Round 8 of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup 2022 in Monza marked the end of the anniversary season. It was a furious finale on a day where the Overall Championship title and the ProAm Classification title were still to play for. Excitement was naturally high.
The F1 Gran Premio d'Italia provided a fitting setting for the series finale of the pinnacle of the Porsche one-make series. Beautiful late summer weather and thousands of enthusiastic tifosi in the grandstands accompanied the field of the 32 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on their final appearance of the season. The eight permanent teams were joined this race weekend by the guest team Tsunami R.T. from San Marino, with their Italian drivers #42 Giammarco Levorato, #43 Andrea Fontana and #44 Johannes Zelger. Italian #29 Leonardo Caglioni represented Ombra Racing, and #13 Ugo Gazil (FRA) made his first guest appearance for CLRT.
The early practice under blue skies gave the drivers excellent grip on the tarmac. This led to some impressive jumps over the curbs. With only one interruption due to a red flag, practice was quickly dealt with – all three BWT Lechner Racing cars ended up at the front of the field, with newly crowned Rookie Champion #7 Bastian Buus (DNK) in first. Obviously the two early titles from the previous weekend at Zandvoort had spurred the team on to end the season with a bang.
The last Qualifying Session of the anniversary season.
In a very dynamic qualifying, championship leader #5 Dylan Pereira (LUX/BWT Lechner Racing) took another step closer to his first title in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. He started the season finale of the international one-make series from third place, and so ahead of his two title rivals. The Supercup Champion of the past two years, #25 Larry ten Voorde (NLD/Team GP Elite), was fifth fastest in qualifying. Porsche Junior #3 Laurin Heinrich (SSR Huber Racing) from Germany qualified seventh on the grid.
Ten Voorde, second in the overall standings, had to finish at least second in the final race if he hoped to catch Pereira. Laurin Heinrich, who started the race in third place overall but only had a slim chance of winning the title, was probably planning to concentrate on catching Ten Voorde in the duel for second place.
#6 Harry King (GBR/BWT Lechner Racing) was fastest in qualifying. As a reliable points scorer alongside Pereira, King made a decisive contribution to the team win for BWT Lechner Racing. Unfortunately, he was not able to start this race from pole position as he was charged with a penalty due to a collision at the previous Porsche Supercup race in Zandvoort. Because of this, he was demoted to fourth place on the grid in Monza.
As a result, pole position went to #12 Marvin Klein (FRA/CLRT) for the second race in a row, who had finished qualifying as second fastest. Rookie Bastian Buus secured third place on the grid. On the third row of the grid alongside Larry ten Voorde was another Rookie: #17 Loek Hartog, who drives for the Italian team Ombra.
The maths behind the title decider.
Before the final race of the season, championship frontrunner Dylan Pereira had an 18-point lead over Larry ten Voorde. Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich was two points behind the Dutchman in third place. This meant that Ten Voorde had to win the final race (25 points) or finish second (20 points) to have any hope of catching Pereira. Heinrich only had a chance of winning the title if he won the race.
Even if Ten Voorde won, Pereira would still be champion if he finished no worse than ninth (7 points). If Ten Voorde finished second, Pereira needed to finish at least 14th (2 points). If Pereira and ten Voorde ended up tied on points, the title would go to Pereira because he had one more win in the season (3:2). If Heinrich won for the second time this season, Pereira would still win the title if he himself finished no worse than 11th (5 points).
Second place to Heinrich and a disqualification for Pereira – and no win for ten Voorde – would mean a tie on points. In that case, Pereira would still become the 2022 Supercup champion due to the higher number of wins in the season (3:1). If Dylan Pereira didn't score any points on Sunday, Larry ten Voorde could win a third consecutive title, regardless of other results. Second place would also be enough for the Dutchman, as long as Heinrich didn't win. In short: it was an exciting situation going into the final race of the series.
A worthy grande finale for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup 2022.
On race day at the Royal Park in Monza, luck was on the side of the team in pink, and the race offered all kinds of thrills. Dylan Pereira really only had to finish the race to secure overall victory in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. In spite of this, the Luxembourger, who started from third position, was involved in sometimes hair-raising battles throughout the race.
The highlight was his duel with Larry ten Voorde, which lasted several laps and could have put the Dutchman in contention for the title. Pereira even made a few driving errors, receiving a three-second time penalty from the race organisers. As a result, Pereira crossed the finish line in third place but was only classified as fifth – still enough to win his eagerly awaited and richly deserved first Porsche Supercup title. Dylan Pereira started his first Supercup race in Austin, USA, in 2015. To date, he has celebrated a total of eight race wins, his first in Hockenheim in 2019.
Almost a flawless weekend for BWT Lechner Racing.
Laurin Heinrich, who still had a mathematical chance of winning the title before the start, finished tenth. He was forced off the track shortly after the start and fell far behind as a result. In the end, he could not fight his way higher than tenth. A small consolation: Heinrich retained third place in the overall standings. Bastian Buus almost snatched it from him. The newly crowned Rookie Champion overtook Frenchman Marvin Klein, who had started from pole position, in the first few metres.
Buus then defended the lead with all his might against Klein, even after a safety car phase. In the second half of the race, he had his BWT Lechner Racing teammate Harry King breathing down his neck. But Buus gave the Brit no chance either, and he eventually celebrated his second win of the season. The 19-year-old Dane won the Rookie Classification in all eight races of the 2022 Supercup season, and broke his own Rookie record, set the previous weekend. He secured fourth place in the overall standings, just one point behind Porsche Junior Heinrich.
King took the defeat against his young teammate sportingly, and Bastian drove an excellent defensive race. An attack would have been extremely risky – and that, of course, was precisely what joint team boss Robert Lechner had forbidden before the race. Harry King crossed the finish line in second place, but a nasty surprise was waiting for him some time later. He received a five-second time penalty from the stewards for jostling Heinrich. This and Dylan Pereira's penalty meant that Larry ten Voorde eventually finished second. King retained fifth place in the year-end standings.
Victory in the ProAm standings was again claimed by #23 Aaron Mason (GBR/Pierre Martinet by Alméras) in the Supercup finale. His teammate Roar Lindland finished fourth in the ProAm category. The Norwegian secured the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup ProAm title for the fourth time.
The entertaining anniversary season whets fans’ appetite for 2023.
For the race teams and everyone involved, another rollercoaster season in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup came to an end in Monza. However, a few races are still to come in the national Porsche one-make cups, which will also show which series champions will complete the top-class field of drivers in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in 2023.
We are eagerly awaiting the final Formula 1 race calendar, which, as always, will set the framework for the 2023 Porsche Supercup calendar. And we are full of anticipation for the upcoming 31st season of the international pinnacle of the Porsche one-make series – because it once again promises us excellent racing on the world's most spectacular race tracks.