Matteo Cairoli hit back in the fight for the 2016 Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, claiming victory at Hockenheim yesterday morning.
Cairoli made a better start from second on the grid than did Sven Müller (Lechner Racing) from pole, however the latter audaciously swept around the outside of the first corner to maintain his advantage.
The two then proceeded to dice race long, with Cairoli trying without success to usurp Müller. As it so happened, he needn’t have bothered trying. The stewards penalised Müller for his rather imaginative interpretation of track limits to maintain his lead at turn one, demoting him to second behind Cairoli.
Mathieu Jaminet knew he was going to have a difficult weekend when he lost control of his Martinet by Almeras machine in Hungary and caused mayhem at the first corner. A ten place grid demotion meant he found himself down in thirteenth but fought back through the field to claim points in eighth. A last lap move on Cairoli’s Fach Auto Tech team-mate Philipp Frommenwiler may well prove pivotal come the end of the season.
Two impressive performances of note came from Jeffrey Schmidt and Robert Lukas, Lechner Racing and FÖRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport respectively. The pair were tied together for most of the race duration, although a move never seemed a realistic prospect. Third and fourth respectively, trailed by Christian Engelhart (MRS-GT Racing) and the mysterious Michael Ammermüller (Lechner), who was a championship threat at this point last year. So far this season he has matched two podiums in Monte Carlo and Hungary with a fifth in Barcelona, a ninth in Austria and an even more disappointing thirteenth at Silverstone. Maybe this reflects the increased competition at the front of the Supercup in 2016 or something awry for a man with a great deal of Porsche experience.
Yet the 2016 season remains about the three way fight at the top. Or rather the two way tussle. Jaminet now lies fourth in the standings, having been usurped by the aforementioned and ever improving Schmidt. On one-hundred-and-one points Müller has sixteen in hand over Cairoli with four races to run. He holds an advantage and was a star turn at both Spa-Francorchamps and Monza last year. The onus is on the Italian to fight back now, because Müller will not give a sixteen point advantage away.