Victory at race 16 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland on Saturday went to Jeffrey Schmidt (Lechner Racing Middle East) from Switzerland. On the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, Schmidt took the flag first in his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup ahead of Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport) and Christian Engelhart (D/TECE MRS-Racing). While Philipp Eng (Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) has already claimed the championship title, the battle for vice-championship honours now goes down to the wire. Still holding chances in the bid for the runner-up spot are Engelhart (187 points) and Schmidt (179).
Jeffrey Schmidt : “That was an awesome race. I’m thrilled with my second win so far this season and I’m hoping to do it again in the last race tomorrow”
Schmidt travelled to Hockenheim highly motivated and promptly secured pole position for both Saturday’s and Sunday’s race, a first for this season. The 21-year-old made a cracking start off the line and managed to put some distance between him and his pursuers. After one lap he had already built a gap of 4.2 seconds. Behind him, however, a heated incident played out: While fighting for positions, Michael Ammermüller (D/The Heart of Racing by Lechner), Nicki Thiim (DK/Küs Team75 Bernhard), Eng and Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (USA/Land-Motorsport) ploughed through the gravel in the first lap and were relegated down the field. Ammermüller, who had taken up the race from second, rejoined the action in 17th place, effectively burying his chances for the vice-championship title.
After the dramatic first lap, positions one to three seems certain with Schmidt, Zöchling and Engelhart, however over the remaining 15 laps Zöchling ate away at the gap to Schmidt until only 0.6 seconds separated the two in the final lap. The Austrian-born UK resident made several attempts to attack, but was ultimately beaten to the line by a mere 0.1 seconds. “I knew my car was dynamite today. But I hadn’t counted on coming from tenth on the grid into second place. The podium is balm for my racing soul, because my season was a bit of a rollercoaster ride,” explained Zöchling.
Ben Barker (GB/Land-Motorsport) crossed the finish line in fourth ahead of Robert Renauer (D/Herberth Motorsport), with Thiim taking sixth. Porsche Junior Sven Müller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East) occupied position seven. “The first laps were horrible. All the drivers were extremely motivated which was definitely exciting for the spectators. But I have to give away some positions and I’m not at all happy about that,” explains Müller. Ammermüller finally finished on eighth ahead of Eng and Jaap van Lagen (NL/Aust Motorsport). Porsche Junior Matteo Cairoli (Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) came from sixth on the grid, but found himself relegated to ninth after the first lap to ultimately receive the flag in eleventh. “It was total chaos after the start. I lost several places. But I’m happy that my Project 1 squad has claimed the team title. Philipp and I have earned a lot of points over the season and that shows what a fantastic crew we have,” declared the Italian.
Another pilot who could celebrate was Alex Toril (Market Leader Team by Project 1). The 19-year-old Spaniard won the rookie classification ahead of Richard Charles Goddard (AUS/TECE MRS-Racing). And the B-category as well is decided: Swiss Rolf Ineichen of Konrad Motorsport holds an unassailable lead in the classification for amateur pilots.
The 17th and final race of the 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland season is contested on Sunday on the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg.
Result race 16:
1. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Lechner Racing Middle East)
2. Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport)
3. Christian Engelhart (D/TECE MRS-Racing)
4. Ben Barker (GB/Land-Motorsport)
5. Robert Renauer (D/Herberth Motorsport)
6. Nicki Thiim (DK/Küs Team75 Bernhard)
7. Sven Müller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East)
8. Michael Ammermüller (D/The Heart of Racing by Lechner)
9. Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1)
10. Jaap van Lagen (NL/Aust Motorsport)
Points standings after 16 of 17 races:
1. Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1), 275 points
2. Christian Engelhart (D/TECE MRS-Racing), 187 points
3. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Lechner Racing Middle East), 179 points
4. Michael Ammermüller (D/The Heart of Racing by Lechner), 166 points
5. Nicki Thiim (DK/Küs Team75 Bernhard), 155 points
1. Alexander Toril (E/Market Leader Team by Project 1), 53 points
2. Richard Charles Goddard (AUS/TECE MRS-Racing), 24 points
3. Luca Rettenbacher (A/Konrad Motorsport), 12 points
1. Rolf Ineichen (CH/Konrad Motorsport), 296 points
2. Wolf Nathan (NL/Land-Motorsport), 272 points
3. Ralf Bohn (D/Herberth Motorsport), 244 points
1. Team Deutsche Post by Project 1, 385 points
2. Lechner Racing Middle East, 337 points
3. The Heart of Racing by Lechner, 314 points
Crédit Photos @Porsche DE