Matteo Cairoli (FACH Auto Tech) was the dominant victor of the opening round of the 2016 Porsche Mobil1 Supercup. Cairoli led from lights to flag, trailed race long by championship favourite Sven Müller (Lechner MSG Racing Team) at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Müller made up for a second row start by leaping off the line and besting Mathieu Jaminet (Martinet by Almeras) to turn one. The top three then separated and remained equally spaced race long, albeit with a lack of the drama that punctuated this event twelve months ago.
Christian Engelhart (MRS GT-Racing) found himself fourth and then off the road, after a three way scrap with Jeffrey Schmidt (Lechner Racing Middle East) and Ben Barker (MOMO-Megatron Team PARTRAX) ended in messy fashion. Barker would hold on to fourth and Schmidt fell to sixth, headed by Michel Ammermüller in another Lechner entry. Ammermüller was recovering from a poor start, where he lost multiple places after running wide at turn one.
The second MOMO entry of Paul Rees was taken to an impressive tenth position, and fellow Brit Ryan Cullen was thirteenth in his Lechner Racing Middle East car. Victor Jimenez (MRS Cup Racing) endured a difficult race, penalty for an overtake under yellow flags included, and was the last classified finisher.
Cairoli’s race winning performance was all the more impressive, as he had to overcome a safety-car intervention at just past half distance, required to support the recovery of both Engelhart’s Porsche, and that of Santiago Creel (FÖRCH Racing) involved in a separate incident. He will now need to maintain this early momentum and carry his success forward, as the series heads for Monaco.