Stuttgart. They are the craziest days of the year. When the Grand Prix circus descends on Monaco, the Principality on the Cote d’Azur is turned upside down. First flower tubs, parking meters and traffic signs are removed to make room for barriers, concrete blocks and high fences and create the world’s most famous city circuit. With this perfect backdrop, the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup holds its third race of the season on 29 May.
“Driving in Monaco is fantastic, and to win here is the ultimate,” says two-time Supercup champion Jeroen Bleekemolen, who has had the pleasure of this sensation twice. For the race in his adopted home where he knows every curb and corner well, the Abu Dhabi by tolimit pilot from the Netherlands has particularly big plans: “No one has achieved three Supercup victories in Monaco yet. I want to be the first to manage this feat.”
But it will not be easy. “You can’t afford to make one mistake in Monaco. You only have a chance when everything runs absolutely smoothly,” Jeroen Bleekemolen says about the challenging circuit with its world renowned corners like “Casino” and “Rascasse”. Run-off zones are virtually non-existent, walls and crash barriers are uncomfortably close to the ideal line. The ex-Formula 1 World Champion Nelson Piquet once compared driving in the street maze of Monte Carlo to “flying a helicopter in your living room”. Last year’s Monaco winner, René Rast (Germany) from the VELTINS Lechner Racing squad, doesn’t see it quite so dramatically. “The circuit of Monaco is actually not what drivers dream about. There are many narrow corners and masses of bumps that really shake you up. If you’re going to make a mistake then you’d better make it where there is some space beside the track, otherwise it’ll be the last mistake you make in this race. A good qualifying result is more important here than at any other race on the calendar.” Despite all the professional judgements, he simply can’t ignore the fascination of the race. “Driving with such a backdrop is something very special for us all. My victory here last year was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my career.”
Travelling to the most prestigious race of the year as points’ leader is Sean Edwards. After the Abu Dhabi by tolimit pilot claimed his first win of the season in Barcelona, the British-born, Monaco-resident is confident he can bring home more points. Also looking forward to the demanding city circuit are Konrad Motorsport teammates, Christian Engelhart and Nick Tandy. After his surprise win at the season-opener in Istanbul, the German is keen not to lose touch with the overall leaders. The Briton hopes to clinch his first victory of the season after yielding second from both Istanbul and Barcelona. Tandy too thinks a good grid position is the key to success because overtaking is very difficult in Monaco. “There are two places where overtaking might work,” he says. “But only if the guy in front makes a mistake.”
TV stations Eurosport (9.45 hrs) and Sky (9.40 hrs) broadcast the race in Monaco live. Eurosport also televises highlights of the race at 23.30 hrs in its programme “Motorsport Weekend Magazin”.
Points’ standings after 2 of 9 races*
1. Sean Edwards (GB), 36 points
2. Nick Tandy (GB), 36
3. Christian Engelhart (D), 29
4. Kuba Giermaziak (PL), 25
5. Norbert Siedler (A), 24
6. Kévin Estre (F), 22
Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), 22
BBS rookie classification
1. Kévin Estre (F), 22 points
1. Konrad Motorsport, 63 points
2. Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, 56
3. VELTINS Lechner Racing Team, 45
* It has not yet been decided if and when the cancelled Formula 1 race and Porsche Mobil1 Supercup double-header in Bahrain will be followed up with a replacement.