Al Faisal bags top-ten finish at Hungaroring
Oman’s Al Faisal al Zubair recovered strongly from a poor start in traffic into turn one to finish overall tenth in the sixth round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at Hungary’s Hungaroring in Mogyorod on Sunday.
The BWT Lechner Racing Team driver started the race from sixth position, but dropped three places into turn one and then fought back well to maintain that position until the closing laps in a race that was dominated by his two BWT Lechner Racing Team colleagues, Michael Ammermüller and Julien Andlauer, the latter maintaining a slim championship lead to take into the short summer break.
Speaking after the race, Al Faisal said, “I struggled with the car throughout the race. The mid-corner speed was not great I did not feel comfortable during the race. I was happy to bring it back in the top-ten. I had a bit of contact with (Ayhancan) Güven at the start, but it was fine.”
Dutchman Larry Ten Voorde finished third overall and Cypriot Tio Ellinas and Luxembourg’s Dylan Pereira rounded off the top five.
Andlauer and Ammermüller lined up on the front row of the grid with Al Faisal in sixth place with Lechner cars dominating the top end of the field on team principal Walter Lechner’s 70th birthday.
Warm and dry conditions were a far cry from the rain in training on Friday afternoon and Andlauer maintained his advantage through the opening corners of the 15-lap race. Al Faisal lost out in traffic into the first corner and slipped three places to ninth, but Thai driver Khatadhee Kusuri spun out on to the grass after a collision fro behind by Jaap van Lagen on turn two and a yellow flag was raised in sector one.
The safety car halted race proceedings soon afterwards and returned to the pits at the end of lap two with Andlauer leading from Ammermüller and Ten Voorde with Al Faisal in ninth. Van Lagen continued with a damaged car down in 29th place before pitting on lap four.
The leaders held station through laps three, four and five, as Al Faisal came under pressure from Jaxon Evans on lap six. Andlauer and Ammermüller continued to head the field through the middle of the race, with Ten Voorde and Tio Ellinas leading the chasing group until Ammermüller made his way into the lead at the expense of his French teammate on lap eight.
There were no changes within the top ten into lap 11 of 15 and Ammermüller held on to pip Andlauer to the chequered flag by 2.96 seconds and reduce the Frenchman’s championship lead to one point heading into the four-week summer break.
Al Faisal managed to stave off Evans’s challenge to record yet another vital points’ scoring finish with a tenth place after Joey Mawson sneaked through over the closing laps.
Action in the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup resumes at Spa in Belgium after the summer break on August 30-September 1.