ISTANBUL: Bleekemolen takes top podium, TUDOR drivers Huisman and Williams place with points Two weeks after the glamorous Monaco Grand Prix, Porsche drivers found themselves once again behind the wheel, this time on the very hot Istanbul Park...
ISTANBUL: Bleekemolen takes top podium, TUDOR drivers Huisman and Williams place with points
Two weeks after the glamorous Monaco Grand Prix, Porsche drivers found themselves once again behind the wheel, this time on the very hot Istanbul Park Circuit at midday for a 14-lap race, Round 5 of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. 27-year old reigning Champion Jeroen Bleekemolen (Konrad Motorsport) once again claimed the top step of the podium and led the race from start to finish. German driver Rene Rast (VELTINS MRS Racing) took a strong 2nd, along with the fastest lap time, and J Janak (Konrad Motorsport) came in 3rd position. The two Tudor drivers, 42-year-old Patrick Huisman and his team mate 31-year-old Richard Williams (SPS Performance) finished in 7th and 8th place respectively- in the points for both drivers.
Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED) said he had a good race with no incidents, a strong week-end on the Turkey track that saw him clock the fastest time in the practice session and the pole position for the race. "What astonished me is that I had same pace all along and no trouble with the tyres. It was a really good race, even if at some point Rene Rast was pushing behind me. But he ran into trouble with his tyres and I could finish undisturbed ahead of him. I left no one else a chance." Although very happy with his current success, Bleekemolen is always looking ahead: "Now I'm looking forward to the 24 Hours Le Mans the week-end before Silverstone."
Rene Rast (VELTINS MRS Racing) clocked the fastest lap time of the weekend at 1:59.794 on lap 4, keeping a solid hold on his starting grid position to finish Round 5 in 2nd.
Dutch Tudor driver Patrick Huisman started in 6th on the grid and slipped back one position for a Round 5 finish in 7th position. "I had an average start while the others had a strong start. After that I remained P6 and was very close to Austria's Norbert Siedler, 0.5s behind and pushing hard. We had a good strategy with the team: Four laps before the end I was only 0.1s behind and was trying to get by but it was not easy to overtake him. He was blocking me and then he was braking really hard at the last minute, I was afraid to run into him. He did it several times and on the penultimate lap, the shock was stronger and I believe that it broke the cooler. That forced me to slow down, which is when Stefan Rosina was closing behind me and overtook me. I could not protect my car's position anymore."
SPS Performance and Tudor Driver teammate Richard Williams had a very good race, beginning in 12th on the starting grid and moving into 8th position for the finish. Williams was in 8th for most of the race, lapping in 2.01.689 after 30 minutes and with two laps remaining. "This is where we want to be," Williams said. "This place is the best I could wish for after starting in 12th position. All week-end we struggled." Admitting that the race was difficult, Williams said that in addition to understeer in the car that hurt his lap times, the high temperatures may have also played a role. "It was 47 degrees the whole week-end on the track and today the track temperature rose to 51 with 32 degree air temperature. I am well prepared physically for these temperatures as I am currently training for a triathlon that includes swimming, cycling and running, but it is very hot in the cockpit. Frankly, hydration is the key to fight the heat." Ever optimistic Williams said he is looking forward to a "home race in Silverstone" and that "it feels good to finish in the points after a disappointing race in Monaco."
Round six of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup takes place in Silverstone over the weekend of 19-21 June 2009.