Latorre is Supercup’s new breakthrough act
PORSCHE SUPERCUP SILVERSTONE (GB) JULY 8 ROUND 4/9
The times they are a changin’ in the Porsche Supercup, in some ways at least. And that’s not just because one of the leading contenders is called Dylan. For the third consecutive race, a driver took their first victory in the category – this time 21-year-old Florian Latorre thanks to a lights-to-flag win under pressure. But some things don’t change, for it was wily reigning champion Michael Ammermuller chasing him and taking a second place that consolidated his points lead.
Latorre started from pole position, but was always going to have a fight on his hands to keep Ammermuller behind, given the German reckoned he had the pace to top qualifying. He might have done too, but his first attempt at a flying lap on his second set of tyres was interrupted by a red flag. But Latorre, the 2014 US F2000 champion who made his transition into sportscar racing in the German Carrera Cup, delivered during the five-minute shootout after the restart.
Latorre made a decent getaway, and only had to hint at defending from Ammermuller’s Bwt-backed Lechner Racing machine on the run into the first corner. Ammermuller, a former Red
Bull junior and a GP2 race winner back in 2006, initially tracked Latorre with Dylan Pereira on his tail. Pereira then lost third to a late dive by Mattia
Drudi into Club on the second lap.
Two laps later, Ammermuller fell victim to the same move, with Drudi moving up to second.
All of this was great news for
Latorre, who established a slender, but useful cushion at the front. It took Ammermuller three laps to find his way back to second thanks to Drudi running deep at The Loop under pressure. He then started to reel in Latorre before the intervention of the safety car to clear up several cars, including Pereira’s.
Pereira, who had slipped to sixth behind Nick Yelloly at Stowe on lap three, made a late defensive move on Julien Andlauer into the first part of Club. Initially he seemed to have escaped with his sixth place intact, but the resulting damage led to him spinning exiting Club.
Andlauer also had to retire.
This turned the race into a three-lap sprint with a rolling start under the safety car. And initially it seemed Latorre was in trouble. He had several wide moments and a few wild rides as he tried to keep the rear end in line, but by the 13th and final lap of the race had things back under control. With only two points difference between first and second, Ammermuller wasn’t going to take any wild risks trying to win when there’s a title at stake.
Drudi held on to third ahead of Larry ten Voorde, with Yelloly finishing fifth and best of the eight home drivers on the grid. Best of the rest of the Brits was Dino Zamparelli in seventh, one place ahead of Red Bull Ring race winner Thomas Preining.
Latorre soaked up the pressure from Ammermuller