The Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland promises suspense to the very last flag, with the title only being decided at the last race of the season.
At the wheel of his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Christian Engelhart (D/Konrad Motorsport) beat Nicki Thiim (DK/Walter Lechner Racing Team) and Porsche junior Sven Müller (D/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) during the penultimate race. Heading to the final race on today at Hockenheim, Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) ranks first with 217 points ahead of Michael Ammermüller (D/Walter Lechner Racing Team, 211 points). Despite claiming victory yesterday, Engelhart is out of contention for the championship title. With 196 points to his credit, he sits third in the overall standings. “I drove a good race yet it wasn’t enough in the end. We didn’t lose the championship here, we simply weren’t consistent enough over the course of the season. Still, I can look back on a great year,” stated Engelhart.
The three aspirants for the title tackled qualifying full of optimism on Saturday, but only one could claim pole position – and that was Engelhart. Ammermüller had to settle for the fifth grid spot with Eng on eighth. When the lights went off Engelhart got away cleanly. Thiim also got off the line well immediately overtaking Müller. When a collision in lap three saw the safety car and the salvage truck deployed, the field tightened up, with Engelhart, Thiim, Müller, Ammermüller and Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Lechner Racing Academy ME) forming the spearhead. When the race was given the green-flag in lap seven, Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (A/Team 75 Bernhard) immediately made his move from position six, with the trailing Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport) and Eng profiting. Another collision among the backmarkers in lap eleven resulted in coolant leaking onto the track. At this point the race was red-flagged for safety reasons after eleven of the scheduled 14 laps.
Porsche junior Müller was delighted with his third place: “A podium result is always a great success. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get away well after the start and the restart, but as a rookie I did manage to take a trophy home five times this season. And that’s a pretty good yield.” Porsche junior Bachler crossed the finish line in fifth. Because of a clash of commitments this year, this was only Bachler’s third outing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, and he was pleased with his effort. “The level of competition in this series is unbelievable tough so fifth is not bad. I’m curious to see if I can make up some places in Sunday’s race from sixth on the grid,” the Austrian said.
Despite being hampered by a technical problem in qualifying, Porsche junior Alex Riberas (E/Attempto Racing by Häring) put in a spirited chase through the field from 36th to 18th. “In the first three laps I overtook 16 cars, then the safety car came out. Afterwards I had some really good fights and almost finished the race in the points.” Lady luck was not smiling on Porsche junior Connor de Phillippi (USA/Förch Racing by Lukas Motorsport) on the storied 4.574 kilometre race track. He spun in the first lap and was thrown from position six to the very back of the field. “Let’s just forget about today. I finished 22nd. I’m starting from ninth for Sunday’s race, so hopefully I can wind up the season with a decent result.”
Fans of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland can look forward to an exciting race today at Hockenheim. After Eng won his appeal and had his points reinstated from the Spielberg round, the Austrian-born Stuttgart resident is back in the running for the title. Whether the new champion is called Eng or Ammermüller can be seen from 10am via live streaming on www.porsche.de/carreracup.
Result race 17:
1. Christian Engelhart (D/Konrad Motorsport)
2. Nicki Thiim (DK/Walter Lechner Racing Team)
3. Sven Müller (D/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1)
4. Michael Ammermüller (D/Walter Lechner Racing Team)
5. Klaus Bachler (A/Team 75 Bernhard)
6. Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport)
7. Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1)
8. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Lechner Racing Academy ME)
9. Lukas Schreier (D/ZaWotec Racing)
10. Norbert Siedler (A/ZaWotec Racing)
Points standings after 17 of 18 races:
1. Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1), 217 points
2. Michael Ammermüller (D/Walter Lechner Racing Team), 211 points
3. Christian Engelhart (D/Konrad Motorsport), 196 points
4. Sven Müller (D/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1), 172 points
5. Nicki Thiim (DK/Walter Lechner Racing Team), 163 points
1. Rolf Ineichen (CH/Konrad Motorsport), 284 points
2. Wolf Nathan (NL/Land-Motorsport), 232 points
3. Ralf Bohn (D/Team GT3 Kasko), 231 points
1. Sven Müller (D/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1), 172 points
2. Lukas Schreier (D/ZaWotec Racing), 40 points
3. Mike Halder (D/SMS Seyffarth-Motorsport), 19 points
1. Team Deutsche Post by Project 1, 392 points
2. Walter Lechner Racing Team, 385 points
3. Konrad Motorsport, 355.5 points