Posted by: porschebahn | April 20, 2012

The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup kicks off the new season in Bahrain

The top series of Porsche one-make championship celebrates anniversary

Stuttgart. Twenty years of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: The anniversary season of the world’s fastest international one-make race series takes off with a double-header round on 21 and 22 April on the Bahrain International Circuit. Heading into the season as title favourite is reigning champion René Rast from Germany with the 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by Lechner Racing. Rast is looking forward to returning to the desert nation. “The last time I competed in Bahrain I won both races. I’ll be doing everything within my power to repeat that result this year,” says the Supercup champion of 2010 and 2011.

As the flagship series of the 19 Porsche one-make championships worldwide, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup boasts a healthy grid line-up again this season. “We have a balanced field and we’re also looking forward to welcoming some new teams into the Supercup family,” says Jonas Krauss, Head of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at Porsche Motorsport. “Onboard are some eager young newcomers like Jeroen Mul coming from Formula 3, Renger van der Zande who contested the DTM in 2011, and ex-Formula 1 test driver Michael Ammermüller. This underlines once more just how attractive the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is as a spring board for a successful GT career or as a challenge for seasoned professionals.”

In Kévin Estre, the Supercup rookies have a shining example. The Frenchman turned heads last year with his strong performances, not only claiming the Rookie of the Year title but also celebrating his first Supercup victory in Monza. Now he is back as one of the hot favourites at the wheel of his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which is based on the lightweight 911 GT3 RS sports car. Joining Kévin Estre (Hermes Attempto Racing) to throw a spanner in René Rast’s plans for a hat-trick are Austria’s Norbert Siedler (VELTINS Lechner Racing), Sean Edwards from Great Britain (Konrad Motorsport) as well as the VERVA Racing pilot Kuba Giermaziak. Last year, the Pole dominated in Budapest, becoming the first eastern European winner in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and went on to claim victory from the Spa-Francorchamps round. Another name on the list of title aspirants is Germany’s Christian Engelhart (Konrad Motorsport), winner of the 2011 season-opener in Istanbul. Denmark’s Nicki Thiim (Hermes Attempto Racing) is also a force to be reckoned with. The son of former DTM champion Kurt Thiim attracted attention last year with his strong performance in the German Carrera Cup. Also making the switch from Germany’s most popular race series is the new Supercup team FÖRCH Racing.

The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers that are fielded in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup come off the assembly line in Porsche’s Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen plant and receive the final touches in the motorsport department at Weissach. All vehicles are technically identical. An important new feature of the 2012-spec is a 100-litre FT3 safety fuel tank.

“The competition in the series has rarely been this high,” states Jonas Krauss at the start of the anniversary season. And he fully expects the fight for the championship to be as exciting as it was last year: Heading to the final round in 2011, six competitors still had the chance to claim the title.

The season-opening race in Bahrain is broadcast live by TV stations Eurosport and Sky – race 1 on 21 April at 11.20 hrs (Sky) and 11.30 hrs (Eurosport 2), race 2 on 22 April at 11.00 hrs (Sky and Eurosport 2). Eurosport also televises highlights at midnight on Sunday in its “Motorsport Weekend Magazin” programme.

The 2012 races

21/22.04. Bahrain / UAE
13.05. Barcelona / Spain
27.05. Monaco / Monaco
24.06. Valencia / Spain
08.07. Silverstone / Great Britain
22.07. Hockenheim / Germany
29.07. Budapest / Hungary
02.09. Spa / Belgium
09.09. Monza / Italy

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