Posted by: porschebahn | April 21, 2009

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, rounds 1 and 2 at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Preview

bahrain-supercup-1

Smaller grid, stronger line up and a special new award

With two reigning and two former champions, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup kicks off its 17th season on 25th April. Two races are scheduled at the season-opening round on the 5.4 kilometre Grand Prix circuit of Bahrain. At the two 12-lap sprints, a total of 17 drivers fight for the first victory of 2009 as support to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in the desert kingdom.

Lining up on the grid as pre-race favourite is reigning Supercup champion Jeroen Bleekemolen. The 27-year-old racing professional from the Netherlands won three of the twelve rounds last year, clinched second place four times and climbed the podium in third three times. With this, Bleekemolen secured championship honours already at the eleventh round in Spa-Francorchamps. At the end of the season, the Dutchman held a 72-point lead over the second place-getter. Never has the international one-make series had such a huge winning margin. His goal for 2009: “I’ll be going all out to become champion again this year,” says the former DTM pilot.

As reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, René Rast (Germany) concentrates totally on his international commitment for 2009. Last year in Bahrain the 22-year-old youngster gave a brilliant performance: At his Supercup debut he set pole position for both races. The third competitor in this year’s “champion class” is Luigi Ferrara. In 2008, the 26-year-old Italian won the title of the Porsche Carrera Cup Italy.

Richard Westbrook makes his comeback in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. The 33-year-old racing professional from Great Britain, who was contracted as a Porsche works driver in 2008, won the coveted Supercup title in 2007 and 2006. On his return he aims to strike back and turn his title bid into a hat-trick. For Patrick Huisman, another favourite, winning the championship would push his total to five. With 24 race victories and four titles (1997 to 2000) to his credit, the 42-year-old Dutchman holds an unparalleled record in the international one-make series.

At the eleven championship rounds this season, which all take place as support to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is deployed with several modifications to details. Its 3.6-litre boxer engine delivers 420 hp at a competition weight of just 1,130 kilograms. With this, the near-standard Grand Touring race car achieves a top speed of around 290 kph. The racing version of the 911 for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is fitted with Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes PCCB and a distinctive sounding exhaust system.

In a special new award, a “Rookie of the Year” is being sought for the first time. The winner is the newcomer in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup who holds the highest points tally from all rounds at the end of the season. The new classification, which is separate from the driver and team classifications, has prize money totalling 25,000 Euro, distributed amongst the top three places. The “Rookie of the Year” receives 12,000 Euro, second place is rewarded with 8,000 Euro, with 5,000 Euro for third place. Initiating this special award is wheel manufacturer BBS, who supply the light alloy wheels for all Porsche 911 GT3 Cup vehicles and is the brand trophy’s new series partners this year.

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup – 2009 Calendar

25 / 26 April: Sakhir, Bahrain
10 May: Barcelona, Spain
24 May: Monte Carlo, Monaco
7 June: Istanbul, Turkey
21 June: Silverstone, Great Britain
12 July: Nuerburgring, Germany
26 July: Budapest, Hungary
23 August: Valencia, Spain
30 August: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
13 September: Monza, Italy

            bahrain-supercup-2


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