Clemens Schmid of Austria took his first ever victory in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup on Sunday at Silverstone, in a whirlwind race full of drama.
The Walter Lechner Racing Team pilot stormed away from a pole position gained in one of the most nail-biting Supercup qualifying sessions in history on Saturday, where times tumbled until the very last second on a damp yet drying track.
Sunday’s climatic conditions were somewhat simpler than those of the previous day yet the racing was no less exciting.
Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (FӦRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport) lined up second on the starting grid but it would be series leader Kuba Giermaziak (VERVA Lechner Racing Team) who fought past the American and exerted the most pressure on the race leader. Schmid remained calm throughout, as the young Polish pilot tried literally everything to find a way through.
In the closing laps, Porsche International Scholarship winner and Fach Auto Tech driver Earl Bamber would play a key part in the outcome of the race. The New Zealander fought up the order from eight position on the grid and in the closing laps would also be able to get past de Phillippi and take third. From the point of said manoeuvre to the chequered flag, Bamber would hound Giermaziak for second position.
If he had been able to pass the championship leader, you sensed Bamber may well have been able to challenge Schmid for victory. As it was, the Austrian managed to extend his gap as the battle for second raged and crossed the line to take his first ever Supercup victory. Giermaziak, Bamber and de Phillippi completed the top four.
“Right now I am the happiest guy in the world,” exclaimed the elated victor, adding “The pressure at the front was huge but I kept my head.”
Double winner at the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland’s Norisring round Michael Ammermüller (Walter Lechner Racing Team) finished fifth. He was forced to defend in the latter stages of the race by one of the numerous Porsche Junior drivers, namely Sven Müller (Team Project 1) who climbed from eleventh on the grid to the back of Ammermüller’s car but no further.
Fellow Porsche Junior Klaus Bachler (Konrad Motorsport), who started ninth, tailed Müller home in seventh position.
VERVA Lechner Racing Team driver and home hero Ben Barker again endured a difficult weekend, a finish of tenth still commendable among such a competitive order.
The remaining Porsche Junior, Alex Riberas of Spain (McGregor powered by Attempto Racing) would be involved in an embarrassing first lap clash at Farm with series returnee and teammate Kévin Estre, ending his encounter early and ruining the Frenchman’s
The Supercup now heads for Hockenheim in Germany, an occasion typically marked by the addition of several one off appearances by Carrera Cup Deutschland drivers.
Giermaziak has extended his series lead following the trials and tribulations of Silverstone, holding thirteen points over Bamber and a further eleven over Barker and Müller who are tied for third place. The story could have been so much different if Giermaziak had not been able to recover from an off in qualifying at Silverstone, assisted by the marshals he was allowed to continue in the session and set a competitive time.
The battle at the front is so tight that any further mistakes by anyone in the top order will be punished much more severely by their rivals. It is still a wide open fight for the 2014 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.