Runners-up: Sven Barth and David Jahn Photo: ADAC GT Masters
Runners-up: Sven Barth and David Jahn Photo: ADAC GT Masters

Comments after Race 1 at Spielberg

Observations from the paddock after Saturday's race at Spielberg

The winners and losers talk about the first race of the ADAC GT Masters weekend at the Red Bull Ring.

Nicolai Sylvest (MRS GT-Racing, BMW M6 GT3), P1 overall, winner of the Pirelli Junior classification: "I'm obviously delighted at what we - Jens, the team and I - have achieved together. I'm a bit lost for words, actually. My start was good. After that, it was difficult to maintain the gap to the second-placed Porsche. I knew that, if I made a mistake, the Porsche would pounce. Jens did a great job in the closing stages. He came under a lot of pressure from the Corvette. I was mega nervous in the pits, but we had great faith in Jens, and he finished the job."

Jens Klingmann (MRS GT-Racing, BMW M6 GT3), P1 overall 1: "The qualifying result and Nicolai's start were the basis for our success. When I saw that the Corvette was up to second place after the driver change, I knew that it was going to be tight, because it is a car that has excellent straight-line speed, which is very important here. I tried to manage the lead, but David Jahn just kept narrowing the gap by whole tenths of a second. When he was on my tail in the last 15 minutes, every lap was like qualifying. It was really tight. I am glad that the race lasted only one hour. I think we deserved the win, especially after Most where we were in third place for a long time but eventually fell behind. The team has worked hard for this success."

Sven Barth (RWT Racing, Corvette C7 GT3-R), P2 overall, winner Pirelli Trophy class: "Things went well for us as early as qualifying - we hadn't actually been expecting much. But we did a good job in Thursday's tests and Friday's free practice where we identified something in the setup that helped us, especially in the fast middle sector. The start was a bit lively, but I hung on to third. I then tried to look after the car for David. I managed that quite well, and he subsequently advanced to second place."

David Jahn (RWT Racing, Corvette C7 GT3-R), P2 overall: "We set the car up nicely for the race distance. It became clear today that we were the strongest in the second half of the race. This is thanks to our engineer who has such superb ideas. Sven did a great job. I closed the gap on Timo and got past. He was very fair. We are very happy with second place."

Timo Bernhard (Küs Team75 Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 R), P3 overall: "A great result, I am so very happy for the whole of KÜS Team75 Bernhard - everyone worked so hard. We did not have the easiest start to the season, but we never gave up and we've now found the right answer. This result is well deserved and comes at the right time, so let's keep it up."

Klaus Bachler (Küs Team75 Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 R), P3 overall: "Third place at home at the Red Bull Ring - I am very happy about that. What an amazing result! Huge thanks to the whole team - finally we have been rewarded for all the hard work, and we've been able to show what our package is really capable of. We simply had a great car. We've been working extremely hard for the last two days to make sure we have the right balance and a really good setup for the car. Then we had a faultless quali and a faultless race, including from a strategy perspective. Now we have a great result - it's probably the maximum that we can get out of this track, because the competition is really very strong. Timo did a great job too, controlled everything well and brought the car safely across the line. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, and I'm optimistic that we can get another good result."

Fabian Vettel (Mann-Filter Team HTP, Mercedes-AMG GT3) P13 overall, P5 in the Pirelli Junior class: "It felt like I'd received a slight push, but I don't want to point the finger at anyone. Our top speed was really good. After the spin, I tried to get back in contact with the rest of the field and to regain some places, but also to avoid getting penalised and to manage the tyres for Philip so he could go on the attack again. That worked well, and it fills us with confidence for Race 2. We are especially strong over the full distance thanks to the consistency of the Mercedes-AMG GT3. Tomorrow, we'll be in attack mode."

Max Hofer (Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS), P6 overall, P2 in Pirelli Junior class: "On the whole, we think we performed well today. We drove a solid qualifying and were able to do a near-perfect lap. That was the foundation for today. Driving an Audi, you don't have the easiest of times here. I think we can be really satisfied with the vital points for having finished sixth and with second place in the Pirelli Junior class. We know that, in a normal race, it's not a track where we're going to be contenders for the win. That's why it's important for us to get into the Top Ten and to score some useful points."

Jeffrey Schmidt (BWT Mücke Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS), P9 overall, P3 in Pirelli Junior class: "We've been struggling all weekend. Today, we started from 19th and finished ninth, so that's actually a positive. We definitely have to improve in terms of straight-line speed, though. Anyway, it was important to take away points and to finish third in the Pirelli Junior classification. We now need to make sure we start tomorrow's race from further forward."

Adrien de Leener (Küs Team75, Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 R), DNF: "It's a shame for us, but congratulations to our number 17 sister car for the good team result. In qualifying, the car was very good, but I had to start from far back. Of course, that made things difficult. In the race, I tried everything I could to gain positions, because the car is good enough and has the pace to do that. Unfortunately, I hit an opponent while trying to overtake. That caused damage to the front of our Porsche. The car deteriorated after that, and Matteo had to park it. I feel so sorry for the team, but tomorrow we'll try again and I'll do my very best."

Indy Dontje (Mann-Filter Team HTP, Mercedes-AMG GT3), DNF: "I was stuck in fourth gear. It's a real pity. I got away to a great start and was really quick. A podium finish was definitely in it for us. We're now just focusing our thoughts on the second race. We aim to finish on the podium tomorrow."

2019 Season