Treacherous conditions played a big part at the opening round of the Mobil 1 Porsche Supercup at Imola, but Rudy van Buren had a solid start to the season. The Dutchman picked up P7 in the first major race of the season.
After a solid preparation over the last weeks, the stage was set for the first round of the Porsche Supercup at the historic Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola. For Rudy van Buren it was the first race weekend at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup-car of Huber Racing. Although there were some wet patches on track during practice, Rudy and his team found a good base setting. It proved to be crucial for qualifying, which would be a huge challenge with a full 33-strong grid at the narrow Imola Circuit. “We didn’t change much after practice and in qualifying it was crucial to put a lap in at the right time”, Van Buren said. “I think we did well by getting P9 on the grid.”
It set the stage for an enthralling first race of the season, in which a twist occurred just before the start of the race on Sunday morning. “While we were preparing for the race on the grid, the rain started to come down heavily”, explained Van Buren. “We expected it to be wet, but we found the track was more or less flooded when the formation lap started. It was a wise decision to start the race behind the safety car and after three laps the conditions were good enough to start the race.” The first real wet running brought some challenges for Van Buren: “I gained two positions in the first lap, but a slight moment lost me three places. After that I was able to fight back to my position. After a fantastic race I ended up in seventh place.”
With the current Porsche Supercup grid it’s hard to predict the running order, but Van Buren was obviously happy with the way his weekend went. “I really enjoyed the weekend, I think we had some great fights”, he continued. “The speed is there. Sometimes it’s all about track position and the moment at the end of the first lap didn’t help us. If you said I would be top seven after the first race, I would have signed for that straightaway. This field of cars and drivers is so strong. I’m around the position I want to be, but I’m sure we have some margin to improve for the next races.”
The next round of the Porsche Supercup will be in the historic streets of Monte Carlo. Before that, Rudy will start a new adventure in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. “We’ll test at Spa-Francorchamps this week and the first round of PCCD is next week. I’m looking forward to the start of the season and it’s always a joy to race at the iconic Spa circuit.”