22 Jun Technical problem spoiled podium finish for Christian Engelhart
At the return of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup to Spielberg Christian Engelhart covered fourth place and secured important points for the title fight. Despite technical problems Engelhart became the best Konrad Motorsport driver at the Austrian round of the fastest international one make cup. Team mate and local hero Klaus Bachler, after a disappointing qualifying, delivered a reasonable hunt through the field and finished on ninth position. Rolf Ineichen and Christopher Zöchling covered positions 15 and 18 in the third round of the year.
“To be honest, I have hoped to claim a better result”, explained Christian Engelhart after the race on the Red Bull Ring in the Austrian Styria region. After best time in the free practice session and second rank in the qualifying, the Bavarian stood at the start as one of the top favourites for a podium finish. However, a technical problem at his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup provided a difficult start for the 27-year-old German. “Just ahead of the start, the engine speed dropped drown and cost me several positions when the starting lights went off”, reported the Konrad driver. After the race the team found a broken sensor to be the reason for the misfortune.
Engelhart dropped down to fifth position and had hard to fight to stay in front of the competitors behind. “After we had a top-car in all sessions so far, we missed the pace a little in the race”, explained the Porsche expert. Despite all the problems, the Bavarian battled for a podium finish until the chequered flag came out. Finally he had to settle with fourth place. Nevertheless, in the driver standings of the championship the Konrad driver was able to shorten the gap to the top by two points.
Klaus Bachler thrilled his numerous Austrian fans with a hunt through the field. After a disappointing qualifying the Austrian had to start from 16th spot into the race. “Unfortunately I had a poor qualifying session”, so the Konrad driver. However, Bachler proved his fighting spirit in the third round of the year and managed to improve to ninth rank. The home race of the Austrian, who lives only a few kilometres away from the Red Bull Ring, finished with a happy end. “We made the best of the situation. The team has worked hard to get rid of the problems in the qualifying. We can be satisfied with ninth place.”
A disappointing matter became the home race for Christopher Zöchling, the second Austrian in the team Konrad Motorsport. Started from tenth, the 26-year-old lost some positions already early in the race. “I had a really poor start, so a number of drivers could pass me”, Zöchling looks back on the race. “Later on it went even worth for me, when I spun during the fight with an opponent. I am so sorry for the team, because my car was top today.” After 16 laps the Konrad driver saw the chequered flag on 18th position. The race took a better course for his team mate Rolf Ineichen, who in Spielberg had his second guest start in the Supercup this year. After a flawless performance the ambitious racer from Sursee in Switzerland finished the race on 15th.
The race on the Red Bull Ring in the Austrian Styria region was one of the season highlights for Franz Konrad and his team, but the next highlight is just around the corner already next weekend: Rounds seven and eight of the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany take place on the Norisring in Nürnberg from June, 27th to 29th. Especially Christian Engelhart is looking forward to the two races in the Franconian city. The fourth weekend of the championship will be a home race for the Bavarian. “I am living not far away from Nürnberg and I can hardly wait to get there.”