PSC Oman's Al-Zubair endures disappointing 22nd-placed finish and retirement in race two at Spa
PORSCHE MOBIL 1 SUPER CUP
Rounds 7/8 – Spa, Belgium, August 25-27, 2017
For immediate release
Sunday, August 27th, 2017
OMAN’S AL-ZUBAIR ENDURES DISAPPOINTING 22ND-PLACED FINISH AND A RETIREMENT IN PORSCHE MOBIL 1 SUPER CUP RACES AT SPA
· Norway’s Dennis Olsen wins both Spa races from pole position
SPA (BELGIUM): Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair endured a disappointing weekend at rounds seven and eight of the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup at Belgium’s famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
The Lechner Racing Middle East driver finished the first of the two races on Saturday evening in 22nd overall, but retired from race two on Sunday after a high-speed spin.
Norwegian driver Dennis Olsen secured a comfortable race one victory from pole position and repeated the feat in the second safety car-interrupted race to seal his second and third victories of the season. Series leader Michael Ammermüller finished third and second in the two races on the renowned Belgian circuit and Dylan Pereira rounded off the podium places in race two.
“The pace was okay, but I got hit on three different laps by different drivers and I kept going back and back,” said FZ Racing’s Al-Faisal. “The driving standard was really poor. There were some stupid drivers out there today.”
Al-Zubair began the first of the weekend’s two races from 20th position on Saturday evening, with Olsen, Mattia Drudi and Ammermüller lining up at the front of the 31-car grid. It was a clean start and the leading trio held station through the opening lap, as did Al-Zubair in 20th position.
Dan Cammish managed to overtake Nick Yelloly and snatch fourth place on lap four, but Al-Zubair slipped a place to 21st. Lukas also managed to find a way past Yelloly on the next lap and Al-Zubair retained 21st. There were no changes to the running order inside the top 10 through six and seven laps and Al-Zubair remained in 21st heading into the final four laps of what was developing into a processional race.
Yelloly slipped to eighth on lap eight, but all 31 drivers were still running. There were no late dramas for Olsen and the Norwegian held on to claim a second win of the season from Drudi and Ammermüller. Yelloly climbed back to seventh when Pereira lost time on lap nine, but Al-Zubair reached the chequered flag in 22nd after being overtaken by Roar Lindland on the final lap.
“We finished in P22, but it was not the best race for me and I am happy just to have finished,” said Al-Zubair. “With the pack ahead of me and beside me it was not easy and I had a few incidents. From then on, I tried to defend my position. I gained experience and it was the first time racing here in the dry.”
Olsen lined up in pole position for Sunday’s morning second race from Yelloly and Ammermüller with Al-Zubair slotting into 16th on the grid. There was a clean start for the second time but the safety car was needed soon afterwards while the stationery Porsche of Glauco Solieri was removed from the rear of the starting grid on the opening lap.
Al-Zubair had slipped to 19th at the restart on lap two after being clipped by another car, as the leading group held station and Olsen headed into lap three ahead of Yelloly and Ammermüller. The Omani suffered a high-speed collision at Eau Rouge after an incident involving Lechner MSG Racing Team’s Sean Hudspeth and slipped to 24th after four laps. He had regained one position when Dan Cammish pitted and retired following an earlier collision. Igor Walilko was given a drive through penalty.
Olsen maintained his lead from Yelloly, Ammermüller and Periera through six laps, but the safety car returned to action following a collision between Lindland and Egidio Perfetti. Al-Zubair managed to keep going in 27th position at the rear of the field before pitting after nine laps and retiring.
Racing restarted with two laps to go and Olsen held on to take the chequered flag from Ammermüller, Pereira and Yelloly, but Drudi retired on lap 10 and a heavy crash occurred on the final lap involving Igor Walilko, Philip Morin, Gianmarco Quaresmini and Daniele Di Amato, sidelining all four cars.
The Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup returns to action at Monza in Italy next weekend.
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