Win for René Rast – title for Jeroen Bleekemolen
Stuttgart. At the premiere of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup in Abu Dhabi, René Rast (Germany) celebrated his sixth win of the season – however the championship title again went to Jeroen Bleekemolen. At the wheel of his Konrad Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the Dutchman secured pole position for the first of the final two rounds of the popular brand trophy series. The two extra points that he received for this were enough for him to claim the title.
On the gigantic new Formula 1 race track in the largest of the United Arab Emirates, Jeroen Bleekemolen made the best start of the field. His teammate Nicholas Tandy showed little respect for great names at his debut in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup: The Briton promptly slipped into second position and put the front-runner under enormous pressure in the first lap. Initially, Bleekemolen was able to hold off the guest driver’s attack but had to let his arch rival René Rast overtake in lap five. Competing for VELTINS MRS Racing, the 2008 Carrera Cup champion, who had travelled to Abu Dhabi holding a small title chance, was able to quickly pull away from the rest of the field to bring home his sixth win of the season.
Behind Rast, his pursuers fought fiercely for positions. After half the distance, Nicholas Tandy overtook Jeroen Bleekemolen, who didn’t try too hard to defend his position. The Dutchman had climbed the podium at every round this season and was understandably not keen to jeopardise his eventual third position. Behind the leading trio came Austria’s Norbert Siedler (VELTINS MRS Racing) in fourth, followed by Slovakia’s Stefan Rosina (Walter Lechner Racing School) in fifth.
At his first race for SANITEC RACING, New Zealand’s Supercup newcomer Matt Halliday swept past many opponents to snatch sixth place and with this looks set to win the Rookie Classification. Behind Supercup record winner Patrick Huisman (Netherlands) driving for SPS Performance, American William Langhorne (SANITEC RACING) took eighth place. Ninth position went to Britain’s James Sutton (Porsche Cars GB), who came from the Carrera Cup Great Britain to compete as a guest driver. Siso Cunill from Spain (Konrad Motorsport) saw the chequered flag in tenth.
René Rast (winner): “That was a great race. I’m very pleased. Obviously we had the best set-up in the field, thanks to my team. My start was not perfect but after the Safety Car Phase my pace picked up. It was fierce racing today – and so at one point I just grabbed my chance.”
Nicholas Tandy (second): “I’m very happy. This was my first Supercup race and it was great fun. My start was very good and second position is more than I had hoped for. I would have loved to overtake René as well, but he was unbeatable today.”
Jeroen Bleekemolen (third): “I was amazed how several of my opponents behaved today. I was nudged by six or seven cars and that’s simply not acceptable. Of course, it’s great that we finished on the podium but I could definitely have secured a better result. We had a great car today and I could have won.”
1. René Rast (GER), VELTINS MRS Racing, 30:46.632 minutes
2. Nicholas Tandy (GBR), Konrad Motorsport, + 7.432 seconds
3. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Konrad Motorsport, + 7.908
4. Norbert Siedler (AUT), VELTINS MRS Racing, + 13.830
5. Stefan Rosina (SVK), Walter Lechner Racing School, + 14.246
6. Matt Halliday (NZL), SANITEC RACING, + 15.316
Drivers’ standings after 12 of 13 races
1. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), 232 points
2. René Rast (GER), 189
3. Stefan Rosina (SVK), 148
4. Patrick Huisman (NED), 140
5. Norbert Siedler (AUT), 123
6. Damien Faulkner (IRL), 110
Round 13 of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup takes place on 1 November as support to the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.