The seventh race in Monza, Italy, offered plenty of explosive action. The race was marked by exciting overtaking manoeuvres and tough battles for position. The improved aerodynamic packet of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Type 991, as compared to the old model, meant that the drivers could use the slipstreams at the high-speed Monza course a great deal more effectively. Even in qualifying it was a battle for the best position in the slipstream of the driver in front.
For Project 1, it was a case this weekend of ‘don’t risk too much but still use our strengths’. This tactic worked well in qualifying. With only 5 laps in the whole session, Edwards put his 911 in third place for the race and ensured the privilege, in contrast to his opponents, of being able to start the race with new tyres. Team ‘Allyouneed by Project 1’ rookie, Sean Johnston, qualified on a track which was again new territory for the 22 year old American in 21st position. The improvement of more than 2 seconds in comparison to practice on Friday was remarkable. After a poor start, Sean Edwards, who lives in Monaco, was forced to use defensive tactics. “Let’s put it this way, it was not an optimal start for me and to avoid going out and getting no points because of an accident, I tried to keep myself clear of everything, particularly on the first bend. Fortunately I wasn’t rammed by anything behind me and everything went smoothly.”
In view of the many drop outs, collisions and the way the competition was driving, this was exactly the right thing to do. Dropping back to eighth position in the early phase, the table leader finished in 5th place and took 12 championship points. “At the end I did everything possible to overtake Christian Engelhart but his car was really quick on the straights. Congratulations to Nicki Thiim. He was able to reduce my lead, but in Abu Dhabi, I’ll be celebrating the championship. Of that I’m sure and we’ll do everything for it.” With his 20 points for winning the race, Nicki Thiim has taken 8 points out of Edwards’ lead. For the two final races in Abu Dhabi, Edwards therefore has a lead of 18 points over his closest rival.
The race finished less well for Project 1 junior, Sean Johnston. Unfortunately, he was one of the victims of the first bend. “In Monza especially, the first chicane offers pure excitement because the drivers brake from top speed down to first gear and the whole field packs together. If you don’t watch out, you hit the driver in front and damage your front.” This is unfortunately exactly what happened to Sean Johnston. “The cars in front of me seemed to stop. Unfortunately I drove into the back of one of my opponents and it caused a small tear in my radiator. At first, the car felt good for another 3 laps but then I had to give up the race because of the raised engine temperature. It’s a shame, but I’m looking forward to the two races in Abu Dhabi.” It was an annoying result for Johnston, particularly because in the three laps mentioned he battled well through the field. The many drop outs and battles of the other drivers would surely have meant that there would have been another top result in it for Johnston.
Project 1 leaves Italy with mixed feelings and is now preparing for the big finale in Abu Dhabi. The result in Italy for Team ‘Allyouneed by Project 1’ boss Paul Schlotmann is neither grounds for frustration and annoyance, nor for unadulterated joy. “I`d say that our drivers did a good job. Sean Johnston’s accident is annoying but I’m much more pleased about the continual improvement in his performance in every race. With Sean Edwards, at the end we had to give up a little bit of our lead. But we can live with the result. Our focus is now on the final in Abu Dhabi. Our competitors are not going to be asleep and we need to carry on concentrating and working hard. Excitement is guaranteed.”
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup will be opening its gates on 2nd and 3rd November for the final in Abu Dhabi.
News and background information about the race and about Project 1 can be found on the Project 1 website and on Facebook, or on our partner website, racecam.de.
Current positions – drivers’ championship:
1 Sean Edwards 118
2 Nicki Thiim 100
3 Michael Ammermüller 94
23 Sean Johnston 2
Racing calendar – Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup:
Abu Dhabi 02./03.11.2013