Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair reached the chequered flag of the second round of the 2019 Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup on Monaco’s Street Circuit in 10th position after what had looked to be a processional race ended with a couple of yellow flag incidents and debris on the narrow track.
The young BWT Lechner Racing Team driver began the race in 11th, slipped to 12th on the opening lap and then held his composure through two race stoppages to finish in the top 10.
His team-mate and defending champion Michael Ammermüller celebrated his 71st Porsche Super Cup race with victory to also take the championship lead into the four-week break. Dane Mikkel Pedersen and Dutchman Larry ten Voorde finished second and third on the 3.337km circuit.
Al-Zubair said: “A bit disappointed with 10th because I knew my pace had been faster in practice with P7. I think we had room to get a good result. Considering we were in a new car and I had never driven it before until qualifying, P10 was not bad. It is good points for the championship. Now I am excited to test this week.
“In the race it was in the back of my mind that it wasn’t my usual car. In Monaco, to be honest, you cannot really overtake someone. The people at the front are also experienced, so you either gain a position at the start or you just stand still until someone makes a mistake. It was not the most fun race. But two top 10s to start the championship is not so bad.”
Ammermüller led from lights out at the start of the 16-lap morning race from Pedersen and ten Voorde. Al-Zubair lined up in 11th after his dramatic start to the weekend.
The German maintained his advantage and the entire 24-car field survived narrow turn one and the top five held station through the first lap. Al-Zubair dropped one place to 12th.
The procession continued unchanged on the narrow street course into laps three and four, as Ammermüller and Pedersen began to edge clear of third-placed ten Voorde. Al-Zubair maintained 12th and continued to pressurise Jaxon Evans to try and regain 11th.
Ammermüller’s lead over Pedersen was 0.991 seconds at the halfway point but the race was yellow-flagged briefly soon afterwards when Michael Verhagen spun and partially blocked the track before regaining his composure to return to the pits and retire.
There were no changes to the running order inside the top 12 as a result and Ammermüller continued to lead. But Dylan Pereira made an uncharacteristic error, soon afterwards. He half spun into the Armco on both sides of the track, wrecked his rear wing, lost seventh position and ground to a halt on the course on lap 10. The safety car was deployed while the Luxembourg driver’s car was removed from the course. Al-Zubair regained 11th as a result.
Action resumed on lap 12 of 16, but Ammermüller maintained his lead and held on to take the chequered flag and victory for the BWT Lechner Racing Team. Pedersen came home in second place and ten Voorde rounded off the podium positions.
There was a late incident on lap 11 when Joey Mawson was involved in an incident and his demise lifted Al-Zubair into the top 10 in the final classification. The Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup continues with the third round at the Red Bull Circuit in Spielberg, Austria, on June 29th. 0000