A1-Ring report

Porsche Pirelli SuperCup 1998, Fourth Round at the Austrian Grand Prix ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Oliver Mathai Repeats Last Year's Win Zeltweg. Lady luck was with Germany's Oliver Mathai with a ...

Porsche Pirelli SuperCup 1998, Fourth Round at the Austrian Grand Prix ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Oliver Mathai Repeats Last Year's Win

Zeltweg. Lady luck was with Germany's Oliver Mathai with a dramatic win at the fourth round of the Porsche Pirelli SuperCup on Austria's 4.319 km A1-Ring circuit. The 30-year-old from Hamburg spent most of the race in third place behind his team mate and reigning champion Patrick Huisman (NL), and Oberbayern Motorsport's driver Jurgen von Gartzen (D). Mathai: "I went very quickly. First Jurgen overshot a corner because his brake pedal was getting softer, then Patrick spun - I won." Mathai was victor here in 1997 as well. Von Gartzen took second, and Huisman rejoined the pack to finish fourth.

A delighted Matteo Maria Galimberti celebrated his best ever Porsche Pirelli SuperCup result bringing his Ebimotors-Porsche Italia across the finish line third. The 24-year-old student now lies third overall in the points standings. Said the Italian: "Our team is new, but very supportive. We work fantastically together. My new team mate Maurizio Monforte, and I share informations and tips. We seem to have found a good set-up." Monforte gave a fine display of expertise after starting from 15th to finish eighth. Porsche specialist Altfrid Heger drove with unwavering concentracion to take fifth for his PZ Koblenz Zakspeed team, followed by Yugoslavia's Andrej Kulundzic (Zepter Racing) in sixth.

UPS Porsche-Junior driver, Marc Basseng from Cologne in Germany, delivered his premiere performance in this year's Porsche Pirelli Super Cup, starting from 11th on the grid to finish the 15 lap sprint race seventh. The two UPS Porsche-Junior team members Basseng and Dirk Muller will also compete at rounds in Hockenheim, Budapest, and Nurburgring. Rounding off the top ten drivers, in tenth was Paul Belmondo (F,Belmondo Racing). Portugal's Pedro Couceiro experienced a weekend of highs and lows. After posting his quickest qualifying time of the season, the 28- year-old F3 refugee started from ninth on the grid, only to be shoved from the track into the gravel.

Porsche VIP driver, TV celebrity Tobias Moretti from Austria, brought his Pirelli-backed Porsche home 15th. Robert Lechner, the second VIP driver, currently lying third overall in the German Formula 3 champion- ship, was bumped by a competitor and retired in the first lap with suspension problems.

Race results (top 10):

Pos     Driver/Nat              Team                            Time
 1      Oliver Mathai/D      Walker Monroe-Manthey Racing  25:03.228
 2      Jurgen von Gartzen/D    Oberbayern Motorsport        + 2.122
 3      Matteo Galimberti/I     Ebimotors-Porsche Italia       4.515
 4      Patrick Huisman/NL   Walker Monroe-Manthey Racing     11.216
 5      Altfrid Heger/D         PZK Zakspeed                  14.592
 6      Andrej Kulundzic/YU     Zepter Racing                 15.216
 7      Marc Basseng/D          UPS Porsche-Junior Team       21.111
 8      Maurizio Monforte/I     Ebimotors-Porsche Italia      21.635
 9      Paul Belmondo/F         Belmondo Racing               23.787
10      Jacques Laffite/F       Kadach Tuning                 24.751

Pos Driver Points --------------------------- 1 Huisman 70 2 v.Gartzen 60 3 Galimberti 45 4 Ortelli 44 Heger 44 6 Mathai 32 7 Kulundzic 30 8 Schmickler 29 Monforte 29 10 Kelleners 26

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Series General
Drivers Dirk Müller , Patrick Huisman , Jacques Laffite , Paul Belmondo , Pedro Couceiro , Oliver Mathai , Robert Lechner , Altfrid Heger , Jurgen von Gartzen , Marc Basseng
Teams Team Zakspeed