The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup series moved onto one of the most challenging tracks of the season, the infamous Spa-Francorchamps in the Arden Mountains. “It’s my favourite track in the world” explained Sean on the lead up to the weekend.
Practice was just about wet enough for rain tyres to be used. Immediately Sean set the bench mark with a 2.48.863, which would not be beaten throughout the whole 45 minute session. “Practice was good, we did a good lap straight out of the box and then tried various changes, but the track got even more slippery after the first few laps, so we could not improve our time”.
Qualifying was an interesting affair, was it going to be wet or dry? Sean was first out on track and it was spitting with rain over half the track and on his first flying lap, he went straight on at Les Combe, over the grass and lost his front splitter, along with flat spotting the tyres. This left his without a real lap and down in twenty sixth position. The track was now dry and the team was testing a few different setups on the car, prior to using the second set of tyres! With 15 minutes to go, Sean set a time of 2.26.034 to claim the provisional pole position and pitted to wait for the end. Unfortunately the lap wasn’t perfect and they had gone out a bit too soon, as the track was faster at the end, so he dropped down to fifth place. Still, this was a great starting place for Sunday’s race.
The biggest question was the weather, all the Supercup teams were busy in the early hours of the morning, using the F1 weather stations to predict what was going to happen and set the cars up accordingly. Everything was pointing towards a dry race, so the whole grid opted for full dry settings and slick tyres. The race got underway and Sean held position in fifth on the run up through Eau Rouge, but got a good run on Van Lagen for fourth and went to the outside, but all hell broke loose in the braking zone for Les Combe! Rene Rast, Jeroen Bleekemolen, David Saleens and Sean Edwards all went straight across the grass on a slightly damp braking zone. The only one who made it through was Van Lagen, with Rene Rast being the only causality spinning into the barrier. Sean was now up to fourth place and putting big pressure on Saleens for third and on the second lap he made a slight mistake, which allowed Sean to slip up the inside and then set about Bleekemolen in second.
Then, contrary to the F1’s high tech weather predictions, it started to rain and with everyone still being on slicks, it started to get very tricky. Sean, now formally known as the rainmeister of the Supercup grid was all over Bleekemolen, the newly crowned champion for second place. But it was not made easy, he made his car as wide as possible until Sean finally got a run through Eau Rouge and slipstreamed him down to Les Combe, out braked him and went round the outside, he was now in second place, all be it 6 seconds behind the leader who had escaped while the battle for second was going on.
“I thought there would be no way to catch Jap, as the gap was so big, but I pushed hard and brought the gap right down in only a few laps”. All of a sudden, Van Lagen got it all wrong at the top of Eau Rouge, which allowed Sean to close right up and slipstream him all the way down the back straight and in the same move he had done for second place, went round the outside into Les Combe and took the lead of the race! In the remainder of the race, he pulled out a nice cushion on Van Lagen and just kept the car on the track to bring home his second win of the season in emphatic style. “I am so happy, I was expecting my second win in Valencia when I had pole position, but it was not to be, as we got excluded from qualifying. So to win here at Spa is just amazing and my first year in Supercup has surpassed all my expectations! Thanks to everyone from Konrad motorsport for giving me an amazing car, as we have been fast throughout the weekend, both in the dry and the wet, so it’s a fantastic result for the whole team”.
After Sean’s stunning victory in Spa, he has moved up to seventh in the driver standings and is the top rookie so far this season. The team’s championship is also very close, with Jiri Janak scoring solid points for the team in eighth. All will be decided in Monza, where Sean could theoretically still claim the runner up spot in the championship and the team have a very good chance of winning the teams title. Monza is this weekend, so no time to relax for Sean and Konrad Motorsport!