PCC Oman's Al-Zubair finishes 12th as Olsen clinches Porsche title at Hockenheim
PORSCHE CARRERA CUP GERMANY
Rounds 13/14 – Hockenheim, Germany, October 13th-15th, 2017
For immediate release
Saturday, October 14th, 2017
OMAN’S AL-ZUBAIR FINISHES 12TH AT HOCKENHEIM AS OLSEN
CLINCHES PORSCHE CARRERA CUP GERMANY TITLE
HOCKENHEIM (GERMANY): Al-Faisal Al-Zubair enjoyed his first taste of racing in the
Porsche Carrera Cup Germany at the renowned Hockenheim circuit and finished the first of the weekend’s two races in 12th position.
The Omani is using the last two rounds of the German series to prepare himself for the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup finale in Mexico at the end of the month and he acclimatised well to the pace of a frenetic race held in dry conditions.
“The race was good. We started in P11 and I finished in 12th place on used tyres,” said FZ Racing’s Al-Faisal, who teamed up with Lechner Racing again for the weekend. “There were 25 drivers, so I am happy with that.
“Yesterday’s practice session was the only time I got to learn the track. It was quite hard to manage the used tyres in the race but, at least, we will be on new tyres tomorrow and will benefit from the advantage that some of the other drivers had in race one.”
Konrad Motorsport’s Dennis Olsen held a 13-point advantage over Nick Yelloly heading into the weekend and a drive-through penalty cost Yelloly dearly.
Olsen, from Norway, reached the chequered flag in second place, but Yelloly - running under the Team Deutsche Post Project 1 banner - could only recover to finish in 13th. The race win went to Christian Engelhart of the Black Falcon team but Olsen had done enough to clinch the title with one race to spare.
Al-Zubair lined up in 11th position on the grid for the shorter of the weekend’s two races on the 4,574km circuit. In dry and bright conditions, Engelhart led Olsen and Michael Ammermüller from pole position into the 14-lap, 64.036km race.
Olsen snatched the advantage through the first turns and began to edge clear of his rivals, as Larry Ten Voorde damaged the rear left wheel on his GT3 and retired and Al-Zubair moved up to 10th place.
Twenty-four of the 25 cars remained in the race after four laps and Olsen continued to lead from Engelhart, Ammermüller, Christopher Zöchling, Yelloly and Kuwait’s Zaid Ashkanani. Yelloly was handed a drive through penalty, which severely dented his title aspirations, and he slipped to 16th, Engelhart overtook Olsen to take the lead and Al-Zubair fell to 12th.
By lap nine, Al-Zubair was back up to 11th position, as Engelhart continued to lead from Olsen, Ammermüller, Zöchling and Ashkanani. Yelloly climbed back to 15th but Thomas Preining found a way past Al-Zubair and the Omani was pegged back to 12th.
The leaders held station over the final laps and Engelhart claimed the win from champion elect Olsen, Ammermüller, Zöchling and Ashkanani.
Training and qualifying
Yelloly won Friday morning’s training session with a best lap of 1min 41.950sec during his 29 laps of the circuit. Engelhart was second, series leader Olsen was third and Al-Zubair ran for 27 laps and slotted into 12th of the 25 drivers with a best lap of 1min 43,391sec.
Qualifying took place late on Friday afternoon in dry conditions and a setting sun and Al-Zubair carded a best time of 1min 42.393sec, which meant the Omani would start the first race in 11th position. Pole fell to Engelhart with a best lap of 1min 41.464 from Preining, Olsen, Yelloly, Ammermüller and Zöchling. Less than one second separated the first 14 drivers in an incredibly close session.
“The fastest lap in qualifying was used to determine the pole position for the feature race on Sunday and our second fastest lap was used for the first race on Saturday. That means I qualified 13th for Sunday and 11th for Saturday. We still have a bit of work to do, but it was my first time in the Porsche on this circuit. Hockenheim will also be back in the F1 calendar in 2018, so it was a good advantage to get some practice here.”
The final round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany gets the green light at 08.55hrs on Sunday morning.
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