Former Porsche Carrera Cup Australia driver Ben Barker was one position away from standing on his home race podium after finishing fourth in the competitive Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at Silverstone as Austrian Philipp Eng celebrated his maiden 2015 victory.
On the 5.891 kilometre Silverstone circuit, famed for its fast corners, 25-year-old Eng crossed the finish line first ahead of Alex Riberas and Michael Ammermüller. “I got away perfectly at the start and I’m over the moon with this important win. Silverstone is a demanding track and everything simply ran very smoothly for me,” said Eng, after receiving his trophy. With 70 points, Eng ranks first in the drivers’ standings after four of eleven championship rounds.
Barker, as the best British contender, scored fourth in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which is based on the lightweight 911 GT3 sports car, relegating Christian Engelhart to the fifth spot. For sixth place, Porsche Junior Matteo Cairoli pocketed the all-important points towards the rookie classification.
A total of 31 competitors from 13 countries headed into the Silverstone weekend on Friday with their 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars. By Sunday, Eng was the undisputed man of the series, claiming pole position in qualifying and victory at Sunday’s race.
Spike Goddard was the best placed Australian, moving from 19th through to 12th by the chequered flag. Sam Power started in 22nd place – relegated three positions on the grid after driving too fast under yellow flag conditions in qualifying – finished 18th. Power and Goddard now sit 15th and 17th in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup standings, respectively.
Four different winners from four rounds show just how intense the competition is in the strongly-supported Porsche one-make race series: Ammermüller won in Barcelona, the Dutchman Jaap van Lagen triumphed in Monaco for his Fach Auto Tech squad, Christopher Zöchling came first at Spielberg and now Eng has claimed victory at Silverstone.
The Hungaroring in Budapest/Hungary hosts the next Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup meeting from 24 to 26 July. Poland’s Kuba Giermaziak won here last year: “Hungary is almost like a home race for me. Until now the season hasn’t really gone very well, but I’m hopeful that I can pick up from where I left off last year on the Hungaroring,” says Giermaziak. Hungary is also a home event for the team from Förch Racing by Lukas Motorsport. Team principal Wieslaw Lukas has already competed there this year in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Eastern Europe that he has organised.
Round 4 Silverstone
1. Philipp Eng (A/Market Leader Team by Project 1)
2. Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner)
3. Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East)
4. Ben Barker (GB/MOMO-Megatron Team Partrax)
5. Christian Engelhart (D/MRS GT-Racing)
6. Matteo Cairoli (I/Market Leader Team by Project 1)
7. Christopher Zöchling (A/Fach Auto Tech)
8. Côme Ledogar (F/Martinet by Almeras)
9. Dan Cammish (GB/Redline Racing)
10. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/The Heart of Racing by Lechner)
12. Spike Goddard (AUS/MRS GT-Racing)
18. Sam Power (AUS/MOMO-Megatron Team PARTRAX)
Points’ standings after 4 of 11 races
1. Philipp Eng (A/Market Leader Team by Project 1), 70 points
2. Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner), 56
3. Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East), 55
4. Christian Engelhart (D/MRS GT-Racing), 54
5. Ben Barker (GB/MOMO-Megatron Team Partrax), 37
15. Sam Power (AUS/MOMO-Megatron Team PARTRAX), 14
17. Spike Goddard (AUS/MRS GT-Racing), 9