Gustav Malja wrapped up his debut season in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup with a top ten finish at this weekend’s double-header finale at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City.
The Swedish rookie came home in ninth place in the first race of two, and then crossed the line in 12th in the second heat on Sunday.
However, a ten-second time penalty for a jump start eventually demoted Malja to 18th in the final Race 2 classification.
His Race 1 performance, which netted him his best Supercup result of the season with P9, came despite a damaged radiator and subsequent water leak following contact with newly-crowned Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland champion Thomas Preining at Turn 1.
“I’m pleased with my performance this weekend, and it’s been great to visit Mexico and drive at this fun track for the first time,” says Gustav Malja. “The first race was particularly demanding as I had to nurse the car home with that water leak, but thankfully I managed a top ten finish despite that. Thank you to my team, Project 1, for all their hard work this season.”
Malja’s Mexican weekend got off to a strong start in qualifying, where he lapped less than four tenths adrift of pole position – and a mere one tenth from the second row of the grid.
”Qualifying was extremely close here this weekend, and I’m really happy to have qualified so close to the leading pace at a track which is brand new to me,” Malja continues. ”I feel that I’ve understood the car better in recent races and that has helped me unlock a lot of potential. I took my first podium last time out at Hockenheim in Carrera Cup Deutschland, and this was my strongest weekend in the Supercup. It’s progress clear to see. As a former single-seater racer, it has been great to experience a new world of racing this year in Porsches, and I’ve really, really enjoyed it!”
In his rookie year of sportscar racing, Gustav Malja has scored one podium, achieved at last month’s Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland finale at Hockenheim.
Malja ends up 14th in the overall Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup standings, with Germany’s Michael Ammermüller winning the title for a second successive year.