Porsche Junior Matt Campbell (AUS/Fach Auto Tech) scored his second victory of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season on Sunday at Monza, Italy, and in doing so moved into third in the series standings with two races remaining. Zaid Ashkanani (KUW/MRS GT Racing) and Mattia Drudi (I/Dinamic Motorsport) finished on positions two and three respectively after an eventful ninth championship round. In the overall classification heading into the double-header grand finale in Mexico with the 485 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the situation looks extremely close: Only three points separate championship leader Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner MSG Racing Team) and Porsche Junior Dennis Olsen (N/Walter Lechner Racing Team), after Olsen achieved fifth place today, with Ammermüller on tenth. At Monza, Olsen has clinched an early victory in the rookie classification.
The weekend at the racetrack on the outskirts of Milan held several surprises for the 31-strong field of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. After the free practice on Friday in bright sunshine, Saturday brought heavy rain. With water flooding the track surface, the qualifying session scheduled at midday Saturday had to be cancelled for safety reasons. Accordingly, the free practice result determined the grid positions. Campbell was thrilled with his pole position, which he turned into a lights-to-flag victory: “I’m really pleased to have won this race. After the first lap there was a brief safety car phase because a car went into the gravel. My restart went really well and that was the key to success. I managed to build on my lead and bring my win safely home,” said the 22-year-old Australian.
Behind Campbell, Ashkanani achieved his best Supercup result so far with position two: “It was my goal of the season to finally finish on the podium. At times we had a little bad luck, but the team never stopped believing in me. Now I can give something back.” Drudi made the most of his home advantage. The 19-year-old started from position six and finished on third. “That was a wild rollercoaster. At one point I was running in seventh place but I always managed to make up ground. When I looked at the packed grandstands during the cool-down lap on my way to the podium I got goosebumps,” said Drudi.
The reserve drive Jaap van Lagen (NL/MOMO-Megatron Team Partrax) crossed the finish line after 14 laps on fourth, with Porsche Junior Dennis Olsen (N/Walter Lechner Racing Team) claiming fifth: “What a race! First of all, I’m thrilled to have already won the rookie championship title. However, several unexpected things happened out on the track. I had a problem with braking and it cost me a podium spot, which I was on track for at times. Things are really tight in the championship and, of course, I’d like to ultimate take home the title.”
Sixth place went to Ryan Cullen (GB/Walter Lechner Racing Team) followed by Robert Lukas (PL/Olimp Racing). Porsche Junior Thomas Preining (A/Walter Lechner Racing Team), who contested the Monza round as a guest driver and who is a regular driver in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland this season, saw the flag in eighth. “The start was crazy but I managed to make up positions from tenth on the grid. However I was hit as I was exiting the first corner and suddenly found myself in 16th. From there I worked my way back up the field.” Daniel Cammish (GB/Lechner MSG Racing Team) came ninth.
For the championship leader, Ammermüller, the race turned into a nightmare. The 31-year-old had taken up the race from third on the grid and overtook Olsen in the sprint to the first corner. In lap seven, Ammermüller and another competitor swapped paint, which saw the seasoned Porsche specialist fall back from fourth to eleventh. In the action-packed midfield, there was another minor collision in lap ten and Ammermüller settled into 13th place. He finally reached the flag in tenth position after 80.793 kilometres. The German now heads to the season finale of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup held for the first time in Mexico as the series leader just three points ahead of Olsen. Rounds ten and eleven will be contested on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack, where the championship will be decided.
Monza, result round 9 of 11*
1. Matt Campbell (AUS/Fach Auto Tech)
2. Zaid Ashkanani (KUW/MRS GT Racing)
3. Mattia Drudi (I/Dinamic Motorsport)
4. Jaap van Lagen (NL/MOMO-Megatron Team Partrax)
5. Dennis Olsen (N/Walter Lechner Racing Team)
6. Ryan Cullen (GB/Walter Lechner Racing Team)
7. Robert Lukas (PL/Olimp Racing)
8. Thomas Preining (A/Walter Lechner Racing Team)
9. Daniel Cammish (GB/Lechner MSG Racing Team)
10. Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner MSG Racing Team)
Championship standings – after 9 of 11 races
1. Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner MSG Racing Team), 157 points
2. Dennis Olsen (N/Walter Lechner Racing Team), 154 points
3. Matt Campbell (AUS/Fach Auto Tech), 111 points