All eyes may have been on the Formula One title battle in Austin, Texas this weekend but the supporting Porsche Supercup also provided some spectacular action and secured driver Michael Ammermuller the latest Overtake of the Week award.
Ammermuller’s black and white Lechner Racing Team Porsche was fighting with the yellow car of Philipp Eng and title contender Earl Bamber, in the white and red Fach Auto Tech entry. After plenty of jostling in the previous corner on lap 11, all three cars raced down the long back straight at the Circuit of the Americas with Ammermuller sandwiched in the middle. The white Porsche of Ben Barker joined them stealthily as the German Ammermuller forced Bamber tight to the inside of the track.
As the drivers crested the rise on the back straight, all vied for the best piece of tarmac and diced wheel-to-wheel mere inches apart. Kiwi driver Bamber managed to edge his way ahead of his rivals, with Ammermuller briefly pushed down to third by the Austrian Eng.
The trio fanned out as they approached the braking zone for the next corner, a tight left-hand turn. Ammermuller was forced to stay in the middle of the track whilst the 24-year old Eng quickly switched to the racing line, and Bamber was left on the inside.
Compressing together as they hit the brakes, British racer Barker weaved around behind them trying to work out the best course of action. Each driver attempted to brake at the last possible moment and it originally looked like the 24-year old Bamber would have the best possible position on the inside line. It was Ammermuller however who was bravest and stood on the anchors later than his rivals.
At the turn in to the corner, the black and white Porsche moved across the front of Bamber to take the lead. The 28-year old, who was searching for his first victory of the season, still had to ensure he could slow down enough to make the corner.
With extensive run-off areas at the Circuit of the Americas, Ammermuller’s gamble was well thought out. He ran across the exit kerb but maintained enough momentum to keep ahead of the chasing pack. Crucially, he had ensured that he could grab the inside line for the next section, two tightening right-hand corners.
Slicing back on to the circuit, he pushed Bamber wide, which pushed Eng even wider, and he gave no quarter to Ben Barker in fourth. With a lead pack of four cars that you could have thrown a blanket over, Ammermuller maintained the lead with Bamber wisely settling in to second. Eng and the 22-year old Barker were left to scrap it out for third and fourth.
Ammermuller went on to claim victory whilst Bamber took second and the Mobil 1 Porsche Supercup title with it. The overtake, whilst not particularly clean, demonstrated great determination and fight to get to the front. With a championship contender in the mix, it was important that all drivers treated each other with respect and didn’t take each other off. They managed to do this superbly and entertain the fans with some high-risk and engaging racing.
Watch the full move here (skip to 25:09):