Posted by: porschebahn | April 25, 2009

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup round 1 at Bahrain Grand Prix

bleekemolen-at-bahrain

Bleekemolen secures first win of the season

The reigning champion of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup continues on his success streak in 2009. At the first race of the year, Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) crossed the finish line first after twelve laps, more than 9.7 seconds ahead of his compatriot Patrick Huisman driving for SPS Performance. Third place went to newcomer Matt Halliday from New Zealand competing for the Federsand-Jetstream Motorsport team.

Already at the start, the 27-year-old Bleekemolen left his opponents no chance on the 5.4 kilometre Bahrain International Circuit. He defended his pole position, settled in at the head of the field and after the first lap had already managed to put a one second gap between him and René Rast (Germany, VELTINS MRS Racing) sitting second. Close behind sat Huisman, Halliday as well as both pilots of Walter Lecher Racing School, Damien Faulkner (Ireland) and Stefan Rosina (Slovakia). With an immaculate drive, Bleekemolen kept his opponents at bay for the rest of the race, retaining his lead easily to reach the finish line after the 12 lap sprint in 25:32.259 minutes.

Bad luck for 22-year-old Rast. Due to technical problems, the young German retired in lap eight. In fact, at last year’s first Supercup race, the reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland didn’t see the chequered flag either.

Record-setting champion Huisman, who claimed four consecutive titles from 1997 to 2000, received the flag in second place in Bahrain. At his debut in the international one-make cup series, Matt Halliday secured a commendable third. On positions four and five were team mates Faulkner and Rosina.

Sixth went to Luigi Ferrara, last year’s winner of the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia. Behind the 26-year-old Italian, his team mate at Sanitec Racing, William Langhorne (USA), saw the flag in seventh, followed by Siso Cunill (Spain, Konrad Motorsport) and Abdulaziz Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia, Walter Lechner Racing School) ranking eighth and ninth respectively.

After posting fourth in qualifying, former Supercup champion Richard Westbrook (Great Britain, Federsand-Jetstream Motorsport), experienced bad luck and only managed tenth in the race. Already in the first corner the 33-year-old spun after a nudge with his team mate Halliday, relegating the Briton to the back of the field.

Jeroen Bleekemolen (winner): “That was a perfect race for me. Of course I was lucky that René retired. After lap four he was slowly closing the gap to me and then suddenly he’d disappeared. If you are put under pressure here in the heat it can get very difficult. Luckily that didn’t happen to me. I’m very pleased about that and I can’t wait for race two.”

Patrick Huisman (second): “I’m very happy with this result. I certainly profited from Richard’s spin in the first corner, but still, for the rest I drove a good and careful race. Most of all I’m delighted for my team. I have a new squad alongside and we didn’t test at all prior to Bahrain.”

Matt Halliday (third): “I should be happy about my podium result but the incident with my team mate is overshadowing it. I’m very sorry. I had no other option than to nudge Richard. It could have been a great start to the season, but right now the joy is under a cloud. At the end of the race I didn’t want to take any risks. Perhaps I could have achieved second but I decided to bring home a safe third.”

Television stations “Eurosport 2” and “Premiere” broadcast round two in Bahrain live on Sunday (26 April) from 11.30 hrs (CET).

Race result:

1. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Konrad Motorsport, 25:32.259 minutes (152.006 km/h)
2. Patrick Huisman (NL), SPS Performance, + 9.709 seconds
3. Matt Halliday (NZ), Federsand-Jetstream Motorsport, + 11.272
4. Damien Faulkner (IR), Walter Lechner Racing School, + 12.600
5. Stefan Rosina (SK), Walter Lechner Racing School, + 13.536

             bahrain-supercup-21


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