After racing at Spa, Zandvoort, Dijon, Magny Cours and Barcelona, the Porsche teams and drivers went to the south of France for the season finale. The 2018 season of the Porsche Carrera Cup France ended last week at Le Castellet – Paul Ricard circuit, where Ayhacan Guven was declared the 2018 Porsche Carrera Cup France champion.
By way of a coincidence with the calendar, in the same weekend three other important races took place around the world: 6 Hours of Fuji World Endurance Championship (in Japan) and Road Atlanta Petit Le Mans (US). The 2017 Carrera Cup France champion and points leader before the Le Castellet race, Julien Andlauer (Martinet by Almeras), had to drive in the Japanese endurance event in a 911 RSR for Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche (this is the same team with whom Andlauer won the GTE-AM class at Le Mans this year).
As a result of this clash, the Turkish driver Ayhacan Guven (Attempto Racing) and Italian Alessio Rovera (Tsunami RT) were presented with a unique opportunity, to be crowned 2018 champion, in the absence of points leader Andlauer. The 2014 Carrera Cup Champion and now official McLaren driver in the Blancpain GT Series, Come Ledogar, replaced Julien Andlauer for the Martinet by Almeras team in this last meeting of the season.
With near-summer temperatures, the ambiance was fantastic at Paul Ricard. On the same weekend the most important French circuit championships held their finals: GT4 Championship, Peugeot 308 Racing Cup and the French Formula 4 Championship.
Florian Latorre (RMS) set the fastest lap in qualifying for the Race 1, followed by Guven, Rovera and Ledogar. At the start of the race, Guven went ahead of Latorre establishing himself as an early leader in the race. In the first laps, Guven was followed closely by Latorre, Ledogar and Rovera running within one second of each other, and they proceeded to run flat out during the whole race. The Turkish driver put in a very strong performance and managed to fend off all the attacks, clinching his second win of the season. Title rival Rovera, finished in fourth place. In the B class, 36-year old Nicolas Misslin (Martinet by Almeras) finished seventh overall and was crowed 2018 champion from this first race of the week-end.
Very determined to become champion, Ayhacan Guven set the best time on Sunday morning qualifying for the second race, and he therefore started from pole position. In the first lap, Latorre and Ledogar passed Guven for whom a third place was enough to become champion, but a crash in the middle of the field brought out the safety car. At the restart, Guven and Rovera were third and fourth and they performed a nail-biting battle throughout the entire race. With a very good defensive drive from Guven, Rovera tried a risky overtaking manoeuver at the Mistral chicane on the last lap and the two cars touched, and as a result Rovera damaged his front suspension. Rovera was given a 30 second penalty for this manoeuver and eventually finished in twelfth place in the race, although he had been in sixth place at the finish line.
At just 20 years old, and in only his third full season in Porsche Carrera Cup, Ayhacan Guven becomes the first non-French driver to be champion in the Porsche Carrera Cup France in its 32nd edition. Martinet by Almeras was already teams’ champion and Hugo Chevalier (Martinet by Almeras) won the Rookie crowd.
Porsche Carrera Cup France 2018 – Driver Standings after Rounds 11 & 12
|4 & 1st Rookie||Hugo Chevalier||134|
|1||Martinet by Alméras||366|
|2||Sébastien Loeb Racing||235|
Written by: Lucian Sonea
Images by: Porsche/Alexis Goure