Early Sunday Morning, five red lights will illuminate on the gantry and after a short pause extinguish at the Circuit de Catalunya. This will signal the start of the world’s greatest single make GT series, it will signal the start of the 2014 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. As the 26 stunning Type 991 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars power down to the first corner in Barcelona, one of the most intriguing seasons in Supercup history will begin to unravel.
As the championship tours the globe alongside the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, it will visit 8 other spectacular venues; Monaco, Austria, Silverstone, Hockenheim, The Hungaroring, Spa and Monza all featuring. The series culminates with the first ever Supercup round in Russia with two races on the new Sochi International Street Circuit. Look away from the spectacular array of iconic circuits on the calendar and among the large entry list you find some of the world’s hungriest racing drivers.
With 2013 champion Nicki Thiim moving away from the series, the fight for the title is wide-open. Christian Engelhart starts the season as arguably the favourite; he is one of the most experienced drivers on the grid and over such a short number of races that experience will prove vital.
The Konrad Motorsport man is going to have to battle some young guns in 2014; New Zealander Earl Bamber (Fach Auto Tech) was victorious over the opening weekend of the Carrera Cup Deutschland and will be aiming to carry some of that success forward into his first Supercup season. As the winner of the International Cup Scholarship, he is already earmarked as a potential star of the future.
Also earmarked for the future are four Porsche Juniors entered for the 2014 Supercup. Alex Riberas, who will compete under the McGregor powered by Attempto Racing banner, Connor de Phillippi (FӦRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport), Sven Müller for Team Project 1 and Klaus Bachler (Konrad Motorsport) will all be aiming for success. Bachler is in his second year of Supercup racing and will hope to lead the trio making their debuts.
However, there are also some more experienced drivers aiming for championship success. Former Formula 1 test driver Michael Ammermüller (Lechner Racing Team) has shown flashes of pace during his time in the Supercup but will need to string together a consistent run to fight for the title. Kuba Giermaziak, who competes for the VERVA Lechner Racing Team, is a former race winner in the category for whom consistency will also be key to any title bid. Ben Barker lines up alongside Giermaziak; he is the only British driver entered for the 2014 Supercup and after a learning year in 2013, will be aiming for a consistent run this season.
There are so many questions still un-answered as we approach the first Supercup meeting of the year and qualifying on Saturday will be a clear indicator as to who is in a position to challenge for glory. However, the race on Sunday will be a deciding factor, with each driver determined to make a good start to their campaign. Each and every competitor has a massive job to do and this is sure to provide the fans with heaps of Porsche themed entertainment. It is nearly time, to go racing.