Chaos is an often overused word. A popular internet search engine offers this as a definition: “complete disorder and confusion.” If you wanted to provide an example, you wouldn’t go wrong to point the inquirer in the direction of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup action from Monza on Sunday.
The headline is simple enough. From pole-position Matteo Cairoli (FACH Auto Tech) stormed to victory, closing the points-gap to championship leader Sven Müller (Lechner Racing) to a virtually non-existent two points. Cairoli was on the ragged edge, regularly letting one or more wheels slip into the dirt, causing a lurid slide that looked set to end his victory, and indeed championship, chances. He somehow held on to each and every moment.
Müller would have wished to have been able to control his one big moment, where he lost control under braking at the re-start on the run down to the first chicane. Narrowly avoiding the back-on-form Michael Ammermüller (Lechner) and Cairoli, Müller was forced down the escape road. He climbed back up to fourth but found the resistance of Mattia Drudi (Dinamic Motorsport) too strong and was unable to make further progress.
Meanwhile Mathieu Jaminet found his Spa form hard to reprise and finished a relatively disappointing seventh for Martinet by Almeras, all but ending his title hopes with a twenty-nine point gap to overcome in the two final races at the Circuit of the Americas in November. However, Jaminet’s strong run of form throughout 2016 has been duly rewarded with the Rookie championship, which he secured at Monza.
Two safety-car periods punctuated the action, and neither was the result of an insignificant drama. At the exit of the Parabolica, before the culmination of the opening tour, Chris Bauer lost control of his FÖRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport car. A helpless Patrick Eisemann struck his teammate’s stricken machine and barrel rolled, and the guesting Pablo Sánchez López (in a third FÖRCH operated car) found himself into the barriers in avoidance as well. All drivers escaped uninjured, in another demonstration of the exemplary safety-standards of the Type 991 GT3 Cup.
On the re-start it was Dylan Pereira (MOMO-Megatron Team PARTRAX) who lost control at the second chicane. Returning to the circuit he clipped Ryan Cullen, at just the correct angle to cause the latter’s Lechner machine to provide its own acrobatic performance. Again both drivers were uninjured, despite the dramatic appearance of the incident.
Guesting in a MOMO machine was Carrera Cup GB regular Sean Hudspeth. Twelfth was a tremendous result, which relied on both pace and an ability to avoid the manic action around him in the mid-pack. A return to the series in Austin would give him an opportunity to build on these more than solid foundations.
On that note… To Austin we go, to the Circuit of the Americas and the traditional end-of-season double-header that always provides thrills (and hopefully a few less spills than witnessed in Italy). Müller now finds himself on the back-foot, with a slender two point advantage but less momentum than his rival Cairoli. Who will come out on top? Cliché it may be, but in this instance it genuinely is far too close to call…