The fight for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup title goes down to the wire and will only be decided at the final race of the season.
At the ninth of ten rounds, Nicki Thiim (DK/Walter Lechner Racing Team) clinched victory on the Circuit of the Americas in Austin/USA. Michael Ammermüller (D/Walter Lechner Racing Team) and Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (A/Konrad Motorsport) finished in second and third respectively. Title favourite Earl Bamber (NZ/Fach Auto Tech) came fourth, with his hottest rival Kuba Giermaziak (PL/VERVA Lechner Racing Team) on position eleven. This puts Bamber 14 points ahead of Giermaziak in the overall classification. The winner of round ten on Sunday earns 20 points.
The race on the 5.513 kilometre circuit, which only opened last year, turned out to be somewhat turbulent, with collisions, yellow flags and many overtaking manoeuvres. Thiim got off the line badly which opened the door for Giermaziak to overtake him. The Dane, however, quickly recovered and retook the lead which he refused to relinquish to the flag. Behind him Ammermüller squeezed past Giermaziak in lap five. Bachler then overtook the Pole in lap eleven. This put Giermaziak on fourth just in front of his title rival Bamber on fifth.
While the two went head-to-head in the last lap, their vehicles swapped paint, Giermaziak spun and fell back to eleventh. Porsche Cup Scholarship driver Bamber swept over the finish line in fourth. “That was such a fantastic fight between Kuba and me, but unfortunately we touched. I’m now looking ahead to the final race where I start from pole and obviously my goal is to win the title,” explained Bamber. The New Zealander leads the overall standings with 137 points, with Giermaziak on second holding 123 points. The Pole takes up Sunday’s race from fifth on the grid.
For last year’s Supercup champion, Thiim, this marks his second win of the season since Hockenheim. “I’m absolutely thrilled with my victory on this challenging circuit. And it’s a great result for the team, as well,” said Thiim. His Lechner team mate Ammermüller was also pleased. “I got away cleanly at the start and matched Nicki’s pace to the flag. On Sunday I’m starting from second so perhaps I’ll manage to bring home a victory.”
Bachler seemed very happy with his podium result in third. The Porsche junior took up the race from the sixth grid spot at the wheel of his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. “I’m really proud of this result because it wasn’t easy to overtake the strong drivers in front of me. This is my third podium result in a row.” Porsche junior Sven Müller (D/Team Project 1) saw the flag in eighth: “I started from tenth and made up two positions during the race. I simply couldn’t do better than that today.” Bachler ranks third in the overall standings with 100 points, followed by Ammermüller on fourth with 94 points and Müller directly behind on fifth with 89 points.
Eurosport covers the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race in Austin live on Sunday from 18.15 hours. Sky Deutschland broadcasts the race from 18.25 hours.
Race 9 Austin/USA
1. Nicki Thiim (DK/Walter Lechner Racing Team)
2. Michael Ammermüller (D/Walter Lechner Racing Team)
3. Klaus Bachler (A/Konrad Motorsport)
4. Earl Bamber (NZ/Fach Auto Tech)
5. Philipp Eng (A/Team Project 1)
Points standings after 9 of 10 races
1. Earl Bamber (NZ/Fach Auto Tech), 137 points
2. Kuba Giermaziak (PL/VERVA Lechner Racing Team), 123 points
3. Klaus Bachler (A/Konrad Motorsport), 100 points
4. Michael Ammermüller (D/Walter Lechner Racing Team), 94 points
5. Sven Müller (D/Team Project 1), 89 points