Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, round eight in Barcelona, preview: Experience the key to success –

Seven races are over – seven episodes of gripping motorsport with up to 40 competitors in their 400 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers. Four different drivers have claimed victory so far this season. This coming weekend on the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona, the eighth and penultimate round of 2007 takes place. Two Porsche motorsport stalwarts are locked in a battle for the title, with several youngsters still holding small title chances.

At the top sits 40-year-old Uwe Alzen with 99 points. The reigning vice-champion has climbed the podium five times, with three second and two third placings in 2007. The professional racer’s list of achievements is long: Champion of the Carrera Cup in 1992, overall victory in the Porsche Supercup 1994, champion of the ADAC GT Cup with Porsche in 1995, Le Mans class win in a 911 GT3 R in 1999, DTM vice-champion 2001, vice-champion in the Carrera Cup and Supercup 2006.

His rival in the fight for the title is Richard Westbrook. The professional from London won four times in 2007. Seven points separate him from Alzen, a win in the Carrera Cup Deutschland is rewarded with 20 points. Westbrook is a specialist at the wheel of the 911 GT3 Cup, which runs in all Porsche makes championships. Last weekend he claimed the championship title of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup for the second time in a row. The 32-year-old secured overall victory in the Carrera Cup Great Britain in 2004. In 2003 and 2005 he was crowned vice-champion of the national series.

Three young race drivers lurk behind the main players ready to grab their chance. Chris Mamerow (22) from Germany had led the points table until his retirement three weeks ago on the Nürburgring. Mamerow travels to Spain ranking third overall with a gap to Alzen of 18 points. Nicolas Armindo is still within striking distance thanks to his win on the EuroSpeedway. With a total of 74 points the 25-year-old Frenchman occupies fourth in the championship ahead of Joerg Hardt (26, Germany) and Jan Seyffarth (21, Germany), who with 72 and 68 points respectively sit fifth and sixth heading into the final phase of the championship.

Alzen, Westbrook and also Nicolas Armindo have an advantage of experience over the rest of the field that might be useful in the weekend-opening qualifying. From their Supercup race here in May they are familiar with the new and considerably slower layout of the “New Holland” corner leading onto the finish straight.

The eighth championship round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland runs on the 2.9 kilometre short version of the Grand Prix circuit. The race is scheduled over 28 laps with a distance of 83 kilometres or a maximum duration of 35 minutes.