Bahrain: Tudor Motorsport race 1 report

A hard first race for Tudor's Patrick Huisman Preparation for the first two championship races of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain started late afternoon on Friday in sweltering conditions. The first...

A hard first race for Tudor's Patrick Huisman

Preparation for the first two championship races of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain started late afternoon on Friday in sweltering conditions. The first race today, won by Rene Rast, was conducted in similar, high ambient temperatures - 32 degrees Celsius - and 75% relative humidity. Tudor is an official partner of Porsche Motorsport for a second season. The partnership coincides with the launch of a line of high-end sport aspect watches from Tudor. Tudor is also sponsoring one of the series' favourite team, Konrad Motorsport (GER).

Much is new this season for many of the drivers competing in the series and this includes Huisman who, this year, is driving for Konrad Motorsport with car number 21. Huisman explains how he comes to be part of the Konrad team: "I have known Franz Konrad for a long time. We drove together at our first Le Mans 24 hour race back in 1994 finishing third in the GT2 class. When Franz heard I did not have a drive for this season, I was fortunate to meet him again."

Bahrain comprises two rounds of the championship this year. Friday's fastest qualifying time of each driver set today's Round 1 grid position and the second fastest time sets tomorrow's Round 2 grid position. For today's race Huisman qualified in 14th position with a time of 2.32.374.

Huisman describes how his preparation and qualifying set the tone for the race: "we had a good shake down for the car during testing at Hockenheim. The team then changed a few things in our package, but we had only one session to work on them. We experimented hard in qualifying, but on this track there is not a lot of grip and the new part of the track is quite tricky and difficult. During qualifying the car was good but the tyres hold for one lap only. I had traffic twice at the start of my qualifying laps and also at the end and this is what ruined it. It was difficult to get a good plan for the first race, but we had a good mood and used this race session as another training experiment."

Indeed, the Tudor-sponsored driver had a good start to the race and was maintaining a solid pace in 13th position in the 25 car field. Unfortunately, by the 10th and final lap of the race he had dropped back explaining that he felt his tyre pressure was too high. Overall, the race was difficult for the Dutchman who finished eventually in 19th place, 45 seconds behind the winner, with a fastest lap time of 2.36.5.

Tomorrow, for Round 2, Huisman will start from 11th on the grid, having posted a time of 2.32.6 on his second fastest lap of the 30-minute session on Friday. "I'll start from 11th tomorrow and I will have a better time. I want to congratulate Rast, Rosina and Seyffarth for their first podium of the year. Unfortunately it was not meant to be for us today, but we will be working hard to fight back in the next race."

Round 2 of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup starts at 12.05 CET time tomorrow, Sunday, 14 March.

Over the last 25 years, Tudor and Porsche alike have worked persistently on design, technology and reliability, resulting in bold innovations and avant-garde solutions. There is a synergy between the two, and Tudor and Porsche Motorsport are proud to bring their two emblematic brands together in support of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup international series.

-source: tudor motosport

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Series General
Drivers Franz Konrad , Patrick Huisman , René Rast