Patrick Assenheimer (on right) and team-mate Maximillian Götz finished on the podium once during 2017 Photo: ADAC GT Masters
Patrick Assenheimer (on right) and team-mate Maximillian Götz finished on the podium once during 2017 Photo: ADAC GT Masters

Assenheimer: I'll be back in the ADAC GT Masters

It's a 99-percent certainty

It was all change in the ADAC GT Masters for Patrick Assenheimer in 2017 with his switch to the Mercedes-AMG GT3. He looks back on the season.

He contested the 2017 ADAC GT Masters with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the first time after four years in a Corvette. The 25-year-old driver moved to a different racing team, joining Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport, and got a new team-mate, ex-champion Maximilian Götz, who was returning to the Super Sports Car League from the DTM. “It was a huge change for me, for sure, but it’s always been my dream to race a Mercedes-AMG,” said Assenheimer. “It’s very similar in construction to the Corvette with a front-mid-engine but has different aerodynamics. The Mercedes-AMG produces more downforce on the front axle. I needed a few days of testing to get used to it, as I’ve never raced in formula racing and don’t have much experience of cars that produce lots of downforce, but HTP Motorsport and Maxi Götz in particular helped me a lot with all his experience, which allowed me to learn a great deal before the start of the season at Oschersleben.”

The driver pairing of Götz/Assenheimer took points from seven out of 14 races. Their best result was second place in Sunday’s race at the Sachsenring where he also secured victory in the junior classification for drivers under 25. “On the whole, I’m satisfied,” says Assenheimer. “With a total of 60 points in the overall standings, I did better than ever before, despite the fact that cars are now more similar in terms of performance than in previous years. Unfortunately, luck wasn’t always on our side. We aimed to score points regularly and succeeded to a large extent. We had a couple of retirements, and unfortunately, I didn’t always have an error-free drive this year, I have to admit.”

He is particularly annoyed about Sunday’s rain-hit race at Zandvoort, in which Götz in P1 had already pulled out a lead of just under 20 seconds. “Maxi did a great job, but then we got hemmed in during the pit stop and dropped back to sixth. One thing led to another and unfortunately, I lost control of the car while braking because of aquaplaning. That little bit of luck needed in such situations often deserted us this year.”

Assenheimer is aiming to line up again in the ADAC GT Masters in 2018. “I know where I need to improve. I’m also having lengthy discussions with my manager Bernd Schneider, who helped develop the Mercedes-AMG and can give me some extra tips, which will certainly help me learn plenty more. He only managed to come to one of my races this year, because he was too busy competing, but he’ll be at the track more regularly in 2018. We’re in the final round of negotiations for next season, but I’m 99 percent certain that I’ll be back driving the Mercedes-AMG in the ADAC GT Masters.”

2020 Season