Porsche Supercup: Campbell Takes Maiden Victory

Source: newsroom.porsche.com

Matt Campbell took his debut victory in the Porsche Supercup at Austria after comfortably controlling the pace throughout.

Michael Ammermüller retains his championship lead after finishing second. Dylan Pereira rounded off the podium in third.

Dennis Olsen climbed from seventh on the grid to take fifth but ultimately lost ground to rival and championship leader Michael Ammermüller.

Mattia Drudi, who started P2, agonisingly missed out on a podium after being passed by both Ammermüller and Pereira in a matter of metres. Roar Lindland finished fastest of the B Drivers in twentieth.

The top 3 of Campbell, Drudi and Ammermüller all maintained their positions from the start and settled into a nice rhythm as initially it was Ammermüller who was off the pace as Campbell and Drudi created a comfortable gap to the German driver.

Behind the front three, the opening lap saw a number of drivers running wide at the tight turn one, with Polish rookie Piotr Parys being a little too eager on the throttle which resulted in a spin and dropped him to the back of the field.

Dennis Olsen who started P7 was keen to minimise damage in the championship battle after a frustrating qualifying for the Norwegian. Olsen begin his assault through the field by passing Robert Lukas for sixth on Lap 3 and quickly caught up to the train of cars headed by Ammermüller in third.

Campbell and Drudi both had tremendous pace in the early phase of the race, but it was the Australian of Campbell who was able to maintain this as 18-year-old Drudi was seen seeing car number 1 of Michael Ammermüller in his mirrors.

Ammermüller himself was under pressure from Luxembourgian Dylan Pereira, however, with such limited overtaking opportunities and the 911 GT3 Cup cars incredibly difficult to drive, the order remained the same for the whole middle part of the race.

Drudi in P2 began to struggle on his tyres at three quarters distance but still no realistic overtaking opportunity appeared for Ammermüller in third.

With three laps remaining, Drudi suffered a poor exit off Turn 1, giving Ammermüller the opportunity he needed to make his passing move at Turn 3, squeezing Drudi on the exit.

Pereira capitalised on Drudi being ran out wide at Turn 3, the 20-year-old launched off turn three, slipstreaming the Italian down to Turn 4 and eventually passing Drudi.

The move however was controversial. Mark Radcliffe had spun and beached his car at Turn 4 which brought out yellow flags. Pereira appeared to have made the pass in the yellow flag zone but the stewards deemed the pass legal.

Radcliffe’s beached 911 deployed the Safety Car which many thought would see the race finish behind the Safety Car. A swift recovery of Radcliffe’s car gave enough time for one racing lap.

Campbell’s restart at first glance looked poor but an exceptional launch off the final corner gave him good breathing space over Ammermüller.

Olsen was the only driver to advance on the final lap, lunging down the inside of Josh Webster at Turn 3 to claim fifth place.

Campbell was able to absorb the last lap pressure from Ammermüller and take a much-deserved victory at the Red Bull Ring, closely behind Ammermüller was Pereira in third.

A relieved Campbell said after the race: “I’m really happy. If I’m honest, I was a little relieved when I crossed the finish line. When you start from pole position you want to win. I managed to do this and I’m thrilled”.

Despite not maintaining his 100% win record for the season, Ammermüller was delighted with another top result: “Mattia Drudi got slower towards the end and when he made a mistake I overtook him. I won the last three races and now I’ve finished on second. I’m happy with that”.

Olsen who finished fifth spoke about how he couldn’t get anymore out of the car: “I tried everything during the race but I couldn’t do more. Josh Webster and I had a tough duel and luckily I was able to get past him in the last lap. Now I’m looking ahead. Next week we race at Silverstone and I would like to attack again.”

The result sees Ammermüller now with a 14 point lead over Dennis Olsen. Matt Campbell’s victory propels him to third in the standings, 18 points behind Ammermüller.