Norbert Siedler leads the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup standings after winning the second race of the season-opening double-header in Bahrain.
Siedler began the race from pole just like he had in Saturday's opener, but this time the Austrian Veltins Lechner Racing driver retained his lead.
Christian Engelhart made a good start for Konrad Motorsport to move past Race 1 winner and double champion Rene Rast into second place. He gave chase to Siedler early on before dropping back, only to start reeling him in again towards the end. Siedler held on though, with six tenths separating first and second at the checkered flag.
“That was great,” declared Siedler afterwards. “My start was much better than yesterday's. I managed to control the race over the first seven laps, but in the last three my tyres were deteriorating badly. We need to improve this for the next race in Barcelona.”
Engelhart, who scored his best result since victory in last year's first race at Istanbul, said: “I drove on new tyres today, yesterday's were used and that makes a huge different on this circuit. My start was great and I was able to get around Rene Rast on the outside.
“I could catch up to Norbert towards the end but I wasn't able to really go for him anymore. To do this, the race would have had to be a little longer. I'm very satisfied with the weekend in Bahrain. I'm now sitting in a good position for the championship.”
Rast crossed the line some eight seconds behind Siedler, and although the two scored identical race results in the two races, Siedler leads the standings by four points courtesy of the bonus points he picked up for a double pole position.
“I think that was the most we could get out of today with used tyres,” said Rast. “I couldn't do anything with the leaders and I had no pressure from behind, so it was a somewhat quiet race for me.”
Kevin Estre led those behind in fourth, just ahead of Kuba Giermaziak. Nikki Thiim was sixth ahead of Dutch duo Renger van der Zande and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen. 18-year-old debutant Patryk Szczerbinski was ninth, with Stefan Rosina tenth.
After finishing second on Saturday, Sean Edwards was forced into the pits after contact, leaving him 14th and the last man on the lead lap. One place behind him and a lap down was Supercup rookie Michael Ammermuller, who also had to come into the pits after contact with Robert Lukas on lap four, that the Pole was given a 30 second penalty for.