5.891 kilometres of racing history pressed into asphalt – that's Silverstone. And in the third round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, it will once again be the scene of historic events that the Swiss in particular will never forget.
Legendary or not, for a circuit to offer top-class motorsport, its core strengths have to be exceptional. And Silverstone delivers, with technically challenging corner combinations and long straights that offer high speeds and good overtaking opportunities. The unpredictable English weather with sometimes strong winds is also part of the race weekends. This year, however, the "unpredictable moment" of the race, which reshuffled the cards right from the start, wasn't caused by track conditions, but by the drivers.
A total of 32 Cup 911s made up the Porsche Supercup field, which was joined by two British guest teams, including drivers from the Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain. Marvin Klein, #19 (FRA), a long-time friend of the Supercup, took over the Ombra cockpit from Riccardo Pera until the end of the season.
Practice and qualifying with early surprises.
In practice, #1 Bastian Buus (DNK/BWT Lechner Racing) set the fastest lap time. "It went very well for me. Now we will look at the data to optimise a few details for Saturday's qualifying," commented the 20-year-old Dane on his session. His team-mate and local hero #3 Harry King (GBR) was second fastest, just ahead of the 3rd Lechner Racing driver, Rookie #2 Harri Jones (AUS) – the team continued their strong performances from last season. #12 Benjamin Paque (BEL/CLRT) was unlucky, hitting a track marking in the 11th minute and being forced to retire from the session with a broken passenger door.
Saturday afternoon's Qualifying Session was generally disciplined and ended with a happy #11 Dorian Boccolacci (CLRT) on pole. The Frenchman was less than five hundredths of a second ahead of runner-up #25 Larry ten Voorde (NLD/Team GP Elite) for his first Supercup pole. The second starting row went to King and Buus, with the two FACH AUTO TECH drivers #5 Alexander Fach (CHE) and #4 Morris Schuring (NLD) lurking behind.
I didn't do anything different than usual. But my team gave me a perfect car and I managed a flawless lap.
The Rookies immediately got to grips with the challenging Silverstone circuit. Four of them qualified in the top 15, including #18 Keagan Masters (ZAF/Ombra Racing) in 7th and #22 Alessandro Ghiretti (FRA/Martinet by Alméras) in 8th. British young driver #6 Gustav Burton (FACH AUTO TECH) had to start the race from P30 after receiving a total of 8 grid penalties for various infringements – not exactly what he had in mind for his home race.
Crash, luck and victory – Switzerland on its head.
At the start of the race at noon on Sunday, the grandstands were already packed with over a hundred thousand mostly British motorsport fans. After the lights went out, Ten Voorde did not make the best start and King was right next to him. Just before the Village corner the two came into contact with Ten Voorde hitting Boccolacci and then King spinning off the track. Buus and Schuring also collided on the inside of the corner and fell back. In the ensuing chaos, Alexander Fach, guest driver #38 Robert de Haan (NLD/Richardson Racing) and Ghiretti found a hole on the outside track and took the lead, which they held, in that order, until the finish.
For King, the race was over after the first lap. Ten Voorde had to park his damaged car after ten laps. Of the championship leaders, only Boccolacci and Buus scored points.
I started first and finished P12 – through no fault of my own. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but that's the way of racing sometimes.
At Silverstone, Alexander Fach became the first Swiss driver ever to win a Porsche Supercup race – in the more than 30 years of the series' history, the Swiss national anthem has never been heard on the podium before. This made the victory ceremony all the more emotional for the Swiss FACH AUTO TECH team. Also noteworthy was de Haan's second place, as he is only 17 years old. Usually he competes in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux, where he leads the series.
Rookie Alessandro Ghiretti even made it onto the podium twice, where the Formula 1 drivers later collected their trophies: once for 3rd place overall – and then as winner of the Rookie Classification, together with Masters and Jones.
Our team has had some tough setbacks recently. This win is just fantastic.
No major changes in the top group.
King's and Ten Voorde's zero points do not change their positions in the standings. Boccolacci takes 6 points to close the gap on King – Buus extends his lead to second place with a meagre 5 points from Silverstone. Behind them, a number of drivers are making significant gains, with Fach and Ghiretti leading the way. The fight for the championship title remains very close.
Overall standings of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup after Round 3 at Silverstone
The next round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup will be held as part of the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest. The comparatively short track of just over four kilometres has its pitfalls: plenty of corners and high temperatures demand a lot from both drivers and racing cars. There are also few good overtaking opportunities. That makes a top time in qualifying all the more important. We can't wait to see who will set the pace at the Hungaroring!