Former champions like Sebastian Asch (32, GER), Luca Ludwig (30, GER, both HB Racing) and Maximilian Götz (33, GER, Mann-Filter Team HTP), World Endurance Champion Timo Bernhard (38, GER, KÜS Team75 Bernhard) and newcomer Fabian Vettel (20, GER, Mann-Filter Team HTP). In addition, there will be spectacular supercars bearing the logos of Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche as well as several new teams and a new Club of Champions sponsored by series partner herrenausstatter.de. On Media Day held during the official preseason tests at Oschersleben, the ADAC GT Masters presented an attractive line-up for its 2019 season, which opens on the weekend of 26th - 28th April at the same venue. All races will be broadcast live and in full length by SPORT1.
A total of 19 teams will contest the new season, fielding 31 sports cars with eight different manufacturers' badges on their grilles. One absolute newcomer is the Aston Martin Vantage GT3, with which the British brand is entering the ADAC GT Masters for the first time since 2013. Last year's champions Porsche are also sending the latest version of the 911 GT3 R into action. "The quality of the ADAC GT Masters starting grid underscores the standing of the series as one of the world leaders in GT racing, thrilling fans with brand diversity and a strong driver field," says ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk. "I therefore expect to see some high-calibre and exciting competition in 2019. Furthermore, the ADAC GT Masters offers an impressive platform, with the ADAC GT4 Germany, ADAC TCR Germany, ADAC Formula 4 and the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland sharing the weekend billing and providing the fans with a packed programme."
ADAC Motorsport Director Thomas Voss is delighted with the ADAC GT Masters TV package: "Fans can look forward to an exciting season again in 2019 and, thanks to our TV partner SPORT1, they won't miss a second of the action. SPORT1 will be showing all races live and in full length, compered by the established team of Sarah Valentina, Patrick Simon and Peter Kohl. In addition, the races of the new ADAC GT4 Germany as well as the ADAC TCR Germany and ADAC Formula 4 can be watched live on SPORT1."
High-calibre driver field
Eight former ADAC GT Masters champions will be competing in the Super Sports Car League this year. Leading the charge will be last year's champion Robert Renauer (34, GER), who once again lines up for Precote Herberth Motorsport and shares a new Porsche 911 GT3 R with last year's Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland champion Thomas Preining (20, AUT).
The only Ferrari 488 GT3 on the grid will be driven by 2015 champions Sebastian Asch and Luca Ludwig. No fewer than three former champions will be challenging for the title in the upgraded Audi R8 LMS: Christopher Haase (31, GER) stays loyal to BWT Mücke Motorsport, while Kelvin van der Linde (22, ZA) joins newcomers HCB-Rutronik Racing and Christopher Mies (29, GER) embarks on his fourth year as a member of the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport squad.
The new Aston Martin GT3 will be driven by record ADAC GT Masters race winner and former champion Daniel Keilwitz (29, GER). His team-mate at PROpeak Performance is Aston Martin works driver and former DTM star Maxime Martin (33, BEL) making his return to the Super Sports Car League after a seven-year absence. Completing this select group of former champions is Maximilian Götz, also an ex-DTM contestant. Götz's team-mate in the second of two Mercedes-AMG GT3s fielded by Mann-Filter Team HTP bears an illustrious name: newcomer Fabian Vettel is the younger brother of Ferrari Formula 1 star Sebastian Vettel.
In two-time Le Mans winner and WEC champion Timo Bernhard and in FIA GT1 champion Lucas Luhr (39, GER, IRON FORCE RACING) the series boasts two world champions, both of whom will be driving Porsche 911 GT3 Rs. Audi man Markus Winkelhock (38, GER) has Formula 1 experience, while Audi drivers Frank Stippler (43, GER, Team ISR) and Pierre Kaffer (42, GER, EFP Car Collection by TECE) can look back on time spent in the DTM.
Former GP2 driver and last year's overall third Marvin Kirchhöfer (25, GER, Callaway Competition) leads the Corvette contingent, while ORANGE1 by GRT Grasser can count on the services of Mirko Bortolotti (29, ITA) who has this year already notched up GTD class victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring at the wheel of a Huracán GT3 EVO entered by the Austrian outfit.
Club of Champions inaugurated by series partner herrenausstatter.de
On Media Day, ADAC GT Masters partner herrenausstatter.de and the ADAC introduced the new Club of Champions to the waiting press. As of the new season, all ADAC GT Masters champions will be admitted to the exclusive club. Renata DePauli, Chair of the Executive Board of herrenausstatter.de, presented a blue blazer with an embroidered club badge and gold-coloured lining custom-made for members of the ADAC GT Masters Club of Champions.