8/18/2020

Ten Voorde takes the lead.

One collision at the start. Two newcomers in the clinch. Three Rookies fighting for the class win. Two leader changes. And one beaming winner, Larry ten Voorde. The heat was turned way up last weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Was this past weekend’s race the turning point of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup 2020 season? #25 Larry ten Voorde (NED/Team GP Elite) won on the circuit near Barcelona and took away the Overall Classification lead from rival #2 Dylan Pereira (LUX/BWT Lechner Racing).

Pole position and victory. But the race itself wasn’t as squeaky-clean as the results suggest. At the start of the race, Porsche Junior #1 Jaxon Evans (NZL/BWT Lechner Racing) took #AcceleratingPassion quite literally with a show-stopping overtaking manoeuvre, using the outside lane in the first turn that gave him the lead.

But the field didn’t get far: #4 Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer (FRA/Lechner Racing Middle East) frozen due to clutch issues on his 8th starting position, caused several collisions. The Safety Car took over for two laps, followed by a red flag and a race interruption.

Evans' lead is short-lived.

After the forced break, the race started again with Evans on pole. But once again, P2 proved to be the better starting position.

I had an optimal first start. But the second one I misjudged the temperature of my tires and didn’t use the clutch so well, so Larry was able to overtake.

#1 Jaxon Evans(NLZ/BWT Lechner Racing)

In an acceleration duel, Evans and ten Voorde were on the same level, but in true master class fashion, the Dutchman secured the inner track into the first turn and overtook – even more impressive as this required him to squeeze up against Pereira who was shooting from behind! Ten Voorde defended his lead for the remaining nine of 14 laps without any major challenges taking his second victory of the season.

Jaxon’s first launch was better. But, of course, I couldn't pass up the chance to show-off at the restart.

#25 Larry ten Voorde(NED/Team GP Elite)

Another candidate for the championship of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Dylan Pereira, flaunted his master overtaking skills this past weekend. After a disappointing P5 on the first start, he gained a position against Rookie #24 Max van Splunteren (NED/Team GP Elite) and did it again during the second start against #33 Florian Latorre (FRA/CLRT). He followed this up by putting pressure on teammate Evans, whom he nearly overtook after the restart. Now the question was whether or not BWT Lechner Racing would swap positions because Pereira was leading the title. Team Manager Walter Lechner Senior refrained from such gimmicks and let his drivers fight it out amongst themselves.

I started in position five and moved myself up two positions. That was all I could manage today.

#2 Dylan Pereira(LUX/BWT Lechner Racing)

At the end of Lap 8, the battle decided itself while the entire Lechner team held its breath. Heading into the New Holland corner and into the home straight, Pereira made a driving error pulling his 485hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup dangerously crosswise towards the pit wall. But demonstrating perfect vehicle control, he managed to stabilise his car again and didn’t even lose a position: Latorre who was behind him, braked briefly in response and wasn’t able to take advantage of the situation.

Rookies in the dance-off for fifth.

Behind the leaders, van Splunteren was once again, like in the first Silverstone race, on the defensive against a pack of competitors, blocking one attack after the other. Among them two speedy Rookies: #3 Leon Köhler (GER/Lechner Racing Middle East), who’s attempt failed as his car gently clipped van Splunteren while pulling up next to him on the outside of the Campsa corner. Köhler went wide and #23 Marvin Klein (FRA/Martinet by Alméras) slipped into P6.

The hat-trick was hard work, but it was really fun.

#24 Max van Splunteren(NED/Team GP Elite)

Now the Frenchman and the Dutchman began to really work their race cars. But as in Silverstone, van Splunteren created a bulwark in a class of its own; slightly braking into the corners in the middle again and again. Eventually he managed to drive Klein into a mistake. Penultimate lap, corner 1: Missing the braking point, Klein slipped off the track and fell into eighth place. Both Köhler and the experienced #5 Jaap van Lagen (NED/FACH AUTO TECH) took the gifts of sixth and seventh place like true gentlemen. Not relenting, van Splunteren secured the Rookie Classification victory once again.

Klein also lost eighth place in the final lap to his teammate and Porsche Junior #22 Ayhancan Güven (TUR/Martinet by Alméras) who dramatically lost ground in the championship fight. After a collision during the Qualifying Session, the Istanbul native had fought his way up from ninth to sixth position on the grid when a brake misjudgment in the La Caixa corner caused him to slip into the run-off zone, losing important positions. The Top 10 was completed by #10 Marius Nakken (NOR/Dinamic Motorsport) behind Klein who took 9th.

Collision of the newcomers.

Three new drivers took the cockpits for Round 6 of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. #11 Jaden Conwright (USA/Dinamic Motorsport), who hadn’t been able to join his Italian team from the US due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, took over from Moritz Sager. #32 Adam Eteki (FRA/CLRT) drove Team CLRT’s second Porsche, which Philippe Haezebrouck and team boss Côme Ledogar had been driving in earlier races. Coincidentally, these two newcomers clashed in the first turn for the fight for twelfth position. Conwright spun out Eteki, who dropped back to the end of the field, finishing 19th. The US-American was given a ten-second time penalty, which threw him back to 18th place.

That left #8 Nicolas Misslin (MCO/Lechner Racing Middle East) to cross the finish line as the best new entrant who took over from previous guest driver, Julian Hanses. Misslin has been racing in the Porsche Supercup since 2018, but this past weekend was his first race of the 2020 season, and he finished 15th place.

Start collision pulls Michael Fassbender out of the race.

Another newcomer in the race was #911 Michael Fassbender (IRL/Porsche Motorsport). The Hollywood actor (“Inglourious Basterds”, “12 Years a Slave”, “X-Men”) wasn’t replacing anyone in the cockpit, but rather introduced an additional Porsche 911 GT3 Cup into the field. Its debut however was short lived. What happened, you ask? Well, for that, we’ll need to go to the beginning.

As we all know, Simmenauer wasn’t able to launch due to clutch problems. Starting on the grid position behind of him, #30 Lucas Groeneveld (NED/GP Elite) pulled out and hit his teammate, #26 Jesse van Kuijk (NED/Team GP Elite), who after a check-up and tire change in the pit finished in 17th place. Rookie #31 Daan van Kuijk (NED/Team GP Elite) took it even harder: Not able to see Simmenauers standing car because it was blocked by a competitor driving in front of him, he crashed into the Frenchman. This initiated a chain reaction, in which #12 Philip Sager (AUT/Dinamic Motorsport), #19 Roland Bervillé (FRA/Pierre Martinet by Alméras) and Fassbender were all involved; of this bunch it was only Sager who was able to continue. The German-Irish actor got to meet the tough side of motorsport firsthand, and was forced to park his race car with a flat tire.

I really enjoyed being a guest driver here. But I feel like I’ve got some unfinished business. So hopefully I can come back.

#911 Michael Fassbender(IRL/Porsche Motorsport)

The collision led to a red flag and a race interruption, an extremely rare occurrence in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. The reason? The clean-up of two completely damaged race cars on the home straight took longer than expected. So having a continuous safety car phase would have potentially reduced the race distance to less than seven laps, therefore halving the number of awarded points. And in the last third of this season’s championship fight where every point counts, is a difficult option to consider. At short notice, Formula 1 officials granted the Porsche Supercup an extended time window, so the race was interrupted after four laps and restarted again for an additional nine rounds after the track was cleaned.

Lindland marches towards the ProAm title.

Dominating the action once again in the ProAm Classification was #20 Roar Lindland (NOR/Pierre Martinet by Alméras). With his position 18 start, he already had a clear four place lead over his competitors. Knowing how to leverage his track position in the race, he was able to avoid the starting collision and placed several race cars between himself and his direct rivals, clinching his fourth win of six races and 16th overall.

There are still 50 points to win. Or lose. We all know the game: It's not over till it's over.

#20 Roar Lindland(NOR/Pierre Martinet by Alméras)

Second place went to teammate #21 Clément Mateu (FRA/Pierre Martinet by Alméras), who crossed the finish line with a mere 0.264 seconds ahead of Philipp Sager. Sager recovered from the starting collision, but wasn’t able to find his way past Mateu.

After this weekend’s dramatic performance and three back-to-back race weekends, both Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup drivers and teams have a well-deserved 14-day break. They’ll need to regain their strength before the last two races of the season. The first one will bring us to Belgium, where they say #ArdennesAwating at the infamous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

Overall Classification Round 6 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Barcelona

PositionEntry No.Driver NationTotal Points Points Round 5 Points Round 6
125Larry ten Voorde NLD1182025
22Dylan PereiraLUX 1141717
322Ayhancan GüvenTUR88258
41Jaxon Evans NZL82820
533Florian LatorreFRA68914
624Max van SplunterenNLD631412
7 23Marvin KleinFRA59107
83Leon KöhlerDEU56710
94Jean-Baptiste SimmenauerFRA 48120 (DNC)
105Jaap van LagenNLD3259
1110Marius NakkenNOR3266
126Jordan LoveAUS290 (DNC)5
1326Jesse van KuijkNLD1830
1430Lucas GroeneveldNLD1523
1515Jukka HonkavuoriFIN1544
1631Daan van Kuijk NLD1200 (DNC)
1711Moritz SagerAUT40 (DNC)-
1814Mateo LlarenaGTM4 1 2
1920Roar LindlandNOR101
2012Philipp SagerAUT000
21 21 Clément MateuFRA00 0
22 19 Stéphane Denoual FRA0--
23 32 Philippe HaezebrouckFRA 0--
24 19'Roland Bervillé FRA 0- 0 (DNC)
(DNF) = did not finish (DNC)= did not classify (DNS)= did not start (*)=disqualified
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