PATRICK STREETFIGHTER IN VALENCIA!VALENCIA, AUGUST 25 2009 – After having experienced troubled free practice and qualifying sessions at the Valencia Street Circuit, Patrick Huisman drove an excellent race during the ninth round of the Mobil 1 Porsche Supercup on Spanish territory. Having started from ninth position, the SPS Performance driver managed to climb up to fourth position at the finish on the 5.44 kilometer long street circuit which is regarded as difficult to overtake. By scoring another 14 points, and four more than his closest rival Stefan Rosina, Huisman is back in third position overall in the driver standings!
FREE PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING
In Friday’s 30 minute free practice session, Patrick Huisman and his SPS Performance outfit maximized their track time in order to be well prepared for Saturday’s qualifying. As overtaking is regarded as difficult at the twisty circuit which counts 25 corners, the four-time champion tried to find a suitable set-up during this session in order to try to start in the front of the pack. Braking problems however denied him a top position. His best lap time of 2:12.117 earned him the seventh position though. In/after Saturday’s qualifying, Huisman was puzzled by a sudden lack of speed, just like his team mates Richard Williams and Lance Arnold. Even though the car felt good and consistent and Huisman admitted to have driven a series of good laps, he had to settle for ninth on the grid.
PATRICK HUISMAN: “I honestly don’t know what went wrong. I felt I did a good lap and the car felt good as well, but most probably we did go the wrong way with our set-up. It looks like the team just had an ‘off-day’. Last year I was more than a second quicker here, so we have to carefully check the data and change our set-up in order to be more competitive tomorrow. Maybe it simply wasn’t aggressive enough for a street circuit like this one?”
After having changed his set-up dramatically overnight, Huisman enjoyed a good start in which he was immediately able to gain several positions. Mayhem at the first corner though moved him back to ninth position as he was blocked by William Langhorne who opted to use the escape road in the first corner. Good thing however was, Huisman had already noticed his car felt much better. While Norbert Siedler and Stefan Rosina tailed him throughout the entire race, Huisman was able to close the gap to the guys in front of him and overtake five drivers during the 14-lap race, a task that had been described as ‘impossible’ by many in the paddock. By finishing in fourth position, Huisman handed himself a nice birthday present. By scoring another 14 points on his 43rd birthday, Huisman had passed Stefan Rosina again in the driver standings, positioning him in P3!
PATRICK HUISMAN: “I’m very happy about the outcome of this race. After qualifying we severely studied the data and decided to alter our set-up big time. Though it was a bit of a gamble, it worked out very well and I was able to set the same lap times as the guys in front. During the race I chased the pack ahead of me and overtook five drivers, a genuine strong race drive I can be proud of. Congratulations to Lance and the team as well for finishing on the podium. Next stop is Spa-Francorchamps next week, my ‘home track’. I hope to be able to fight for a podium position in front of all my fans, sponsors and guests!”
RACE RESULTS ROUND 9 MOBIL 1 PORSCHE SUPERCUP – VALENCIA, AUGUST 23 2009
01. René Rast (GER), Veltins MRS Racing, 14 laps, 30:53.084
02. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Konrad Motorsport, + 02.539s
03. Lance Arnold (GER), SPS Performance, + 17.784s
04. Patrick Huisman (NED), SPS Performance, + 33.202s