Spa-Francorchamps report

Eighth Round at the Belgian Grand Prix -------------------------------------- Emmanuel Collard Champion; Battle for Runner-up Continues Spa-Francorchamps. Emmanuel Collard from France is the 1996 Porsche Pirelli SuperCup Champion. The 25 year...

Eighth Round at the Belgian Grand Prix --------------------------------------

Emmanuel Collard Champion; Battle for Runner-up Continues

Spa-Francorchamps. Emmanuel Collard from France is the 1996 Porsche Pirelli SuperCup Champion. The 25 year old Formula 1 test driver took third on the 6.974 km circuit, the most challenging of the entire series calendar. Out of total eight races his impressive series record includes four wins, six fastest qualifying laps, and seven quickest race laps. During the grid lottery, where the six fastest drivers draw their starting position, Collard earned himself three points here in Spa - one point gained for every lost place. This gave Collard the Championship title even before today's race started. Collard commented on his success: "It was a fantastic season. At every race I was on the podium. Thanks to my supportive, professionel team, a reliable Porsche, and no retirements. My fight with Harald Grohs for third today was hard, but fair." Grohs (D, Manthey Racing) shadowed the leading two until the last round, where Collard attacked and passed.

The decision for runner-up position will have to wait until the final round in Portugal (Estoril, 22 Sept). Three experienced and determined Porsche specialists grapple amongst themselves for this honour: In Spa- Francorchamps during qualifying Juergen von Gartzen (D, Oberbayern Motorsport) trailed Collard by just 0.125 seconds, and today's race led the pack throughout the entire race, with team mate Patrick Huisman clinging to his bumper. His win in Spa-Francorchamps is Von Gartzen's first of the season. Also chasing the runner-up position are Jean-Pierre Malcher (F, Larbre Competition) and Patrick Huisman (NL, Oberbayern Motorsport). Malcher, champion of last year's series, ended his race fifth.

Twenty year old Patrick Simon (D, Porsche Zentrum Koblenz) gave a remarkable performance. After a severe accident at his daunting track two years ago, the promising pilot regained his speed, and over the weekend improved his times over the practice sessions ending his race sixth. Both VIP drivers experienced bad luck during the race. Motorcycle World Champion Christian Sarron missed a gear change and consequently was sidelined with engine problems. Norberto Fontana, Formula Nippon pilot and Formula 1 test driver finished his race 24th after a spin.

Top ten results:

Pos     Driver                  Team                            Time
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 1      Juergen von Gartzen/D   Oberbayern Motorsport       25:52.741
 2      Patrick Huisman/NL      Oberbayern Motorsport         + 0.859
 3      Emmanuel Collard/F      JMB Competition                 2.238
 4      Harald Grohs/D          Manthey Racing                  3.287
 5      Jean Pierre Malcher/F   Larbre Competition             17.233
 6      Patrick Simon/D         Porsche Zentrum Koblenz        21.578
 7      Horst Farnbacher/D      Zepter Racing Team             30.250
 8      Olaf Manthey/D          Manthey Racing                 30.736
 9      Duncan Huisman/NL       Porsche Zentrum Koblenz        33.960
10      S. de Groodt/B          Porsche Zentrum Koblenz        35.241

CHAMPIONSHIP:

Pos     Driver                  Pts
-----------------------------------
 1      Collard/F               168 (Champion)
 2      von Gartzen/D           123
 3      Malcher/F               111
 4      Patrick Huisman/NL      106
 5      Mathai/D                 80
 6      Farnbacher/D             68

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Emmanuel Collard , Patrick Huisman , Duncan Huisman , Harald Grohs , Olaf Manthey , Patrick Simon , Norberto Fontana
Teams Larbre Competition