Porsche Junior Matt Campbell (AUS/Fach Auto Tech) scored his second victory of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season on Sunday at Monza, Italy. Zaid Ashkanani (KUW/MRS GT Racing) and Mattia Drudi (I/Dinamic Motorsport) finished second and third respectively after an eventful ninth championship round.
In the overall classification heading into the double-header grand finale in Mexico with the 485bhp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the situation looks extremely close as only three points separate championship leader Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner MSG Racing Team) and Porsche Junior Dennis Olsen (N/Walter Lechner Racing Team). This was after Olsen achieved fifth place in this race, with Ammermüller finishing tenth. At Monza, Olsen has successfully clinched an early victory in the rookie classification.
The weekend 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 for 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, finishing second, “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 when the 19-year-old started from sixth, and finished in third place. “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 goose bumps,” said Drudi.
The reserve driver, Jaap van Lagen (NL/MOMO-Megatron Team Partrax), crossed the finish line in 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 ultimately 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 place. “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 started the race from third on the grid, but was overtaken by Olsen in the sprint to the first corner. On 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 on lap ten and Ammermüller settled into 13th place. He finally reached the flag in tenth position. 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 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack, where the championship will be decided.
Monza: results for Round 9*
|1||Matt Campbell||Australia||Fach Auto Tech|
|2||Zaid Ashkanani||Kuwait||MRS GT Racing|
|3||Mattia Drudi||Italy||Dinamic Motorsport|
|4||Jaap van Lagen||Holland||MOMO-Megatron Team Partrax|
|5||Dennis Olsen||Norway||Walter Lechner Racing Team|
|6||Ryan Cullen||Great Britain||Walter Lechner Racing Team|
|7||Robert Lukas||Poland||Olimp Racing|
|8||Thomas Preining||Austria||Walter Lechner Racing Team|
|9||Daniel Cammish||Great Britain||Lechner MSG Racing Team|
|10||Michael Ammermüller||Germany||Lechner MSG Racing Team|
Edited by: Glen Smale
Images by: Porsche