La­torre is Su­per­cup’s new break­through act

Autosport (UK) - - RACE CENTRE | WORLD OF SPORT - EDD STRAW

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

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