PATRICK HUISMAN EXCELS IN BLISTERING HOT PORSCHE MOBIL 1 SUPERCUP SEASON OPENER! MANAMA, APRIL 262009 Patrick Huisman once again proved his worth during this weekend's Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season opener in Bahrain. Together with his ...
PATRICK HUISMAN EXCELS IN BLISTERING HOT PORSCHE MOBIL 1 SUPERCUP SEASON OPENER!
MANAMA, APRIL 262009 Patrick Huisman once again proved his worth during this weekend's Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season opener in Bahrain. Together with his SPS Performance team, the Dutch driver demonstrated two outstanding race performances in the tropical settings of the Bahrain International Circuit in order to finish the first race on the podium (P2) and end the second race in fourth position. With 32 points on his tally, Huisman is currently second in the championship standings!
FREE PRACTISE AND QUALIFYING
As Friday afternoon's free practice session also marked the first time Patrick Huisman got a first taste of his new Tudor sponsored Porsche 911 GT3, the four-time champion was eager to hit the track as soon as the lights went green. With no pre-season testing experience under his belt due to his late announcement, Huisman used the 45 minute session to get acclimatized to both the car and team. Despite the lack of pre-season preparation, Huisman surprised the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup paddock by setting the sixth fastest time.
As the track conditions had changed considerably overnight (lower air and track temperature in combination with dust resulted in a loss of grip), Huisman struggled a bit to get two good laps in. Even though he felt he didn't maximize his efforts, the Dutch ace still secured the sixth starting position for both the race on Saturday as Sunday afternoon.
PATRICK HUISMAN: "Even though it has almost been six months ago since I drove one of these cars, I immediately felt comfortable to be back on track. Our basic set-up proved to be good already in Friday's free practice session, as was our balance. I'm very pleased we were able to put in two consistent laps in qualifying, which handed me a double 3rd row starting slot for both races. With our lack of pre-season testing in mind, this looks promising for our chances in the race and near future."
RACES 01 + 02
Huisman enjoyed a perfect getaway at the start of the season opener on Saturday afternoon, as he immediately overtook Stefan Rosina and Damien Faulkner before approaching Turn 1. With the two Federsand Jetstream team mates Richard Westbrook and Matt Halliday running into each other in the tight right hander, Huisman is promoted to third position only seconds after the start. Huisman tried to trail race leader Jeroen Bleekemolen and Rene Rast in the opening laps, but soon decided to look after his tyres more carefully as these began to wear out quickly in the hot temperature. After having consolidated his 3rd position for several laps, Rene Rast dropped back a couple of positions due to technical trouble in the final stages of the 12 lap race, handing Huisman second position. After having finished in second position, the former champion visibly enjoyed the podium celebrations!
On Sunday morning, Huisman experienced a `deja-vu' as he enjoyed another superb start after which he edged out Stefan Rosina and Damien Faulkner before/in the first corner, just like he did on Saturday. As the top three contenders (Bleekemolen, Rast, Westbrook) emerged to be too fast and Faulkner and Halliday chased him from behind, Huisman wisely decided to consolidate his fourth position until the chequered flag was shown at the end of lap 12.
PATRICK HUISMAN: "Considering our minimal pre-season preparation together, we can be very satisfied with the outcome of this weekend as a team. In Saturday's race I more or less inherited the second position, today I had to fight a lot harder for fourth position. Not only against the others, but also against the extreme hot temperatures in the car! To head back to Europe in second position in the standings is a great reward for everyone in the team and gives us a huge boost for the next races!"