René Rast strives for fifth win
Stuttgart. There is no time for rest in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup: Just one week after the race on the street circuit in the harbour of Valencia, the popular brand trophy series now heads to the legendary Spa-Francorchamps track for Sunday’s race. René Rast, who convincingly underlined his title aspirations with his fourth straight win in Spain, is particularly looking forward to his trip to Belgium – the difficult circuit in the Ardennes is his absolute favourite.
“Spa is a real challenge with its many corners that require backbone – like Eau Rouge for instance,” says the VELTINS MRS Racing pilot from Germany. Last year, he started from pole position here with his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, “but things didn’t go so well in the race. I hope it’ll be different this year.”
Jeroen Bleekemolen, however, is determined to prevent this. The title defender from the Netherlands can look back on an impressive season so far: Of the nine races to date, he has won three and climbed the podium at every single round. His clear lead in the championship, which he has held since the season-opening round in Bahrain, is now coming under increasing threat thanks to René Rast’s winning streak. With four races left on the calendar, Bleekemolen lies 30 points ahead of his closest rival. The Dutchman would very much like to win a race again, but with an eye on the title he is not prepared to take any great risks. “We are now in a phase where points are more important than wins,” says the third place-getter from last year. The points’ leader hopes, however, to put his title rivals in their place in Belgium. “For a driver, Spa is very demanding. It’s easy to make a mistake here, especially when the weather is bad. That’s where I see my chance.”
No less gripping than the title fight between Jeroen Bleekemolen and René Rast is the close battle for third in the overall classification. Patrick Huisman, the Supercup stalwart from the Netherlands competing for the SPS Performance squad, snatched back third overall in Valencia after a breathtaking charge through the field ahead of Slovakian Stefan Rosina (Walter Lechner Racing School), who had clinched it at the previous round.
Ireland’s Damien Faulkner is hoping for good results for the rest of the season: After a rather disappointing year, the vice champion of 2007 and 2008 and pilot for Walter Lechner Racing School made an impressive comeback in Spain – but only in qualifying. Taking up the race from third on the grid he only made it to the first corner before being nudged out of contention in a collision. He now anticipates bringing home his first podium result of the season.
Television stations “Eurosport 2” (11.45 hrs) and “Sky Sport 2” (11.40 hrs) broadcast the race in Spa-Francorchamps live on 30 August. In addition, “Eurosport” televises highlights on Sunday evening in its “Motorsport Weekend Magazin” programme.
Drivers’ classification after 9 of 13 races
1. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), 172 points
2. René Rast (GER), 142
3. Patrick Huisman (NED), 111
4. Stefan Rosina (SVK), 108
5. Richard Westbrook (GBR), 78
6. Damien Faulkner (IRL), 75
Rookie classification after 9 of 13 races
1. Matt Halliday (NZL), 69 points
2. Siso Cunill (ESP), 52
3. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA), 28
Team classification after 9 of 13 races
1. Konrad Motorsport, 246 points
2. VELTINS MRS Racing, 209
3. Walter Lechner Racing School, 186