Matteo Cairoli sits atop the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup standings after a convincing victory at the Circuit de Catalunya but two weeks ago. He already looks like the archetypal championship contender, pace and a calm race brain producing the goods in Spain.
Yet the FACH Auto Tech driver doesn’t sit alone at the top table. Sven Müller started the season as the man most likely and a second position in Spain has done little to dissuade that feeling. Now it just looks like the Lechner Racing driver may have a fight on his hands. No bad thing that.
The Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet was the stand-out in Barcelona. Success in your national Carrera Cup does not equate to instant results at Supercup level. For Jaminet in Spain it did, with a richly deserved podium and a very happy Martinet by Almeras squad.
This is Monaco though. The weekend of the Monaco Grand Prix always carries an extra ordinary allure, and not just for the contenders without a roof over their heads. However, this matters more than the location because there is another layer of history this year. Race 250 in the history of Supercup takes place on Sunday morning and for the drivers, that chance to write a small piece of Supercup history, will carry an allure, an appeal beyond even that of your “regular” Monaco GP weekend.
That win could be claimed by a Briton. Ben Barker (MOMO-Megatron Team PARTRAX) has carried the Union Jack alone at the front of the Supercup pack for some time. This year he has back-up from team mate Paul Rees and Ryan Cullen in another of the myriad Lechner machines.
Barker claimed a podium in Monaco last year and the men who finished first and second (Jaap Van Lagen and Philipp Eng) aren’t around in Supercup 2016. That is not to say it will be easy. It never is in the Porsche Supercup. Undeniably though, Ben Barker stands a chance.
Truth be told the Supercup is an extra bit harder to call this year. There are favourites and drivers who delivered, and some who didn’t (Christian Engelhart will not finish every race in the gravel for the MRS GT-Racing team in 2016) in Barcelona. Yet it just feels like the pack is that bit closer and Monaco has never been a circuit for producing a standard weekend. So a Briton could win it, a championship picture may emerge and we should see some spectacular racing. Ifs, buts and maybes. Welcome to Supercup 2016. Chapter 2: Monaco Magic.