Kiwi driver Earl Bamber heats up at Spa circuit

Last updated 08:40 25/08/2014
Earl Bamber
Photo supplied
NEED FOR SPEED: Kiwi driver Earl Bamber claimed his second win of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season at Spa in Belgium.

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Kiwi driver Earl Bamber claimed his second win of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season at Spa in Belgium on Monday morning (NZ time).

In a dominant display, Bamber, racing for Fach Auto Tech, took the top spot on the podium by 10.2 seconds and now leads the overall series standings.

Denmark's Nicki Thiim (Walter Lechner Racing Team) and Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (A/Konrad Motorsport) rounded out the top three.

"Fastest in free practice, pole position, victory and now the points leader - what a perfect weekend. I'm over the moon," Bamber said of his dominant weekend. 

The Kiwi driver set the pace early on but surrendered his lead after several hundred metres when he slid sideways in the legendary Eau Rouge passage, opening the door for Thiim to sneak past.

After his scare, the 24-year-old, who contested his 50th race in a Porsche at Spa, caught the Dane and launched a hefty attack to regain the lead spot.

He eventually squeezeed past Thiim in lap six and the path was clear to clinch his second win of the season.

"Our fight was tough but very fair," Thiim said. "Earl's a great racer."

Italy's Autodromo Nazionale di Monza hosts the next round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in the first weekend of September.

Meanwhile, fellow Kiwi Mitch Evans completed a solid weekend in the GP2 races at Spa, finishing last night's sprint race in fourth place.

Evans came fifth in the feature race and the 18-point haul from Belgium has taken him to fifth in the overall standings.

The GP2 series moves to Monza in Italy on September 5 and with three more meetings, Evans, who has two wins over the season, has a chance to push further up the ladder.

And in GP3 action at Spa, Richie Stanaway got New Zealand on the podium in Sunday night's sprint race with a second placing.

He finished seventh in the weekend's feature race, also collecting 18 points for his efforts.

That sees the Aucklander move up to second on the points table.

Stanaway had a great tussle with series leader Alex Lynn for the chequered flag on Sunday night in wet conditions.

"The left side of the grid was wet so I had no chance to capitalise at the start. I was pretty surprised to hold onto second. It was pretty awesome with Alex and myself risking it all at the front to go hard at it," Stanaway said.

"We were both pretty quick. We struggled a bit with the balance, it wasn't quite working in my favour. I wasn't getting the balance I needed to threaten Alex.When I got closer to him it got even worse so there wasn't much I could do.

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"I just had to maximise what I had and I had no pressure from behind. But then Alex made a mistake, which gave me the opportunity to pass him but the way I defended it at the next corner wasn't correct.

"The fact that I didn't win was probably my fault as I got gifted the lead and I stuffed it basically.

"All in all it's not a bad weekend, but to lose two points to Alex isn't great. Now we're 32 points away and we're running out of races.

"There's still a lot of points up for grabs and the Saturday points are pretty big, so if we have a couple of good ones and he has something go wrong, we may be able to capitalise on it. I will just focus on my own thing and to win more races and take it to the wire."

- Stuff

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