Engelhart and de Phillippi Win Amidst Hungarian Drama

by Lee Bonham
De Phillippi left Budapest with the points lead (Credit: Porsche AG)

Christian Engelhart became the first double winner of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland season in Hungary but it was American Connor de Phillippi who starred in a weekend where the Förch Racing by Lukas Motorsport driver snatched the championship lead.

Konrad Motorsport man Engelhart made victory in the first encounter of the weekend seem relatively simple, leading from lights out to flag fall. It would be foolish to undermine the calibre of any driver who wins in the Carrera Cup Deutschland in 2014 though, Engelhart having lead home a thirty seven strong field of stunning Type 991 GT3 Cup cars. “This is the first time the Carrera Cup has raced in Budapest and I achieved a crucial victory,” added the delighted German.

Behind the winner, Michael Ammermüller (QPOD Walter Lechner Racing) and de Phillippi completed the podium trio, the former continuing his positive start to the 2014 campaign. The conditions at the notoriously tricky Hungaroring circuit were made even more so by the weather. Instead of the rain that interrupted the final FIA Formula 3 European Championship battle of the weekend, it was in fact the sunshine. The start was delayed due to barrier damage from an earlier race and Ammermüller illustrated the difficulties the drivers were faced with, commenting “At 7:30pm the sun was already quite low over the race track. Early on in the race we all experienced a bit of sun strike.”

Ammermüller’s teammate, 2013 Porsche Supercup champion Nicki Thiim, would win the battle for fourth place. The fight for fourth was somewhat more convoluted than that for the rostrum positions. Pieter Schothorst (McGregor powered by Attempto Racing) made an error under braking fighting for the position on lap two and Philipp Eng (Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) was his unfortunate victim, both men out of the race.

The winner of round one of the 2014 Porsche Supercup in Barcelona, Earl Bamber (Team 75 Bernhard), and Robert Lukas, de Philippi’s teammate, would round out the top six classification.

Porsche junior racers Alex Riberas (Attempto Racing powered by Hӓring) and Sven Müller (Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) struggled more than in previous rounds in 2014. Riberas qualified twelfth on the grid and would finish eighth, adding “I was faster than the others, particularly in the first laps, but I just could not get past them”. Müller lined up in twenty eight position after a disastrous qualifying session in which he only did one flying lap, however he fought back up to a solid nineteenth position.

Race two of the weekend was a dramatic affair, albeit not for de Phillippi who was simply imperious. The youngster drove a mature race that would take him to the series lead, commenting “Right now I am the happiest guy in the world”.

The same could not be said for four men who stood out in the first of the weekend’s races; Engelhart, Ammermüller, Eng and Bamber all contrived to collide on the first lap. Engelhart pitted but would only retrieve thirty fourth position, Ammermüller climbed to fifteenth and most importantly a single point but Bamber would get nothing from seventeenth.

Eng not only survived the collision but would taste champagne on the podium, despite being unable to displace Nicki Thiim from second position after a hard but fair duel. The Porsche juniors Riberas and Müller were to enjoy somewhat better second races. Spanish man Riberas would achieve seventh but German Müller really starred, converting fourth on the grid to fourth on the race results sheet. “As a newcomer to the Carrera Cup it is of course great to bring home such a result. Fourth on this circuit is fabulous,” he beamed.

The final weekend of June sees the Carrera Cup Deutschland head back into Germany for two races at the popular Norisring venue. De Phillippi is the first man of 2014 to pull out what seems to be a decent points lead, holding eighteen over Engelhart and a further five over Oschersleben winner Christopher Zöchling (Konrad Motorsport). On a circuit renowned for drama though, it is true to say that in a heartbeat, everything can change.

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