Stuttgart. René Rast has already achieved his goal before the final race of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: Clinching second place at the wheel of his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the German from VELTINS Lechner Racing secured the championship title at the first of two final races in Abu Dhabi.
Britain’s Nick Tandy (Konrad Motorsport) celebrated his first win of the season on the Yas Marina Circuit in the world’s fastest international one-make race series.
On the ultra-modern Formula 1 circuit in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Kévin Estre pulled to the head of the field from pole position.
Behind the Hermes Attempto Racing pilot from France, who has already secured the title of the BBS rookie classification in Monza, René Rast initially followed in second place. Nicky Tandy in third then put the title defender under immense pressure, and with Rast’s sights firmly set on claiming the title he finally let the Briton overtake.
While Rast observed the fight at the front from a safe distance, Nick Tandy wasn’t at all ready to settle for second. Last year’s vice-champion had finished in second place four times this season but had yet to pocket a win which he was now determined to do. Tandy attacked the leader whenever he saw the chance and pushed the young Frenchman into making errors. He then used one of these opportunities to manoeuvre into the lead which he held to the flag. Aside from his first win of the season, he also claimed the honour of the Tudor Fastest Lap Award for the driver with the highest number of fastest laps, and was awarded a valuable Tudor wrist watch.
With his 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, based on the lightweight 911 GT3 RS street sports car, René Rast also profited from a minor error of Kévin Estre near the end of the race and secured second place.
Fourth position went to his Austrian teammate Norbert Siedler, who moved into second overall in the championship. VELTINS Lechner Racing clinched the team classification title.
Video by: Formula One Management (FOM)]
Although the fight for the title has been decided, suspense is guaranteed at the final race of season on Sunday: Trailing Rast as the new champion are five other drivers keen to take home runner-up honours.
Nick Tandy (winner):
“My first victory at last. I’ve waited for this for the entire year. It’s great that I have now finally achieved this. It was a very interesting race. Kévin was setting a blistering pace, René and I took our time watching him and hoped that he’d maybe make a mistake, which he did. Congratulations to René on his title win. After my victory today I’m heading into the race on Sunday feeling very confident. ”
René Rast (second):
“I’m simply thrilled and relieved. It’s difficult to describe what it means to have won this championship two times in a row. This year was even tougher than last season because there were more drivers competing who were good to take the title. We experienced a poor start to the season, but we fought our way out of this minor setback and found our old form again. This makes our success today even sweeter. In the race I tried to keep out of any trouble. Nick was quicker than me, so I let him pass. After that I just concentrated on reaching the flag safely. But then Kévin made a mistake so I used the chance. Thanks to my team for all they have done to make this victory possible.”
Kévin Estre (third):
“That was a tough race. To sit in the lead with René and Nick behind you is not exactly easy. I was determined to finish on the podium and I achieved this despite making a few small mistakes. So from this point of view, I’m pleased and I now look forward to tomorrow’s race.”
1. Nick Tandy (GB), Konrad Motorsport, 31:15.317 minutes
2. René Rast (D), VELTINS Lechner Racing, + 1.549 seconds
3. Kévin Estre (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 6.232
4. Norbert Siedler (A), VELTINS Lechner Racing, + 6.658
5. Christian Engelhart (D), Konrad Motorsport, + 10.235
6. Sean Edwards (GB), Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, + 10.382
Points’ standings after 10 of 11 races
1. René Rast (D), 161 points
2. Norbert Siedler (A), 136
3. Kuba Giermaziak (PL),130
4. Nick Tandy (GB), 129
5. Sean Edwards (GB), 126
6. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), 117
1. VELTINS Lechner Racing, 291 points
2. Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, 240
3. Konrad Motorsport, 218
BBS rookie classification
1. Kévin Estre (F), 107 points