Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland: 5th round on the Norisring, preview:

Leading up to the fifth of nine Carrera Cup Deutschland races this year the top three have pulled away from the rest of the field. The pursuers now must close the gap to the fast trio at the Norisring if they want to keep within striking distance in the second half of the season.

Germany’s Uwe Alzen (39) heads the championship with a very narrow margin of six points followed by Britain’s Richard Westbrook (31) in second. Alzen was champion of the national Carrera Cup series in 1992 before going on to secure the title of the international Porsche Supercup two years later. Westbrook secured the 2004 Carrera Cup Great Britain championship and travels to Nuremberg as the reigning champion of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup. The German has experience on his side: He knows the Norisring, claimed pole position here in 2006 (52.770 seconds) and also turned the fastest lap (53.117 seconds). The Briton, however, is in top form – underlined by his three Carrera Cup victories so far this season.

Nicolas Armindo competes as the best of the youngsters. The 25-year-old from Colmar in Alsace finished third at the second race this year, won round three and took fifth from the other two races. Sharing the same points with Westbrook, Armindo currently ranks third in the championship.

Chris Mamerow trails the front-runners in fourth. Fifteen points separate the German race driver from Armindo (win: 20 points). Mamerow took off into the season with a third place at the season-opener on the Hockenheimring and has taken points from all rounds. Jan Seyffarth netted fourth at Oschersleben and narrowly missed out on a podium result at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. His third year in the Carrera Cup Deutschland is turning out to be his best. Just one point separates Seyffarth in fifth from Chris Mamerow. The 20-year-old German has one thing in common with his 22-year-old compatriot: Both start in teams run by their fathers.

Twenty-six-year-old Joerg Hardt can look back on four seasons contesting the Carrera Cup Deutschland series. So far this year, two second places have been offset by two retirements. Hardt is the only driver in the top pack who has won on the Norisring in recent years. He took victory here in 2005. Eight points separate Hardt in sixth from Seyffarth.

With 39 competitors the Carrera Cup is the sprint race series with the largest number of entries in Germany. With the packed field of 400 hp, 280 kph 911 sports cars the gripping action already begins in qualifying: in the first quarter-hour the hunt for times is on for all. At the end of the first 15 minutes positions 16 to 39 are determined. In the final ten minutes the 15 fastest go out to claim pole position for the 35-lap race on Sunday.