Campbell wins at Monza
Porsche Junior driver Matt Campbell (Fach Auto Tech) scored his second victory of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup 2017 season at Monza, in the ninth round of the championship. Zaid Ashkanani (MRS GT Racing) and Mattia Drudi (Dinamic Motorsport) finished second and third respectively.
Before the double-header grand finale in Mexico at the end of October, the situation of the championship looks extremely close, as only three points separate the current leader Michael Ammermüller (Lechner MSG Racing Team) and Dennis Olsen (Walter Lechner Racing Team). In Italy Olsen achieved the fifth place, with Ammermüller on tenth.
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 at 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 with position two. “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,” commented the MRS GT Racing driver. Drudi made the most of his home advantage. The 19-year-old started from the sixth position and finished on third. “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 goosebumps,” said Drudi.
Jaap van Lagen (MOMO-Megatron Team Partrax) crossed the finish line on fourth, with Olsen fifth. Sixth place went to Olsen’s team mate Ryan Cullen followed by Robert Lukas (Olimp Racing). Porsche Junior Thomas Preining, who contested the Monza round as a guest driver in another Walter Lechner Racing Team car and who is a regular driver in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland this season, saw the flag in eighth. Daniel Cammish (Lechner MSG Racing Team) was ninth.
For the championship leader Ammermüller the race turned into a nightmare. The 31-year-old had taken up the race from third on the grid and overtook Olsen in the sprint to the first corner. In 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 in lap ten and Ammermüller settled into 13th place. He finally reached the flag in tenth position.
Rounds ten and eleven will be contested on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack, where the championship will be decided.