Monza report

Porsche Pirelli SuperCup 1998, Eighth Round at the Italian Grand Prix --------------------------------------------------------------------- Patrick Huisman Secures Fifth Victory - Five Chase Runner-Up Title Monza. Patrick Huisman (NL, Walker...

Porsche Pirelli SuperCup 1998, Eighth Round at the Italian Grand Prix ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Patrick Huisman Secures Fifth Victory - Five Chase Runner-Up Title

Monza. Patrick Huisman (NL, Walker Monroe-Manthey Racing) continues to dominate the season, winning the eighth and penultimate round of this year's Porsche Pirelli SuperCup in Monza, having already clinched the championship title two weeks ago in Spa-Francorchamps. The 31-year-old started from second on the grid, and leapt immediately into the lead ahead of pole-setter Stephane Ortelli (F,Porsche Centre Rhein Oberberg). In the fourth lap Ortelli spun off the track. The Frenchman explained: "My car had a total electrical failure. When I tried to restart with the starting button I lost concentration for a fraction of a second and went off."

Porsche Centre Rhein Oberberg pilot Ralf Kelleners showed his Porsche experience finishing the race on Monza's 5.770 km track second. This result was a repeat of the 1996 national Porsche Carrera Cup champion's performance of the season opener in Imola. The first-ever Porsche Pirelli SuperCup champion of 1993, Altfrid Heger (Porsche Centre Koblenz -Zakspeed), brought home his second best result of the season so far with third. Oliver Mathai's fourth placing here in Monza places the 30- year-old second overall in the standings behind team mate Huisman. At the season-final in two weeks on the Nurburgring, five pilots are within striking distance of the runner-up title: Mathai, Heger, Ortelli, von Gartzen, and Kelleners are within 16 points of each other on the points table.

Andrej Kulundzic (YU) in his Zepter Racing Porsche chalked up a fifth placing from the 12 lap sprint race. The 28-year-old has collected points from every round so far this season, and now ranks eighth over- all. The fastest Italian, Maurizio Monforte (Ebimotors Porsche Italia), drove a gutsy race, starting from 13th on the grid to finish seventh. "When Stephane flew off I took advantage of the confusion and made up some places." Triple French Carrera Cup champion Dominique Dupuy (MMI) secured eighth, but was dissatisfied with his result: "I'm having difficulty finding an optimal suspension set-up, so we have to keep working on it." Following Dupuy in places nine and ten are ex Formula 1 veteran Jacques Laffite (Kadach Tuning) and driver/team owner Paul Belmondo (Kronos Porsche-Paul Belmondo Racing). Double world motorcycle champ Loris Capirossi drove his Porsche Pirelli VIP car impressively, finishing 18th. The popular Italian interrupted his race with a stop-and -go penalty in the pits after taking creative shortcuts through chicanes. "That was a fantastic weekend. This 911 racer is precise in handling, with loads of power."

Race results (top 10):

Pos     Driver/Nat              Team                            Time
 1      Patrick Huisman/NL    Walker Monroe-Manthey Racing 23:08.944
 2      Ralf Kelleners/D        PZ Rhein Oberberg            + 1.763
 3      Altfrid Heger/D         PZK Zakspeed                   4.407
 4      Oliver Mathai/D       Walker Monroe-Manthey Racing     4.594
 5      Andrej Kulundzic/YU     Zepter Racing                  4.727
 6      Frank Schmickler/D      Tolimit Motorsport            13.646
 7      Maurizio Monforte/I     Ebimotors Porsche Italia      20.101
 8      Dominique Dupuy/F       MMI Motorsport                20.231
 9      Jacques Laffite/F       Kadach Tuning                 21.187
10      Paul Belmondo           Kronos Porsche-Paul Belmondo  21.987

Top 10 point standings:

Pos     Driver       Points
 1      Huisman         148
 2      Mathai           96
 3      Heger            84
 4      v.Gartzen        83
 5      Ortelli          81
 6      Kelleners        80
 7      Schmickler       65
 8      Kulundzic        62
 9      Monforte         60
10      Galimberti       50

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Series General
Drivers Ralf Kelleners , Stéphane Ortelli , Loris Capirossi , Patrick Huisman , Jacques Laffite , Paul Belmondo , Oliver Mathai , Dominique Dupuy , Altfrid Heger , Frank Schmickler
Teams Team Zakspeed