The only three kilometres long and highly demanding street circuit through the urban canyons of Monaco is
unique. After a difficult qualifying Christian Engelhart behind the wheel of his Konrad Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3
Cup clinched eighth rank at the second round for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at the Cote d’Azur. The race
weekend became a real highlight for Rolf Ineichen, who mastered his debut in the fiercely contested Supercup.
Nowhere else the qualifying session is of such an importance like it is in Monaco. On the narrow street-circuit overtaking is
nearly impossible, what became also a fateful matter for Christian Engelhart. After the German was still fastest in the free
practice session on Thursday, he had to settle with eighth spot in the starting grid after the qualifying. “Unfortunately I
slightly hit the guardrail, what ruined the set-up of my car. I wasn't able to lap the track with a reasonable time”, explained
Engelhart. In the race Engelhart had no chance to improve his position, however, finishing eighth he claimed some good
points for the championship.
Klaus Bachler and Christopher Zoechling saw the chequered flag on positions ten and fourteen. “I had a good start, but
there is no chance here in Monaco to overtake without taking a lot of risk”, Bachler summarises his efforts. Nevertheless,
with the fastest lap of the race the Porsche-Junior could prove the good performance of Konrad Motorsport. Zöchling
appeared really impressed about his debut in Monaco. “It got really hot already in the first corner. Altogether I am satisfied
with my race. I had some good fights and finally I could score one point for the championship.”
Rolf Ineichen felt relieved and happy after his first race in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. “For a long time already it was a
dream of me to be at the start in Monaco. I am really happy and pleased, that this dream was fulfilled now”, shone Ineichen.
The Swiss, who normally starts in the amateur classification of the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany, with 18th position
claimed an remarkable result.
The next round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup takes place in the course of the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Austria on the
Red-Bull-Ring in Spielberg from June, 20th to 22nd . With that, the fastest one make cup of the world after eleven years
returns to Austria again as well. Already next week Konrad Motorsport is at the start in the next round for the Porsche
Carrera Cup Germany again: Then the squad of team owner Franz Konrad travels to Budapest.
Racing at any new racetrack for the first time is always a challenge but the first time at Monaco takes this to a whole new level. No run off areas, tight city streets, and a far from ideal
surface, meaning a single mistake can be the end of your weekend. Despite his relative inexperience of the track, Christopher managed P13 on used tyres. It wasn’t easy, Chris in the #9
Konrad Porsche entered each session with great respect towards the track.
Just as in Barcelona, Chris and his other 27 competitors had just 30 minutes to set their qualifying times. As the session got underway, Chris put in some reasonable lap times, hovering around 10th place. Midsession, as Chris pitted to get his second set of new Michelin tyres, other’s started making mistakes. Yellow flags and even one red flag of the session ruined any chance of a decent lap time on the new tyres. With 4 minutes to go, Christopher’s fastest lap was cut short when Jeffrey Schmidt (CH) lost control of his car, crashing at the exit of “Tabac” corner, resulting in the second red flag of the session. At the end of qualifying Chris had to settle for P15 for Sunday’s race
Despite barely being able to see the red lights through an overhanging TV camera mast, Chris still managed a good start! Any advantage gained was soon lost when in Turn 1 “Sainte Devote”, Philip Hirschi ran into the right side of Chris turning him nearly sideways and knocking him back several positions. On completing Lap 1, Christopher found himself back on P19. The race was on! Overtaking in Monaco is nearly impossible, but time your manoeuvres right and there are overtaking opportunities.
With just 5 laps to go and on P16, Chris managed his last overtake of the race on Thomas Biagi.
Entering the right hander before the Tunnel “Portier” Chris was side by side with Thomas. When the Italian “closed” the door on Chris and they had contact. Thomas Biagi spun out and Chris could pass. Christopher Zoechling saw the chequered flag in 14th position.