Round eight of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland was not for the faint-hearted.
After 35 laps, Michael Ammermueller (Walter Lechner Racing Team) from Bavaria swept over the finish line in first ahead of Earl Bamber (NZ/Team 75 Bernhard) and Porsche junior Sven Mueller (D/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1), but changes at the head of the pack, collisions and spectacular overtaking manoeuvres provided plenty of spills and thrills on Nuremberg’s wet Norisring race track. “That was a really chaotic race under difficult weather conditions,” stated Ammermueller after the trophy presentation. “Considering everything, the fight amongst the front-runners was very disciplined and fair. It was a great advertisement for motor racing. I’m thrilled with my two wins here at the Norisring and can now finally catch up in the overall standings,” he continued.
After rain on Sunday morning, the 36 pilots contesting the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland took off on a wet circuit that dried up slowly over the course of the race. Porsche junior Mueller made a clean start from pole position on the damp track, but slid in lap six on a slippery road marking with his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and fell back to second and eventually even third. Christian Engelhart (D) grabbed the chance and the Konrad Motorsport pilot inherited the lead. After 23 laps, the field at the top closed up tight, with Engelhart leading Ammermueller, Mueller and Bamber. In lap 25 there was yet another change at the front with Ammermueller and Mueller squeezing past Engelhart. “In the end my car was simply not running very well. I just had to stand and watch myself fall back to fifth,” said a disappointed Engelhart.
Earl Bamber’s pursuit through the field was a head-turner. The Porsche Scholarship driver battled through the order from position seven to second place. “I got away well at the start and it’s a great feeling to be back on the podium. A fantastic day for me,” said the 23-year-old New Zealander. Porsche junior Mueller finally had to settle for third place. “It was my first wet race in the Porsche. Two podium results in one weekend is a good harvest. I’m curious to see what the future brings,” said Mueller with a cheeky smile. Porsche junior Alex Riberas (E/Attempto Racing powered by Häring) could smile again as well after scoring a sobering 16th from the previous day’s race on Saturday. “I came from twelfth to finish in seventh. We had plenty of great infights. Unfortunately I just couldn’t find a way past Christopher Zöchling,” said Riberas.
With six different winners from eight races the championship standings have been completely reshuffled. The most consistent performer is Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport), who now heads home from the Norisring as the new series leader with 92 points. Behind him in second sits Bamber with 90 points. Porsche junior Connor de Phillippi (Förch Racing by Lukas Motorsport) was shunted from his position at the top of the rankings prior to the Norisring: “The accident on Saturday and 16th on Sunday are frustrating. I now rank third in the championship but I’m just three points behind Zöchling. I regard this as a motivation for the next races.”
The teams and drivers of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland now head into a five-week summer break before heading to the second round of the season away from German soil. From 1 to 3 August, the highly competitive brand trophy series competes on the Red Bull Ring in Austria. For five of the Porsche Carrera Cup drivers, the next championship weekend will be a home race. Austrians Philipp Eng (Deutsche Post by Project 1), Norbert Siedler (ZaWotec Racing), Christopher Zöchling (Konrad Motorsport) and Clemens Schmid (Walter Lechner Racing Academy ME) and particularly Felix Wimmer (Team 75 Bernhard) are looking forward to the double-header event in Styria. Wimmer, a 24-year-old from Vienna, contests his first race in the Porsche Carrera Cup in front of home crowds. Of all the teams, ZaWotec Racing has the role of local hero. The squad under team boss Mario Wolf hails from Fürstenfeld in Styria.
Result race 8:
1. Michael Ammermüller (D/Walter Lechner Racing Team)
2. Earl Bamber (NZ/Team 75 Bernhard)
3. Sven Müller (D/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1)
4. Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1)
5. Christian Engelhart (A/Konrad Motorsport)
Points standings after 8 of 18 races:
1. Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport), 92 points
2. Earl Bamber (NZ/Team 75 Bernhard), 90
3. Connor de Phillippi (USA/Förch Racing by Lukas Motorsport), 89
4. Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1), 88
5. Christian Engelhart (D/Konrad Motorsport), 83
1. Rolf Ineichen (CH/Konrad Motorsport), 132 points
2. Ralf Bohn (A/Team GT3 Kasko), 128
3. Wolf Nathan (NL/Land-Motorsport), 114