Al Zubair secures eighth position at Hockenheim
July 29, 2019 | 8:43 PM
by Agencies
Action in the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup resumes next weekend (August 2-4) in Hungary. - Supplied photo

Hockenheim: Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair overcame two safety cars and yellow flags, a sudden rain shower and several collisions involving other drivers to secure a solid eighth position in the red-flag shortened fifth round of the 2019 Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup at the Hockenheim Grand Prix Circuit in Germany.

The BWT Lechner Racing Team driver had slipped down to 11th place before a collision involving team-mate Michael Ammermüller, Mikkel Pedersen and Larry Ten Voorde brought out the first of two safety cars. The race was eventually red flagged in heavy rain with four laps still to run.

Dutchman Ten Voorde had started the aborted race from pole position and fought back to regain first place before the race was red flagged. Cypriot Tio Ellinas finished second and Al-Zubair’s BWT Lechner Racing Team colleague Julien Andlauer of France rounded off the podium positions and maintained his series lead, despite the fact that no points were awarded at this race.

However, race stewards later decided to adjust the result to take into account the incidents out on the track and the fact that the race was stopped after lap seven. Dylan Pereira had been leading at that point and was handed the win, which demoted Ten Voorde to second, Ellinas to third and Andlauer to fourth place.

Al-Zubair said: “I finished the race in eighth place and I am quite happy with this result. Our goal was to finish inside the top 10. Actually, the race was amazing but with some risks where it rained. The cars were fitted with dry weather tyres for dry tracks and that happens.”

Dylan Pereira managed to squeeze through on the opening lap in dry, overcast conditions to claim the lead and Michael Ammermüller also displaced pole sitter Ten Voorde, as Al-Zubair was overtaken on the first lap and slipped to 11th place.

Thirty-one cars had begun the 16-lap race and the leading trio held station through laps two and three with Al-Zubair trying to regain the positions he had lost to Turkish driver Ayhancan Güven, Joey Mawson and Jaap van Lagen.

A collision between Ammermüller and Pedersen brought out the safety car on lap four and the defending champion and his Danish rival plummeted out of contention, as Pereira continued to lead from Ten Voorde and Tio Ellinas and Al-Zubair climbed to eighth, the Omani also passing Güven. Ten Voorde was also involved in the incident and continued racing pending an enquiry after the race.

Debris was cleared from the track with the safety car in place but racing resumed on lap eight with as many laps remaining and rain clouds gathering overhead as a heavy shower started.

Lechner Racing Middle East’s Saul Hack collided with Robin Hansson soon after the restart in the midst of the rain shower and the safety car returned to the circuit. It was not before Ten Voorde had regained the lead from Ellinas and Andlauer, with Pereira slipping down to sixth and Al-Zubair maintaining eighth behind Mawson.

The safety car remained on the circuit until Hack’s car was removed from harm’s way but race officials decided to red flag the remainder of the race on safety grounds with four laps to go. Cars duly returned to the pits and the result stood as the rain began to fall even heavier. Race Stewards then had the final say some time later.

Action in the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup resumes next weekend (August 2-4) in Hungary.

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