From the narrow streets of Monte Carlo to the broad spaces of the Styrian Alps: Round 2 of the Porsche Supercup kept tens of thousands of motorsport fans on the edge of their seats with hard-fought duels throughout the entire 18 laps. Racing at its best!
In short, Spielberg 2023 was one of the most exciting races in the 31-year history of the Supercup. With good overtaking opportunities, a wide track and unobstructed views, the Alpine circuit provided the perfect stage. At the same time, the contrast to the winding first race stop, the Circuit de Monaco could not have been greater. The entire field took advantage of the freedom of the Red Bull Ring – it was like pulling a cork out of a bottle.
Track limits and changing tyres.
In a generally quiet Practice Session, the most striking thing was the number of times the track limits were exceeded, just like in Formula 1. In the corners before and after the start-finish straight, there were at least no consequences for the cars as there are large run-off areas of tarmac. In the infield, there was a risk of a trip into the gravel – like for #2 Harri Jones (AUS/BWT Lechner Racing), who got stuck in the gravel on lap 17, caused a short red phase and was brought back to the pits on his moped. His team-mate #1 Bastian Buus (DNK) set the fastest time of the session. 22 drivers finished within one second of Buus – further proof of the high performance density in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
In qualifying, the unpredictable weather, with rain and sunshine, made timely tyre changes – from slicks to wets and back again – a key success factor. #25 Larry ten Voorde (NLD/Team GP Elite) managed the change best and took pole position. The session was exciting right up to the end, as after a second red phase with a recall to the pit lane, there were just under three and a half minutes left to complete two fast laps. It was only when the track dried out that the fastest laps started. Rookie #18 Keagan Masters (ZAF/Ombra Racing) surprisingly snatched second place ahead of Bastian Buus and #7 Leon Köhler (DEU/Huber Racing).
I tried slicks first, then it was too late for rain tyres and only my third attempt with dry tyres worked perfectly.
Danish rush to the summit – Buus battles his way to the top.
The excitement was palpable at the start of the race on Sunday afternoon – and from the very first second it was all down to the wire: shortly after the start, Bastian Buus overtook Masters with an energetic but fair manoeuvre and got in behind Ten Voorde. From then on it was a duel for the lead and both fought hard all the way to the finish line. On several occasions they went through the corners side by side, swapping the lead.
Shortly before the end, the current Porsche Junior Buus passed Ten Voorde on the inside in turn 3 to secure P1 for the finish – an amazing spectacle! Only a week ago, the two were involved in a similar dogfight at the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland race at Zandvoort. In the end, however, Ten Voorde came out on top.
Third place went to Harry King after a spectacular chase. Having started from P11 after a rain-related qualifying flop, he had to work hard to fight his way onto the podium. "It was hard work, but also a lot of fun. I did some, shall we say, ambitious overtaking manoeuvres," explained the 22-year-old. As not all of these manoeuvres were in accordance with the rules, King received a 10-second time penalty after the race, which dropped him back to 10th place – Köhler inherited 3rd place on the podium.
I noticed that I was faster than Larry, but I couldn't pass him for a long time. The braking zone before the third corner was my only chance. I gave it a go – and it worked.
In the heated Porsche Supercup race at the Red Bull Ring, the entire field fought hard to make up positions – with fender benders and spins along the way. #11 Dorian Boccolacci (FRA/CLRT) improved by 13 places to finish fifth. Former Spanish World Championship motorcycle racer #9 Jorge Lorenzo (Team Huber Racing) made up 15 places to score his first championship points. But it was #23 Jukka Honkavuori (FIN/Martinet by Alméras) who did the best: starting from 30th, he finished the race in 8th place.
After the second race, Buus now leads the standings, closely followed by Ten Voorde – King and Boccolacci are still within striking distance.
This was one of the most dramatic races in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in recent years. Not only did Bastian Buus and Larry ten Voorde give the fans racing at its best, but Harry King's chase and the mid-field battles also offered plenty of action.
The Rookie factor: P5 for the talented youth.
With 10 Rookies in the field, many young drivers gained valuable experience. #22 Alessandro Ghiretti (FRA/Martinet by Alméras) moved up an impressive 6 places from P14 on the grid. #28 Huub van Eijndhoven (NLD/GP Elite) emerged from qualifying as the second fastest Rookie behind Masters and started the race from P6. He finished in 5th place overall and secured the top-spot on the Rookie podium at Spielberg – Ghiretti and the Belgian #12 Benjamin Paque (CLRT) secured 2nd and 3rd.
Overall standings of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup after Round 2 in Spielberg
The next milestone on the way to the title for the drivers and teams is the legendary Silverstone circuit. The third round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup will be held there as part of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix. The circuit is regarded as one of the fastest in the international Porsche one-make series. Whether the weather will be more stable than at Spielberg remains to be seen. But anything is possible in England: wait and see, drink tea – and stir up anticipation.