On the Sachsenring, Dane Nicki Thiim scored his second victory of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland season.
At the wheel of his Walter Lechner Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the 25 year old won Saturday’s race ahead of his teammate Michael Ammermüller. At the 15th of 18 races, Christian Engelhart (D/Konrad Motorsport) saw the flag as third. “I’m absolutely thrilled with my win. This circuit is all about pure racing. I’m now going to try to do the best I can for the team and to concentrate on the team classification. Unfortunately the title is out of reach for me now,” said Thiim.
On the 3.645 kilometre circuit, the Porsche pilots drove Saturday morning’s qualifying session in dry conditions. Ammermüller posted pole position. Rain in the afternoon had made the track damp when the 36 pilots headed out on to the grid. The Formula 1 test pilot made a clean start from pole to settle in at the front of the field. Behind him Thiim lay within striking distance and in lap eight was primed to make his move. In the last corner before the finish straight, Thiim swept past the German to take the lead and held on to it to the flag. “I got away well at the start,” explained Ammermüller. “Later I couldn’t hold Nicki off any longer, and we are also working together towards the team title. The 18 championship points were more important to me.”
Behind the pair another team battle was played out between Engelhart and Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport) which caused beads of sweat to appear on the forehead of team boss Franz Konrad. Zöchling put huge pressure on Engelhart who was on course for a podium spot. The duel was hair-raising: Engelhart currently ranks second in the championship and the damp track conditions were not without risk for both pilots. Engelhart, however, managed to keep his teammate at bay: “Now that was some fight. Luckily nothing happened and we brought our points safely home.” The race result is reflected in the overall classification: With three races left on the calendar, Ammermüller sits in the lead with 182 points ahead of the Engelhart with 168 points.
Robert Renauer (D/Team GT3 Kasko) concluded his race in fifth, with Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) occupying sixth place. As the best Porsche junior, Sven Müller (D/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) took the flag in seventh. “The conditions made this circuit very difficult to drive on. I almost went off. The result is okay,” concluded Müller. Porsche junior Alex Riberas (E/Attempto Racing by Häring) ploughed from ninth on the grid to fifth, however the Spaniard was handed a drive-through penalty for a jump start which relegated him down the order to 25th. “With a lot of effort I worked my way up the field from 25th to 15th. My car ran beautifully but of course I’m frustrated with the result,” said Riberas. Porsche junior Connor de Phillippi (USA/Förch Racing by Lukas Motorsport) put in the most impressive pursuit of the entire race, coming from 35th on the grid to cross the finish line in 18th. “My race was full of overtaking manoeuvres because I waited in the wet conditions for my opponents to make a mistake. I hope it rains for Sunday’s race, because then I can fight my way up the field from 24th place.”
Race 16 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland on the Sachsenring starts on Sunday at 10.40 hours.
Result race 15:
1. Nicki Thiim (DK/Walter Lechner Racing Team)
2. Michael Ammermüller (D/Walter Lechner Racing Team)
3. Christian Engelhart (D/Konrad Motorsport)
4. Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport)
5. Robert Renauer (D/Team GT3 Kasko)
6. Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1)
7. Sven Müller (D/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1)
8. Clemens Schmid (A/Lechner Racing Academy ME)
9. Robert Lukas (PL/Förch Racing by Lukas Motorsport)
10. Jaap van Lagen (NL/ZaWotec Racing)
Points standings after 15 of 18 races:
1. Michael Ammermüller (D/Walter Lechner Racing Team), 182 points
2. Christian Engelhart (D/Konrad Motorsport), 168 points
3. Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1), 158 points
4. Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport), 143.5 points
5. Sven Müller (D/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1), 143 points
1. Rolf Ineichen (CH/Konrad Motorsport), 244 points
2. Wolf Nathan (NL/Land-Motorsport), 206 points
3. Ralf Bohn (D/Team GT3 Kasko), 205 points
1. Sven Müller (D/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1), 143 points
2. Lukas Schreier (D/ZaWotec Racing), 32 points
3. Mike Halder (D/SMS Seyffarth-Motorsport), 18 points
1. Walter Lechner Racing Team, 321 points
2. Konrad Motorsport, 311.5 points
3. Team Deutsche Post by Project 1, 301 points
*All results and classifications are preliminary