 19

Amateur classification

1. Rolf Ineichen (CH/Konrad Motorsport), 40
2. Daniel Allemann (CH/Team GT3 Kasko), 36
3. “Bill Barazetti” (D/TAM Racing), 28