Porsche Carrera Cup Hungaroring 30. May – 1. June
Friday 10am, Christopher arrived at the Hungaroring for the free practice session. The weather was less than ideal, light drizzle and cloudy. When the 37 Porsche Carrera GT3 Cup cars were let on track at 2:25pm, thankfully the rain had stopped. Though the track was completely dry the driver’s had to stay away from the curbs which were still treacherously slippery. During his 25 laps Chris had to make several significant changes to his car to find the right setup for Saturday’s qualifying. Having set the 4th fastest lap time, Chris eventually finished free practice on P9 as other drivers opted for a new set of Michelin tyres.
Back to business, or at least that was what Chris had hoped, when he entered Saturday’s Qualifying session in his #7 Konrad Porsche GT3 Cup. Long story short, for Race 1 on Saturday Chris will start from 10th place 0.684 seconds behind 1st. For Sunday’s race Chris will have to fight himself through the field, having qualified 12th. Not the result that Chris and the team were expecting.
The first race of the weekend was scheduled to commence at 5:10 pm. Unfortunately a serious crash during an earlier race meant the race was delayed while the track side barrier had to be
repaired. The new start time for the race was set for 7:30 pm.
Christopher had an OK start. Engine RPM was very low and after Turn 1 Chris had dropped back to 11th. Chris’ race turned however, when after lap 2 or 3 he found himself in 9th position. Suffering from severe understeer Chris struggled to keep his #7 Konrad Porsche under control. He could keep the pace of the pack in front but didn’t have the speed to start an attack for 8th. Nonetheless, taking home 7 important championship points was an acceptable result given the technical problems he was contending with.
Thanks to another driver receiving a 10 grid penalty, Christopher would start the race from 11th on Sunday morning. Just behind his team mate on 10th. The start for Chris wasn’t too bad but not too good either. Just after the start of the race, approaching Turn 1 there was yet another crash involving 3 cars. Chris managed to avoid any contact and squeezed past the carnage, putting #7 Konrad Porsche on 6th place after the first lap.
Chris found himself under constant pressure from 2 cars behind. Both Clemens Schmidt and Alex Riberas had opted for new tyres for the race and as the laps passed Chris found himself struggling to keep the pace on his old tyres from Qualifying. After 7 laps of great defending, Chris wasn’t able to hold off their attacks any longer and they slipped passed in turn 1.
Nearing the end of the race, Christopher was suffering with further technical problems, on reflection possibly a damper problem or a tyre pressure issue. At the end of the race Christopher took home 8th place, again important championship points, maintaining his position in the top 3 in the championship.
Porsche Carrera Cup Germany Oschersleben 16. – 18. May 2014
Unlike the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup, we had 60 minutes of free practice on Friday and that gave us enough time to fine tune Christopher’s #7 Konrad Porsche GT3 Cup.
Throughout the first 40 minutes Chris was somewhere between 2nd and 5th with his lap time.
Only in the end of the session, when some of the other driver’s went out on track with a new set up tyres, Chris fell back to 14th place.
Despite only P14 Chris was very confident that during Saturday’s Qualifying a Top 5 result would be possible.
Long story short, Christopher clocked the 2nd fastest lap for Race 1 on Saturday and for the 2nd race on Sunday morning he qualified himself on 10th place.
Christopher after the Qualifying : “In the second half of the session I hit the red inner curb too hard and therefor bend the right front damper, which resulted in understeering, hence only
10th for Sunday’s race.
However I’m very much looking forward to the race today as I’m starting from 2nd !
Oschersleben is quite a technical circuit. It is also very demanding on the driver because one little mistake can ruin an entire lap or in a race scenario loose a position.
As the lights when green Chris had a good start, it wasn’t great but it was good enough to get right behind the #1 car of Pieter Schothortst. Approaching the sharp lefthander at Turn 1, Chris
stuck the nose of his #7 Konrad Porsche on the inside and managed to get into the lead.
Right behind him was Alex Riberas trying to chase him down.
After 4 laps Chris pulled a 1 second lead over Alex Riberas in 2nd & Chris’ team mate Christian Engelhart in 3rd. However, due to a crash the safety car got called out
and the entire field got back together.
As the lights on the safety car went off, Christopher had a good restart of the race and immediately could pull away from Riberas.
Having controlled the pace of the race, Chris took the chequered flag after 25 minutes of racing, securing his first win of the season !
We decided to run the first Qualifying session with just 1 new set of tyres, where as many other teams changed tyres during the 20 minutes.
Christopher clocked in the 3rd fastest laptime for the first race on Saturday.
The first Quali session was filled with plenty of “yellow” flag moments and lots of “traffic”.
The 2nd part of the Quali session was 10 minutes and the “Top 15” of the 1st session had their run.
Chris went on a “cool down lap” before trying for another hot lap, however tyre preassure & temperatures changed which resulted in an unbalanced Porsche 911 GT3 Cup .
Christopher eventually qualifying himself on P12 for the 2nd race.
Starting from P3 Chris was more then exited.
“I’m really looking forward to starting my first race of the 2014 Season from a top 3 position! “
25 minutes lay ahead of the 37 car field.
The red lights vanished and the race was ON! Christopher had a great start, passing Jim Pla right away for 2nd , however then ran wide in turn 1 and lots 3 positions.
After lap 1 Chris found himself behind Earl Bamber in 5th.
“The car felt very strong in the first half of the race”. Chris was on Bamber’s bumper all the way through, catching up with Nicki Thiim and Phillip Eng in 1st .
After lap 7 or 8, Christopher’s brakes starting to fade which resulting in longer break distances and loss of time.
“I’m happy to finish 4th today, however at the same time I’m a bit disappointed as I had the pace to finish the race on the podium”
The second race of the weekend Chris was starting from the 12th grid position.
Race length was set for 18 laps at 10am on Sunday morning.
Weather conditions were great. 17 degree Celcius and sunshine !
Christopher had a good start and after the first lap he already was on P10
Fighting his way through the field he was in a good battle with Fabian Thuner & Michael Ammermueller.
Eventually Chris got settled into his race rythem and could pull away. With 4 laps to go and in 8th place, Christopher had Alex Riberas in sight in 7th.
Chris after the race: “ It was a great race, had lots of good battles but starting from P12 is just too far behind on the grid. Non the less I am very happy with the weekend and big thanks to Konrad Motorsport for providing me with such a great Porsche ! "