Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, round 8 at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Preview: Championship enters crucial p

After seven of eleven championship rounds, the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup enters the crunch phase of the championship. Richard Westbrook (Great Britain) travels to the eighth round of the season on the Hungaroring (Hungary) as the reigning champion and current points leader. However, close on the 32-year-old’s bumper are a number of determined rivals with good title chances who are certain to provide breathtaking action in the world’s fastest international one-make series.

Damien Faulkner (Ireland), who currently ranks second overall in the series, knows Westbrook from the Carrera Cup Great Britain. After his switch to the Supercup, the 30-year-old promptly won the season-opening round in Bahrain. In the championship standings Faulkner is separated by just twelve points from the leading Westbrook (105 points). Also with his eye on the title is Uwe Alzen (Germany). The 39-year-old Porsche specialist and 1994 Supercup champion has already claimed two victories so far this season (round 2 in Bahrain and Magny-Cours). Holding a total of 91 points Alzen sits just two points behind Faulkner.

A head-to-head race also rages in the following ranks: Fourth is occupied by record champion Patrick Huisman (Netherlands) who has so far pocketed second position three times. Trailing the Dutchman is Nicolas Armindo from France. The performance of the 25-year-old Supercup new-comer has taken an upward swing since his home race in Magny-Cours where he finished second. In Silverstone (Great Britain) he secured pole position and went on to celebrate victory. Sharing the same points tally as Armindo is the Supercup champion of 2005, Alessandro Zampedri (Italy).

Presently ranking seventh and eighth respectively are Christian Menzel (Germany, 68 points) and David Saelens (Belgium, 67 points). At the four remaining rounds the two still have theoretical chances for a title win. The 36-year-old Menzel’s performance in particular is improving. Recently he secured second place at his home race on the Nürburgring.

On the 4.4 kilometre Grand Prix circuit at the gates of Budapest the grid position is decisive. With its many semi-fast corners the circuit allows very few outbraking manoeuvres and hence overtaking is virtually impossible. Moreover, dust either side of the ideal line makes veering off course a risky undertaking.

With an invitation from Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, Norbert Kiss (Hungary) takes up the challenge on the Hungaroring. The 22-year-old pilots the black VIP-911 with the starting number 88. Kiss currently ranks second in the Hungarian Seat Leon Supercopa.

Drivers standings after seven rounds:
1. Richard Westbrook (Great Britain), 105 points
2. Damien Faulkner (Ireland), 93 points
3. Uwe Alzen (Germany), 91 points
4. Patrick Huisman (Netherlands), 79 points
5. Nicolas Armindo (France), 72 points
6. Alessandro Zampedri (Italy), 72 points
7. Christian Menzel (Germany), 68 points
8. David Saelens (Belgium), 67 points
9. Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (Netherlands), 39 points
10. Richard Williams (Great Britain), 37 points