Preining dominates Spa-Francorchamps in lights-to-flag victory

by Vince Pettit

Austrian Thomas Preining completed a clean sweep of the seventh round of the 2018 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, topping practice, qualifying and taking a commanding race victory.

The Porsche Junior couldn’t have started the race any better as he stamped his authority off of the line, securing his lead in to the first corner. Over the course of the race he would extend his lead to 4.1 seconds as pulled out a gap big enough to get his rivals out of his slipstream, after that he went untroubled all of the way through to the chequered flag to take his third victory of the season.

“I was really fast in the first laps and managed to pull clear of my pursuers so that they couldn’t use my slipstream. With this gap I could then control the race,” said Preining.

Dutchman Larry ten Voorde started the race from third place on the grid behind Preining and Julien Andlauer, on the start the Team Project 1 driver slotted in to the slipstream of the Porsche Junior and on the second lap got the better of the 19-year-old on the start-finish straight to move in to second place.

While ten Voorde would hold on to the second place until the finish, he would later be penalised for a false start, dropping him down to tenth place.

Credit: Porsche AG / hoch zwei

With ten Voorde demoted, Zaid Ashkanani was promoted to equal his best finish in the series with second place, “I love this racetrack, and this makes the podium very special for me. The important thing was that I succeeded in fending off Julien Andlauer in the ninth lap,” said Ashkanani.

Italian Mattia Drudi claimed the final podium spot with his third podium of the season ahead of Andlauer who had to settle for fourth place after Drudi passed him on the final lap.

“My start was pretty good, but unfortunately I drove on the grass slightly while duelling with Larry ten Voorde. Afterwards I managed to work my way back up the order, but my tyres weren’t perfect after the chase and Mattia Drudi was simply too fast in the end,” said Andlauer.

Title rivals Nick Yelloly and Michael Ammermüller took fifth and six in the final standings, leaving Belgium with just one point separating them in the championship.

Jaap van Lagen finished seventh ahead of the highest placed rookie driver Florian Latorre and VIP guest driver Felix Rosenqvist.

The two-time Macau GP winner and Formula E driver was happy with his performance in the race, despite admitting he would have liked to have been further up the running order. “I’m pleased with the result. Of course I would have preferred to finish further up the field, but I would’ve had to take more risks. But I didn’t want to endanger anyone’s chance of earning championship points with some risky manoeuvre. All in all it was an action-packed weekend,” said Rosenqvist.

Credit: Porsche AG / hoch zwei

In Pro-Am Frenchman Nicolas Misslin took his first victory of the class ahead of Roar Lindland to extend his lead in the championship by a further two points. The Norwegian has won five races this season but had his title hopes dented in Austria with a non-finish.

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup – Spa-Francorchamps – Race 7 of 10 Top 10 Result

  1. Thomas Preining (A/BWT Lechner Racing)
  2. Zaid Ashkanani (KWT/MRS GT-Racing)
  3. Mattia Drudi (I/Dinamic Motorsport)
  4. Julien Andlauer (F/martinet by ALMERAS)
  5. Nick Yelloly (GB/Fach Auto Tech)
  6. Michael Ammermüller (D/BWT Lechner Racing)
  7. Jaap van Lagen (NL/Fach Auto Tech)
  8. Florian Latorre (F/martinet by ALMERAS)
  9. Felix Rosenqvist (S/Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG)
  10. Larry ten Voorde (NL/Team Project 1)

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Championship Top 3 after Race 7 of 10

Overall Championship

  1. Michael Ammermüller (D/BWT Lechner Racing), 101 points
  2. Nick Yelloly (GB/Fach Auto Tech), 100 points
  3. Thomas Preining (A/BWT Lechner Racing), 85 points

Pro-Am Championship

  1. Nicolas Misslin (F/martinet by ALMERAS), 122 points
  2. Roar Lindland (N/Lechner Racing Middle East), 118 ponts
  3. Mark Radcliffe (GB/IDL Racing), 90 points

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