MRS GT-Racing in thrilling double action
Porsche Mobil1 Supercup in Monza
24H-Series in Barcelona
Only one week after the race in Spa-Francorchamps it was already at the time for the the next event in the calendar of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. The last run on European terrain occurred on the 5.7 km long high-speed track in the royal park of Monza.At the same time another part of the MRS GT - Racing team went to Barcelona in order to take part of the 24h-Series with two of their Porsche Cup cars.
The Qualifying in Barcelona was a success right away. After only a few attempts the American team (#78/ Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub, Joe Foster (USA) and Xavier Maassen (NDL)) was able to maneuver the US-Porsche directly on the pole position of the 991-class.The sister car with the Swiss crew (#25/ Manuel Nicolaidis, Franco Piergiovanni, Fabio Spirgi and Richard Feller (CHE)) managed to qualify for the start from the eighth place in their category.
The launch into the demanding endurance race happend exact on time at Saturday noon. From the outset the USA - Porsche team showed a significantly superior performance and extended the lead in the cup-class confidently. Over 22 hours they hold the first place in their group and were the fastest 991 Cup Porsche on the track, until unfortunately the pulley of the water pump broke. The repair was extremely difficult and took much time. In consequence the gap of eight laps and the leadership got lost. But in the end it was even possible to repair the car and return to the track. In the end they came still as the second in class over the finish line and owned a sensational tenth place overall too. Some minor incidents also happened to the Swiss team, but they could also work their way up to the fifth rank in class and occupied a very good 25th place overall .
No less exciting it was meanwhile in the Autodromo Nazionale in Monza. Many fans attended the 30 minutes long qualifying spectacle under the clear blue sky .The best time of our driver-quartet achieved Porsche routinier Christian Engelhart (GER), who reached a good fifth place with only 0.845 seconds behind the pole position. His teammates Roar Lindland (NOR) and John Wartique (BEL) qualified for the grid positions 15 and 23. Christof Langer (GER) took position 28 on the grid for Sunday. In front of fully occupied bleachers the participants started again in a heated race, but unfortunately Christian Engelhart dropped out right before the actual beginning. During the start of the formation lap the drive shaft of his Porsche sheared off and he just rolled to the track-side instead of leaving his start box quickly. The problem could not be resolved immediately, which is why he could not participate in the further course.
Two heavy accidents in the first half of the race ensured then tension and horror at the same time. Fortunately all competitors were unharmed and our drivers with their cars were spared from damage, so that the remaining three MRS-pilots were able to continue the run after a safety-car-phase. Especially the Norwegian Roar Lindland continued his upward trend: he came as eleventh over the finish-line and could collect again a few points. Also for John Wartique and Christof Langer the race took a positive outcome: they passed the checkered flag after a faultless run as 13th and 18th.
"That was a really hard weekend, because Fortuna did not had us on their list! A second rank in class and a tenth place overall is nice, but if you dominated the situation for nearly 22 hours and lose the victory just for a repair shortly before the end, it is extremely bad! Nevertheless, it was a great fun with all of our talented drivers and our highly dedicated team! Also in Monza the luck was not there for us! You could say that this was a knockout in the first round. Great that it is still running extremely well for Lindland, Wartique and Langer!" Karsten Molitor reported in retrospect.
This week we continue without any rest, because the races 13 and 14 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany will be held on the Grand Prix Circuit of the Nürburgring. Until the next round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup has to pass a little more time: from 21st up to 23rd October the series will appear on the Circuit of the Americas in Austin / Texas.