After a nail-biting climax in the whisper-thin air of Mexico City, experience has vanquished youth in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Lechner MSG Racing’s Michael Ammermüller has taken the title in 2017, after increasing his narrow lead over the impressive Norwegian Porsche Junior Dennis Olsen to finish the season just seven points clear.
The 31-year-old enjoyed a commanding start to the year, but saw his dominance gradually eroded by a resurgent Olsen who, by the time they touched down in Mexico, had reduced his deficit to just three points.
A huge and knowledgeable crowd filled the 2.6mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to witness the final two Supercup support races of the Formula 1 season. At more than 7,500 feet above sea level, Mexico City’s historic circuit is considered one of the toughest on the tour thanks to high-speed corners and heavily reduced downforce.
But Olsen looked characteristically unphased behind the wheel of his GT3 cup car, finding pole position for the first race on Saturday just ahead of his arch rival. But the young Norwegian would lose his lead on the first corner to second-row sitter Matt Campbell. The Australian passed both Olsen and Ammermüller at the start and disappeared up the road, leaving the title contenders to fight for vital championship points in his wake.
Campbell converted pole to a second victory of the weekend on Sunday, wrapping up a perfect finish to his Supercup season with an overall third place. Meanwhile Ammermüller was forced to defend against an attacking Olsen from the start of round 11, with the German’s experience and composure ultimately proving a match for Olsen’s gritty determination.
Second place in both races was enough to tie it up for Ammermüller, whose consistency throughout the season has proved decisive. “Four wins, five second places and a third – thanks to these consistent performances I was finally able to win the Supercup," said the straight-talking Ammermüller. “I’m very pleased about that and I’m grateful for the terrific support I received from my Lechner team.”
These final two rounds were a fitting end to a remarkably tight season. Ammermüller and Olsen were always in the hunt, while other talent – in this case in the guise of Campbell – reminded them just how close the field is at this level.
And as if to underline the point, our new Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer managed a remarkable fifth in his first ever outing in Supercup, so we’re already pumped for 2018 …