Round 8 – Monza, August 31-September 2, 2018

  • Preining claims third successive win; Ammermüller finishes second

MONZA (ITALY): Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair looked set for a career-best eighth-placed finish in the eighth round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup at Italy’s Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Sunday.

But the Lechner Racing Team Middle East lost that position on the very last lap after being clouted from behind by Julien Andlauer. The impact sent the Omani’s car spinning down the track while his rival snatched eighth place. After recovering control of his GT3, a disgruntled Al-Zubair crossed the finish line in 16th position after a dramatic and disappointing end to the race on the fastest circuit of the season.

Thomas Preining claimed a third successive Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup victory, but second place for series leader Michael Ammermüller enabled the German to extend his championship lead over Nick Yelloly heading into a six-week break. Mattia Drudi finished third.

Al-Zubair said: “It was a great race until the last lap. I got hit from behind and could do nothing about it. I really don’t know… I am happy with the rest. Sometimes you need to put the pace and the performance into a result. It is very disappointing.”

Following the discounting of Julien Andlauer’s times from Saturday’s qualifying session because of a technical violation, Al-Zubair was promoted to 10th on a grid of 30 cars that was headed by Ammermüller, the in-form Preining and Drudi.

Fourteen laps and around 80km of racing lay ahead. Preining made an excellent start and found a way to pass Ammermüller and take the lead, as the German’s rival Nick Yelloly climbed to fourth and Al-Zubair stunned his rivals by moving up to seventh. Florian Latorre and Zaid Ashkanani lost ground as a result of an incident involving Larry ten Voorde.

Andlauer moved up from the rear of the grid to hold 21st at the start of lap three, but Al-Zubair slipped back to 10th place as Josh Webster and Ashkanani found their way through in a race that was yellow flagged following a couple of incidents on the course.

Al-Zubair retained 10th place through lap four, as Andlauer climbed to 18th and race officials deemed that no further action would be taken concerning the earlier incident involving Ten Voorde and Ashkanani.

Al-Zubair was passed by Dylan Pereira on lap six and was pegged back to 11th position. Preining continued to lead from Ammermüller, Drudi and Yelloly heading into lap eight. Then, Al-Zubair regained 10th position at the expense of Ashkanani heading into the second half of the race and the Omani continued to shadow Webster.

Preining managed to hold off the challenge of Ammermüller, as Ten Voorde ended up in the gravel trap and eventually pitted, Pereira climbed to fifth and Andlauer nestled in behind Al-Zubair in 11th.

Mikkel Pedersen hit trouble on lap 13 and slipped out of contention and the Swede’s demise lifted Al-Zubair into ninth place and Andlauer into 10th heading into the last lap. Webster also stopped on the last lap.

There were no late dramas for Preining and the Austrian confirmed a third successive victory from Ammermüller, Drudi and Yelloly.

Al-Zubair benefited from Webster’s woes and moved up to eighth, only to plummet down the running order on the last lap to finish 16th, as Andlauer clouted the Omani driver from behind, snatched eighth and sent him spinning down the track. Only 24 cars reached the finish.

The final two rounds of the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup will take place in Mexico City next month.


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