After a fast and furious curtain-raiser at Oschersleben, the ADAC GT Masters now arrives in Austria for the second weekend of the 2015 season (5th - 7th June). The Red Bull Ring in the south-east of the country plays host to the first of three excursions by the Super Sports Car League outside the borders of Germany. Live TV coverage of the Saturday and Sunday races commences at 1pm CEST on SPORT1. Klaus Bachler (23) driving a GW IT Racing Team – Schütz Motorsport Porsche will be defending his current championship lead in front of an enthusiastic home crowd and against the stunning backdrop of the Styrian Alps. Adding extra spice to the occasion are two supercars making their ADAC GT Masters debut: the new Lamborghini Huracán and the final development version of the Lamborghini Gallardo.
Who can beat Red Bull Ring serial winner Keilwitz in his Corvette?
Anyone aiming to finish on the top rung of the podium at one of the fastest circuits on the ADAC GT Masters race calendar has to get past Daniel Keilwitz (25) in his Callaway Competition Corvette. Keilwitz, who shares the cockpit of the US-built sports car with Andreas Wirth (30), has an impressive track record at the Red Bull Ring, having won the last four races there, a feat that has been achieved by no other driver. But the start of the season at Oschersleben showed just how competitive the situation is at the top of the ADAC GT Masters. Leading the field will be a matter of honour for local favourite Klaus Bachler, who arrives in his native province sharing an early championship lead with Porsche 911 co-driver Christian Engelhart (28). Also represented on the grid are Audi, Bentley, BMW, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan, a grand total of eight marques.
"I´m coming to my home race as championship leader," says Bachler. "I certainly wasn´t expecting such a good start to my first season in the ADAC GT Masters. I live only 25 kilometres from the Red Bull Ring, so next weekend is very special for me. It won´t be easy against the strong competition, and the two races are bound to be very exciting. You always have to take the weather into account, because conditions at the Red Bull Ring are often changeable. However, that could prove to be an advantage for our Porsche."
Five Austrians and a local outfit battling for glory
In addition to Bachler, four other Austrians are looking forward to their home race. Dominik Baumann (22) shares the cockpit of a BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert BMW Z4 with Jens Klingmann (24), while Daniel Dobitsch (30) teams up with Sweden´s Edward Sandström (winner of the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race at the Nürburgring) in a kfzteile24 MS RACING Audi R8. Bentley got their season off to a great start at Oschersleben with a debut victory in the first race of the 2015 ADAC GT Masters season. Clemens Schmid (24) will be aiming to build on that with adoptive Austrian team-mate Fabian Hamprecht (19). Hari Proczyk (39) will be contesting his home race not only as a driver but as the manager of his own team, HP Racing. Born in nearby Knittelfeld, Proczyk is partnered by Sweden´s Andreas Simonsen (25) in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG which had podium finishes in both of the first two races of the campaign.
Two new Lamborghinis destined for ADAC GT Masters debut
Grasser Racing have a home race and a debut performance to look forward to at the Red Bull Ring. The team from Knittelfeld are entering the new Lamborghini Huracán for its premiere outing in the ADAC GT Masters. Driving the Huracán in its maiden sprint race will be Mirko Bortolotti (25) from Italy and Adrian Zaugg (28) from South Africa. "I am feeling confident about our home race, because the car has already shown that it´s fast," says team boss Gottfried Grasser. "It´s great that Lamborghini have given their approval for the new car to be entered for our home race in the ADAC GT Masters. The Red Bull Ring should suit the characteristics of the Lamborghini with its central engine. I´m working on the assumption that we will be competitive. Last year, we came fourth. With the new car, a podium finish should be possible."
In addition to the Huracán, a second Lamborghini is making its ADAC GT Masters debut. Reiter Engineering are switching from their previous Chevrolet Camaro to the newly developed final version of the Lamborghini Gallardo. Reiter are not only bringing a new car to Austria but also a new driver: Tomas Enge (38) from the Czech republic will be sharing the Lamborghini with Australia´s David Russell (33).
New challenge for Pirelli tyres
The superfast Red Bull Ring also represents a challenge to the tyre supplied by ADAC GT Masters exclusive partner Pirelli. Anna Playford, Trackside Engineer at Pirelli: "The tarmac surface at the Red Bull Ring is relatively smooth, which can sometimes make the process of warming up the tyres more difficult for the drivers. The main feature distinguishing this track is its sharp ascents and descents which are hugely enjoyable for drivers and fans alike. The mix of full throttle passages and hard braking points at the Red Bull Ring results in high lateral and longitudinal forces acting on the tyres."
Autograph session with DTM star Lucas Auer and full support programme
The ADAC GT Masters comes to Austria with an extensive support programme. In addition to the new ADAC Formula 4, fans will also be entertained by the GT4 European Series and Formula Renault 2.0 NEC. The Renault Clio Cup Central Europe will further ensure that there isn´t a dull moment during the entire three-day event. Mercedes-Benz DTM driver Lucas Auer will also be paying a visit to the ADAC GT Masters, where he will meet fans for an autograph session on Saturday.
Tickets, including access to the paddock, start at 20 euros
Fans who want to experience ADAC GT Masters action live at the track can now purchase tickets in advance. Prices start at 20 euros and include access to the paddock. ADAC members can take advantage of the ADAC preferential scheme. Tickets are available online at www.adac.de/gt-masters and at www.eventim.de, from any ADAC branch office and from more than 20,000 Eventim outlets throughout Europe.
The eight events and 16 races of the 2015 ADAC GT Masters season are to be staged at venues in Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. ADAC GT Masters races will again be shown live by ADAC new live-TV exclusive partner SPORT1, who will broadcast all 16 ADAC GT Masters races live and in their entirety in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Broadcasts will normally begin at 1 pm on race weekends.